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Where Will You Stand When the Flood Comes?; Open
Topic Started: Mar 29 2017, 11:21 AM (755 Views)
Randomness
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[ *  *  *  * ]
((Jordan Green continued from Jenny From The Block))

They had waited for Jeremy.

How long had they waited? No clue.

Enough time to talk about what seemed like a million small things and for the sun to have clearly made a big arc across the sky and yet neither of them had decided to broach the evermore likely reality that Jeremy wasn't going to show up.

But he'd turned up yesterday, hadn't he. Far later than they'd expected, but he'd still managed to turn up anyway. So maybe it was the same thing all over again, and he was just being absurdly paranoid.

But each passing second still fed that paranoia.

They'd long exhausted any ideas they had on Les Mis, especially after they'd hit a point where the fact that there was no internet, no way for them to check the exact phrasing of the sentence, led to that entire train of conversation. But there were few other things that they did talk about, as if they were both doing this weird dance to avoid entire topics, and the conversation was never serious. Never all that personal. The kind of light, banal talk that schoolyard lunch hours were meant for.

It was familiar, it was comfortable, and yet it was so empty and devoid of meaning.

But what did he want to talk about. More musicals? Maybe something about Hazel instead? That could be- the word wasn't 'nice'. 'Interesting'? Something nebulous in that area anyway.

"So, what were you going to do after graduating? Like, if... " As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he wanted to backtrack. Sure, it was the first question that came to mind, but god, it sounded insenstive to him right now, which clearly meant that he was being insensitive.

"I mean, um, never mind. Just ignore that."
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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Ruggahissy
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Hazel Jung continued from Jenny From the Block))


Hazel was sitting on the bridge with her legs dangling over the edge and her arms resting on one of the metal beams. She looked to be leisurely resting with her left cheek laying on her arms, looking straight out at the waterway. Her legs swung back and forth lazily. Her jacket was folded up next to her and on top of the jacket she'd neatly placed her sneakers with her socks tucked into them. In the pocket of her jacket, she'd put her hoop earrings.

She looked quite summery wearing her black tank top, capris and looking out blue expanse, though it appeared that the water directly under them wasn't very deep. Hazel had pulled her hair up into a messy bun to try and cover up how dirty it had become.

The sun was probably going to set in two or three hours. At first, they'd been tense. They were waiting for Jeremy at a meeting point that seemed like it would be busy; it was a bridge connecting two parts of the island together. However, no one happened upon them, be it friend or foe.

Because it was quiet, the sounds of nature were amplified. The slight sound of the water, some rustling from nearby plants when the wind picked up, and now that the day was getting on, crickets.

Jordan said something and Hazel's half-closed eyes opened and moved to him. He asked her a question and quickly realized how foreboding it was. It was a heavy question because it held the implication "....if you're the lone survivor" which he'd left off. It also carried with it another implication that Hazel had thought about involuntarily, thought about asking Jordan, and had pushed away from her mind several times. "What happens if we're the only ones left?"

Avoidable for now, but not avoidable forever. Outside of discussing Jeremy's trustworthiness, Jordan and Hazel had managed to keep things light to a near superhuman level. They were both grand champs of avoiding unpleasant topics.

She half-smiled and waved the question away, settling her head back down with the unspoken affirmation that it was as good as forgotten.

"I've never been stood up before," she said.
things
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Slam
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Mr. Danya
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Nate Turner continued from Serenity Prayer))

He was finally here.

It had taken him longer than it should have. Ever since he’d left Enzo he’d been putting off making the trip to the bridge, even though it had been sitting in the back of his mind since that conversation had ended, the decision made. This was the only way he could have any control anymore.

He knew why he’d been procrastinating: this was wrong. He’d always been told that this wasn’t the solution, that it was a sin, and he’d never even thought about it before all this. He still never wanted to do it, but what option did he have? Choice wasn’t a luxury he had any more.

In the end, this island got everyone. It got Henry, it got Alvaro, it got Nancy, and now it was going to get him. At least he hadn’t had to watch it happen to anyone. Thank God for small blessings.

He swallowed, for the upteempth time. There was a lump in his throat that he couldn’t shake, even though he knew this was what he had to do. It was wrong, and he didn’t want to do it, but he had to. That's what he kept telling himself.

His weak footsteps tracked along the bridge, as he looked out to the side. He wanted to get closer to the middle, away from the edges, which seemed like the right way to do it. He didn’t know the first thing about doing this right, and he would’ve been glad for that at any other time, but now that seemed moot. It was too long a drop down to not work, anyway.

He pulled his gaze away from his feet on the road, looking forward for the last time, and caught sight of Hazel and Jordan.

He swallowed again. He didn’t want this. He just wanted to die alone, and get it over with.

He stammered out a greeting, anyway. Old habits were hard to break.

