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Hyphaema; Day 7 morning; open
Topic Started: Apr 5 2017, 12:28 AM (733 Views)
VoltTurtle
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Penelope Fitzgerald continued from Drawn To The Blood))

Penelope looked around the wreckage that was once called a library, ash coating every surface, bookshelves crumbled and broken, burnt away.

The spectacle was almost poetic in how it reflected upon her.

The danger zone had forced them away from the bell tower, and Raina had decided to drag her along back across the bridge and to the wreckage of the library. She had stayed mostly silent during the trip, far too worried about Ben's safety. He had never made it back to their meeting area before they were forced out. She had no way of knowing where he was, or if he was even okay. The best she could hope for was everyone to meet back up at the bell tower the next day, hope that nothing would come along and harm any of them.

Part of her doubted that everything was going to be okay.

She let go of Raina and took timid steps around the area, her eyes darting from burnt spectacle to burnt spectacle. Ash stirred into the air around her as she moved, the dust staining her black leggings and skirt with flecks of gray. Even the buildings were coming undone around her. Everything fading, everything she thought she knew going up in smoke.

She had never felt so little control before in her life.

She reached down, pulling the charred remains of a book from the ashen pile. She stared at it, her gaze vacant, her hand becoming stained with ash.

Words poured out of her mouth involuntarily, absentmindedly.

"You know... I used to spend a lot of time in the library back at Cochise with... with Sam."
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VoltTurtle
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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Penelope glanced over at the sound of a voice, her eyes narrowed.

She looked the boy over, not recognizing him beyond an extremely basic familiarity. A face she had seen in the hallways, once or twice. Not somebody she actually knew.

Thoughts about recruiting him to their cause raced inside her head, but she quieted them. There was no point to it, not anymore.

No reason to not trust the boy, however. He had been polite enough to ask to come in, no reason a ruthless killer would want to do that.

"Do what you want." She said, her gaze turning away from the boy and back towards the burnt book. "We can't stop you anyway."

She stared at the book, her thoughts drifting back to her time at Cochise, which already felt like a distant memory. Something that she could never come back to, no matter how badly she wanted it.

Words quietly poured out of her mouth again, addressed to nobody in particular.

"Sam, he..." She stopped, her mind struggling to come up with ways to properly describe someone who was no more. "He... meant a lot to me. Whenever I was feeling down he was always there for me and... and he always helped me feel better where nobody else in the whole world could manage."

Her grip on the book weakened, and she watched it fall into the ashes below. Ash stirred and stained her clothes even further, as her eyes focused on a few particles, watching them loftily drift back to the ground.

She sniffled, tears already beginning to flow. "I loved him and he's... he's j-just gone... I n-never got to say goodbye..."
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The girl who dreams on the back of a giant space turtle.
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Penelope covered her face as she sobbed, temporarily shutting out the world around her.

The Johnny that Raina had been looking for had finally shown himself, but Penelope found it difficult to care. Everything seemed to be falling apart around her; her classmates were committing murder, her friends were dying left and right, and her plan was showing itself more and more to be nothing but a pipe dream.

She dropped to her knees, a cloud of ash being stirred into the air around her. Her hands timidly came off of her face as her sobbing quieted down.

Her voice escaped her lips once again, as her thoughts drifted back to Sam.

"That guy... that guy who killed Sam. He..." Her hands trembled, her voice tinged scarlet. "He... that bastard... he killed him..." She balled her hands into fists. "He killed him and why did he even do it? Why would anyone want to kill someone as sweet as Sam? Why... why..."

She put her hands on the sides of her head, her breathing fast and heavy. "He's... he's probably some sort of... sick fuck that got off on killing Sam. There's... nothing else would make sense. Sam wouldn't have hurt him, Sam wouldn't have been a threat..."

"If I ran into that scumfuck degenerate I'd... I'd..."

Her hands quit trembling, and her breathing slowed down. "I'd..."

She sighed, her eyes downcast, her hands lowered. "I... I don't... I don't know what I'd do."
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Penelope tensed slightly as Raina took hold of her shoulders, only to relax and lean back into her friend.

She sighed and leaned her head back, staring up into the sky. The air was chilly, despite the sky's near complete clarity. It was almost ominous, as if something was coming their way.

