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The World Without Us; Oneshot
Topic Started: Apr 9 2017, 11:55 AM (99 Views)
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Is in some state of existence
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((Amanda Tan continued from Say You're One of Them))

Michelle had once told her that she had a knack for getting rewarded for her mistakes. Silly mistakes that cancelled out in math, that the teachers somehow missed. The one time she got the wrong scratch off card but won ten bucks off of it. Amanda had found herself vehemently disagreeing for no good reason at the time, but somehow it became a thing, a list of little funny things that happened to them, that they laughed at sometimes, that they promptly forgot until there was something else to throw onto the list.

Obviously, this one was completely different from all of that. Not like, falling into the path of a defender's attempt at clearing to pass the ball to someone else, where the only person who got hurt by her fuck-ups was her.

Two people were dead.

No. Way more than that. Halfway, said the man on the announcements. Was that fifty people? A hundred? How many people had squeezed onto those buses? She'd long lost count of who had died. Junko, Christo, Astrid, Arthur, Mia, and that was only the beginning of the list.

And now Lucilly was dead.

Lucilly was dead and with her death went her chances of fixing everything.

Why did she have to die?

She’d let her run off and the next thing she knew she was dead. This was exactly what she was trying so hard to avoid, but somehow, it’d just made everything worse than it had any right to be. She couldn’t even hope that she’d died a painless death. Isabel had been the killer, her array of messed up deeds already repeated to the point where they did nothing but make her angrier. As if killing a single person wasn’t something painful enough that it felt like somehow she was tearing apart from the inside out but Isabel just kept killing and killing and killing.

And Isabel was dead too. Torn apart by a mob after her blood. Revenge taken for their dead friends. But not for her. No chance to come off with an ill-advised revenge plan. No chance to channel her anger to somewhere where it might matter. All her plans were closing off one by one with the announcements, as if that voice was out to get her. As if the announcement was meant for her discomfort and her discomfort alone. Kaitlyn had also managed to get herself killed, leaving her with absolutely nothing left to do.

How was she supposed to find Jaime and Emma on an island of this size? Half the people she was searching for had managed to die in one day already. Could she even find them before they died? Did she still want to?

And yet somehow there was more. The reward for her mistake. It came last, sneaking up on her by surprise, worse than when she winced at her own name being read out for everyone to know that she had killed. She'd won. Somehow, she'd won the same Best Kill Award that she'd gotten mad at Kaityln for. It made no sense. What was ‘best’ about it? Why did the terrorist want to give her an award for it? It was an accident, she'd just wanted to help Will and now they were going to throw her guns and food for being stupid.

She wasn’t going to go. She wasn’t. They were trying to get her to snap. Reward her for killing people and maybe she might do it again. But she’d show them. She was better than that. She had her mistakes and she’d learn from them. She wasn’t going to stoop down to their level.

That was what she'd said to herself, but somehow, she’d found herself at the cove anyway. It was on the way towards the bridge, and she couldn’t help but pass it by on her way back to the pub. The rickety wooden jetty that looked seconds away from falling apart, the small cavern set into the cliffside, both things she couldn’t help but notice when walking that way.

There was trepidation as she walked into the danger zone. There were no clear boundaries, and maybe, just maybe the message hadn’t been meant for her after all. Maybe there was another Amanda in school, or maybe she’d misheard the name entirely, and it was her own big ego thinking about how harrowing it was to kill a person and her subconscious telling her that she deserved to win the award for it.

She could still turn back. She had said she wasn’t going to get it, right? The first sign of a beep and she’d turn back and she’d never do anything like it again. But her collar remained silent and she continued making her way into the cavern.

Everything was damp. How long it would be before high tide came in once more? There were the cameras here too, like everywhere else, but these must have been waterproof, you could see lines on the wall showing how high the water went. Too high for her comfort in any case. If the water started coming in, she’d have to make a break for it.

She did her best to avoid looking at the cameras. It was bad for her thoughts. How many other people had already said their last wishes, their last regrets to the cameras for their family, for their friends to hear. But she wasn’t going to. She didn’t know why. She had somehow thought about home far less than she had expected. Was it because she was still hanging on to the hope that she wouldn’t need to, that she would get the opportunity to go back to Kingman and go back home and never think about the things that she had seen and done here?

What was she supposed to say anyway? “Hey, Mom. Hey, Dad. Your daughter managed to abandon her friends and became a fucking murderer. Love you.” She couldn’t do it if her life depended on it. So she hadn’t and she wouldn’t.

It wasn’t as if she’d thought about it much before this, after all. Her parents had talked about it a little, in hushed whispers when they were sure she wouldn’t hear, but they had all decided it’d be safe. For one thing, why would they target a little town out in the middle of the desert? And second they only took senior trips, so they just had to avoid those. And suddenly they were safe from terrorists, so long as they followed the rules because terrorists were like the fae and if you kept within the rules, they couldn’t touch you.

Oh god, wait, Toby was here. Her corpse was soaked through and the brown stains on her clothes made it clear that she hadn’t drowned. She’d forgotten who’d killed her already. That was bad. She should have remembered, even if it was just to work out who might be dangerous. Even if half of the killers might have been as scared as she had, there had to be some Isabels and Nancies out there.

Should she move Toby somewhere else? If she was left here she might get washed out to sea, never to be found again. Even if the authorities didn’t find them until they were all dead, maybe they might have something to bury.

Yeah, that sounded nice-ish. She’d do it, after she got her stuff though. The terrorists had put it all right next to Toby, the closest thing to a sense of humour that they had was making her feel grossly uncomfortable.

They couldn’t have been here that long ago, the things were still dry. Another gun, another manual, Sporting Purpose Automatic Shotgun it said, the main title in some horrid font that reminded her of Comic Sans. Half was it was written in French or some other language she didn’t recognise and the bits in English really didn’t help all that much in understanding it.

More important than the gun though was the food. Pot pie and a can of Red Bull larger than what she was familiar with. She bit into the pie almost the moment she picked it up, dry as it was, it was food, even if she ended up almost choking on pastry when it refused to go down properly. But she stopped suddenly after two bite. She was running out of those bars they had given her. She wanted to finish the pie, but she could try to make it last a little while longer. More than five minutes at least.

The Red Bull was stuffed into the bag as well, she wasn’t about to chance a sugar crash with the constant risk of death about her.

She was right. The terrorists were tempting people to kill with these prizes. She could almost see herself doing it, fighting for another one of these prizes. Almost.

They’d been on the island for seven days now. A terrible, harrowing, ridiculous week. But even if she was going to wait for a miracle rescue, or hope that someone managed to find an escape route, she still had to survive whatever was going on out there.

People were still out there killing. Starving. Dehydrating. But for this brief time, she didn’t need to care about that.

She was safe here, protected by the danger zones, with even food and water provided.

For that single moment there were no worries.

It was almost as if she was the only person in the world.

A feeling of liberation like she hadn’t quite felt before.

But the moment passed.

There were things she needed do.

She started dragging Toby out of the cave.

((Amanda Tan continued We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Classmates))
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

Those no longer with us

It's the Grand Map of Doom! v6
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