“H-hey, guys.”
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Was it good that she didn't seem to mind the question? Or was it bad that she ignored it? Or maybe it was both, even though he couldn't see how since they seemed to be mutual opposites, didn't they.

Hazel was looking out at the ocean, and Jordan couldn't help but stare. The ocean before them, a drab blue, not unlike the drab browns of home. The desert had always been so forboding, as if penning them into the little town. As if saying that their world ended right there. And it was the same right here. The world ended with them, the sea that they could not traverse marking the edges of their new little universe.

"Really?"

He'd heard rumours about her before, and he'd always wondered who could bother to make up so much vicious rumour about anyone else. Clearly there must have been something true somewhere, somewhen, but how much of the Hazel he did know was a lie, conjured up by his own imaginings and fourth-hand accounts?

"Actually, I'd guess not, huh. Wait, I think he's here."

And he was back, ready to break the increasingly pointless conversation to replace it with a completely different completely pointless conversation. Jer-

Nope. That wasn't Jeremy.

Nate. Nate was cool. Or at least not uncool, and much more importantly, not a jerk.

"Hey, Nate." Nate sounded as nervous as usual, but honestly, it was probably far weirder to be as calm as he had been these past few days. Oh god, was he already getting used to the island? That was probably not a good thing.

"So, you okay? And I don't suppose you've seen a Jeremy around, have you?"
Edited by Randomness, Apr 5 2017, 10:57 AM.
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Ruggahissy
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"Yeah, really. Have you?" she asked, without looking away from the water. Her feet continued slowly swinging back and forth until she heard Jordan again.

"Jeremy?"

Her eyes opened wide and she picked up her head, sitting up straight. She turned and saw a figure, but it seemed a little bit too short to be Jeremy. Hazel squinted and put her right hand over her eyes to block out the late-day sunlight.

"Nate!"

Hazel scooted backwards and folded her legs inward before awkwardly getting to her feet. Jordan had taken care of the more practical questions like asking how Nate was and if he'd seen Jeremy. Hazel walked forward and hugged him.

"Who would have thought the theater kids would be kicking around this far?" she said with a smile.
things
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Slam
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The concern in Jordan's greeting. The warmth in Hazel's hug. The casualness of the entire situation.

It was just so wrong.

He tried to reply to them, tried to force a smile, but it was long past possible.

He stammered, unable to stop himself no matter how hard he wanted to, until it all broke down and he finally burst into tears. Inbetween the sobs, he was still trying to say that he was fine.
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When he had said (thought actually, but that was beside the point) that he didnt know what to do when a girl was crying the other day, it did not in any way mean that he knew how to deal with a guy crying either.

"Hey, um, are you- No, of course not." He didn't want to interrupt Nate. He could wait, Nate would feel better, and then they could answer questions. That sounded great.

"Alright, just let it out."

Was he helping? It sounded like he wasn't making a difference at all.

"Oh my gosh, Hazel, help me out here."
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Ruggahissy
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Hazel let go and drew back to see Nate burst into tears. Her eyebrows came together and she frowned with her mouth open slightly. She looked down at their feet and her mouth set into a hard line.

Her heart sank because she knew how he felt and it was easy to see why he was crying and freaking out. She and Jordan were basically being held together with duct tape, used chewing gum and birthday wishes. In other words, not particularly internally structurally sound. Her eyes started to well up a little as Nate's reaction brought the full weight of the situation crashing back down on them again.

Jordan had come up and was trying to awkwardly comfort Nate. His abject terribleness at dealing with upset people almost made her laugh a little and brought her back from the brink. Hazel clasped Nate's hands and bumped her head lightly against his. She closed her eyes and the slight tears that had started collected rolled down the side of her face.

"Hey," she said softly. "You're with friends. We're not doing much, but we're doing our best."
things
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He could barely hear the others over the horrible storm of his screaming thoughts and the rapid gasps for air between the sobs. If he wasn’t so self-conscious of how horribly humiliating this all was, he might have even forgotten they were there.

Why? He just came up here to end it all, so why did he have to keep pretending? How was he supposed to do that? What was he supposed to say to Jordan and Hazel now? Even now, in his final moments, he still had to make himself look like a complete spaz loser.

His head was swimming in circles, his legs growing weak, breath leaving him, as if he was drowning in his own tears. Just as he was about to black out from it all, he felt Hazel’s hands grasp his, her head pressing against his own. Suddenly, he was anchored.

His breathing started to steady, if still rapid and shallow. He stopped trying to word empty apologies, even if he was thinking them over and over and over. He needed Hazel so much right now, someone to tether him away from the all-consuming that he was trying to dive into. He needed someone to stop him.

“I just, I just-“ he whimpered, pressing back into Hazel’s head with his own as if it would make any difference. He had to confess.

“I just wanted to die and get it over with!”
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"What."

There was nothing more to say after his outburst, or more accurately so much to say that he couldn't bring himself to start.