She turned her head toward Johnny, finally deciding to acknowledge his presence. "Sorry you had to walk in on this, Johnny." She said, her voice betraying the stress she was feeling.

Her arms were crossed and were soon found resting on her knees as she pulled them up to her chest. She put her head down on her arms, taking a moment to breathe in and out and calm herself. She didn't want to bother to acknowledge the other boy. He seemed to be keeping to his own devices, so she would keep to hers.

Her mind began to feel cloudy, as she stared into the blankets of forgotten ash around her. Keeping focus on any one idea was difficult as she raced from one thought to the next, seemingly unable to give any of them the proper time for her to really think and consider them.

She found herself speaking again, absentmindedly. "Raina," she began, her voice timid. "What if... what if someone were to hurt you? What would you want me to do?"

"Or if that's too hard a question..." She squeezed her arm as she consciously considered what she was saying. "What would... what would you do if someone were to hurt me?"
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Penelope smiled softly as Raina spoke, taking comfort in her friend's solidarity.

"Yeah, of course I trust you." She said, her voice slightly calmer. "I've got no reason not to."

She was satisfied with Raina's answer to her question. Even if it was probably a bit too idealistic of an answer, it at least made her feel a little bit better about what would happen to Raina after her inevitable death.

But... what would Penelope do if Raina, or any of her allies for that matter, got hurt first? What if she just got lucky and managed to avoid death while everyone around her got torn to pieces by the churning current of death that permeated the island?

"If... if someone were to hurt you I'd... I'd..."

Her hands shook slightly as her thoughts drifted back to her boyfriend's killer. What if he ended up hurting one of her allies? If he was enough of a raging psychopath to hurt Sam, there was no way he would have any problem hurting people who didn't even want to fight back. No doubt all he cared about at this point was going home, and he probably wouldn't even leave a piece of himself behind to die here with everyone else. A monstrous being like him wouldn't care about friends or family or common decency, just himself and nothing more.

If a freak like him hurt her friends, she would make sure they get proper justice. She would... she would...

"I'd..."

No.

Even if someone came along and took everyone she loved away from her, she still wouldn't be able to bring herself to hurt them.

They deserved to face justice, but there would be no way for her to bring that justice about herself.

She slumped, all of her energy torn away from her.

"I... I still don't know what I'd do..."
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Penelope took a deep breath to calm herself, rubbing her puffy eyes.

She sighed and looked Johnny up and down, finally taking the time to examine him. She felt it would be best to introduce herself to him properly, but it seemed that Raina and Johnny had catching up to do, and she had interrupted them long enough as it stood.

Penelope stared up at the sky, averting her gaze from the ashen ruins that had once been a library. No matter how hard she tried to focus on and think of anything else, whenever she looked up she couldn't help but remember the oft clear skies of her home. The place where her family still was, terrified out of their minds for her safety. Her sisters would have to spend the rest of their lives without their older sister there with them. Her parents would never forgive themselves for letting her go on the trip when they knew that the terrorists were still out there.

Her family would be shattered by her forthcoming death, and they would just be one family of nearly a hundred.

And all of that said nothing about what she thought of the whole situation. The thought of her own death scared her to no end. Try as she might to imagine it, she simply couldn't comprehend the idea of not existing. Not feeling or thinking anything, not being able to remember that she was even once alive. She had compared it to an eternal, dreamless sleep, but that description failed to truly do it justice. It was an oblivion that could never be taken back, never acknowledged, never experienced. She would be gone, and the world would move on as if she never even existed in the first place. All she would be, in the end, is a number. One that would be quickly forgotten, along with everything she managed to do in her short life.

Her ears picked up on a lull in the conversation between Johnny and Raina, and she turned her attention back over to them, pulling herself out of her spiral.

"Hey, could we... could we get out of here if that's... if that's alright?" She said, timidly, not wanting to upset Raina. "It doesn't seem like there's anything of use here and it's... bringing up a lot of bad feelings on my end. Plus uh... Kizi and Lili are probably waiting for us back at the asylum."

She picked herself up, not caring to dust off the ash now staining her entire lower body. She forced a smile as she hoisted her bag over her shoulder, in an effort to pretend that the island wasn't getting to her.

"I'll just... wait nearby, for you two to finish up."

((Penelope Fitzgerald continued in Minus Something))
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