He said he'd wanted to die hadn't he? Or was he completely misunderstanding his statement. Sure, it was absolutely clear what he was saying, but maybe that wasn't what he meant? What was he supposed to say then.

After all, Nate wasn't the kind of person that would do that was he? Not as far as he knew him, at least. Anxious maybe, but not suicidal.

He wasn't going to let him do it though. Not on his watch. He had to do something. Something. Anything.

But yet a part of him wanted to pull back a little. As if afraid that if he talked too much he might say something stupid, make things worse.

But something needed to be said, even if he didn't know what. Whatever he said wasn't going to be 100% awesome and great no matter how much more he thought so he might as well just say it.

"You don't really mean that, do you? No that's not-"

A pause while he tried to get his thoughts in order.

“Why?"
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Ruggahissy
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She felt him squeeze her hands and push back against her forehead. He blurted out that he wanted to be left alone to die. Her heart sank and she felt sick.

Hazel dropped down to her knees from her bent position, still holding onto Nate's hands. She looked down at the bridge floor.

Jordan asked why he'd want to do such a thing and that made Hazel feel a little better. To her it was obvious. He wanted to end it now with certainty rather than continuing to live in constant stress and anxiousness, never knowing when or how death would arrive but knowing it was coming soon. Giving yourself a controlled, mostly painless death if you did it right rather than wait for someone to come along and do any number of much worse things.

That Jordan didn't understand that meant he was probably a lot more mentally stable than either her or Nate.

"Nate, it's ok. Don't do anything rash. We can stay together. We can figure it out or maybe wait for rescue if we stay together..."

Lies, but it would keep them alive a little longer. They might not be able to live long, but they could cling to as much life as was left.
things
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Mr. Danya
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Jordan and Hazel’s pleas were falling on deaf ears, as much as Nate wished otherwise.

He knew it wasn’t ok, he knew they couldn’t stay together. Even if he left with them now, someone would come along and try to kill them, and he’d probably leave them high and dry because he was such a coward. Even if he didn’t, whoever had come along, probably a friend, would just kill him and it’d be over anyway.

And a rescue? It had been six days already; if a rescue was coming, wouldn’t one have by now? How many of these things even ended in rescue? It was a nice thought, but nice thoughts hadn’t done him any good until now, and now he was at the brink of suicide. It didn’t seem like he’d ever think a nice thought ever again.

He kept holding Hazel’s hands, still sobbing, but just a bit quieter as he tired out. His throat was growing hoarse, and his eyes were turning red and sore again, both made sensitive by the days of tears.

“It’s – it’s no good. We’re all going to die, or start killing each other. I just don't want to do it anymore.”
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It wasn't like they weren't going to die anyway. If wasn't they wouldn't eventually die.

That was the only thing he could think of in reply to Nate, but probably also the last thing anyone needed to hear.

Maybe he wasn't worried about it because he'd come to terms with in long ago. That everyone was going to die and it was probably going to be senseless and wasn't really going to mean anything.

And didn't that mean every moment mattered all the more, to stave off that impending and suddenly much more imminent death.

But nope, he couldn't say anything like that. Far too conflict avoidant to say the first thing and too worried about sounding sappy for the second. He knew his his usual methods weren't working, and yet everything in his head was screaming at him to stay safe in his comfort zone.

"Hazel's right. Maybe let's... calm down and... and..."

His hands continued to gesticulate, but he had no idea what he was doing anymore.
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Ruggahissy
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Hazel looked down, not meeting Nate or Jordan's eyes. Tension was building up in her throat and chest like a web of string was being drawn closer and closer, tightening around her upper body. She felt cold suddenly, though that might have been because the sun was rapidly sliding downwards and a purple-ish dimness was setting in behind it.

She squeezed Nate's hands hard, not paying any mind to control the pressure. She squeezed as hard as she felt she needed to, shaking just a tiny bit.

"I'm going to have to ask you to stop," she said softly. "Stop," firmer this time.

Hazel bit her lip and tried to take a deep breath in order to release some of the tension building up in her body. The exhale was slow and ended in a hint of a girlish sigh. She let go of one of Nate's hands and pushed herself up back into a standing position.

"He's not coming and it's getting dark. It's not safe out in the open like this."

((Hazel Jung continued in Gift for the Darkness

Hazel started walking, not letting go of Nate, biting her lip so hard that a small trickle of blood slipped down her chin.
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Nate could feel Hazel squeezing his hands, hard, but it didn’t matter. None of it mattered anymore. None of it was helping, and none of it would make a difference. Her words continued to go unheard, as Nate sunk further into his despair.

When she started to lead him away, the way a parent might lead a lost child, he didn’t resist, or respond. His legs just moved of their own accord, letting himself be pulled away from the bridge, away from the death that would at least be his, and towards whatever unknown end awaited him instead.

Why even fight it anymore?

((Nate Turner continued in This is Where I'll Stand When the Flood Comes))
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