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Topic Started: Aug 2 2017, 05:06 PM (915 Views)
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Mr. Danya
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Nate Turner continued from Talons))

He didn’t have a direction. Of course he didn’t have a direction: there was nowhere left to go.

The machete was still in his hands, he’d not let it go since he pulled it out of Jon. It had been horrible, the sickening noise as blade left flesh, the fresh blood dripping off it, the vomit that had made its way up through his throat. He could still taste it on his teeth.

He couldn’t believe himself. He didn’t understand it. He knew what it was: he didn’t want to die, and this was his only choice, but it made no sense. He didn’t make any sense.

Who was he anymore?

He was walking through the hallway, machete in hand, and it was there for a reason. He hated that reason, and he didn’t want to act on it no matter what, but he just didn’t want to die. When he thought about it, he almost threw up again. When he thought about Jon, he did.

He was tired. He was hungry. He didn’t know what to do.

He wasn’t going to last much longer.

He passed by a door. Stopped. Came back. Somehow, bizarrely, he recognised it.

Ben. Matt. Henry.

He didn’t smile, or frown. He acknowledged it, stared at it, but he didn’t have the strength to do any more. Remembering familiar faces was getting painful again, even when he’d thought he’d stopped caring. Remembering the morning announcements, that Clarice hadn’t made it, that Enzo was dead, that there just weren’t many of them left, wasn’t something he wanted to do.

He rubbed his arm across his eyes, which were still able to get teary even after all this time. The last time he’d seen Enzo, he thought he was about to die. The last time he’d seen Clarice, he knew he was about to die. But, even knowing that it was the last time he’d meet either of them, he’d not done anything meaningful with it.

He’d never done anything meaningful, really. Even before all this, he hadn’t done anything to help anyone. He was a burden on his family, and on his friends. This would just burden them further, with all the grief he was no doubt causing.

At the grief he was no doubt going to cause.

He looked down at the machete in his hands. He hated it, more than he’d hated anything, but it didn’t make any difference.

He pushed on the door. Opened it. Stepped inside.
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
He flinched, just a little bit. He didn’t drop the machete, or run out again. He just was taken aback. Seeing Matt, who looked so different from that first day, was unexpected.

Nate stared at him. Stared down the barrel of the gun, pointed squarely at his face. That lump was still in his throat, but he didn’t flinch again.

This time, he could speak.

“Matt.”

He swallowed, resolute. He didn't feel like pleasantries. He didn't feel like small talk.

“Are you going to do it this time?”
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What?

He stood there. He didn’t know what else to do.

He didn’t know why, but he was angry. Matt wasn't trying to kill him.

“Why not?” he asked, a look of exasperation spread across his face. He was reliving when Matt had done this the first time, back at the beach. Back when he’d thought, hey, maybe Matt wasn’t such a bad guy, that maybe there was still hope. Back before Matt had gone on to kill more people, even as recently as yesterday. Even if all the names were blending together, if individual sins seemed irrelevant, he knew Matt was still doing what he did.

“You’ve been killing everybody, you and the others. You don’t want to be a loser, right? You and everyone else?”

The words were stammering out of his mouth, and he felt himself shaking. He was shaking with so much damn anger at Matt, and at everyone who'd been sucked into this stupid thing that he couldn't do a thing about. Just when things started to make sense, no matter how horrible it was, Matt decided to pull this.

“So why not just keep going, and kill me now? Isn’t that what everyone wants?!”
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
He was still shaking, shaking as he watched Matt put the gun down, shaking as he listened to him rant and babble.

He remembered what Matt had said before, perfectly. The words were playing in his mind, loud and clear, running in the background as Matt launched his new tirade.

People had died, died at Matt’s hands. Before, it had just been to prove he wasn’t a loser. Killing his friends for no good reason was worth it, because that way he’d win. It didn’t matter what that meant, that had been enough for him at the beach, and that’s what he’d left Nate thinking about.

Now? Now he wanted to stand there with a straight face, tell him that that was stupid, that it didn’t mean anything? That trying justify it, killing everyone, was pathetic?

People were dead. No matter how used to it he was, how much everyone wanted it to be happening, people were still dead.

Nate clenched his eyes shut, shaking his head, as the gun hovered between them. It begged to be fired.

He hated it. He hated the machete in his hand. He hated everything that had killed anyone here. But, most of all he hated –

There was only one thing he could do.

He stepped forward, the machete dropping out of his hand -- and punched Matt right in the gut.
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
“Of course you made a mistake, you fucking idiot!”

He reached forward, grabbed Matt by the collar. He stared him in the face, as tears finally started streaming down his own. He started yelling through his twisted, anguished expression.

“You killed people! Lots of people! You stood there, and told me with a straight face that you were ok with it! Winning was good enough for you!”

He stood there, staring Matt right in the face, not letting go.

“You don’t get to do this! You don’t get to turn around, and say that you ‘made a mistake’! You can’t just change your mind like that! You can’t just take it back!”

Nate was shaking as he yelled. His hand hurt from the unexpected punch, and his voice was already straining from the sudden yelling, but there was no way he was stopping now. It was overdue.

“I believed you! I was going to use that thing,” he let one hand go, to indicate the machete on the floor “because you told me that’s how things were! You and everyone else who bought into this whole stupid thing!”

He held tight a moment longer, then finally stopped shaking Matt, even as the tears kept streaming in full. He looked at someone he’d put so much faith in for no good reason, so disappointed, so betrayed. His grip relaxed, then let go.

“You could’ve just listened to me before, you didn’t have to do any of this.”

His head fell.

“None of us had to do any of this.”
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Nate raised his head. He listened. Looked at Matt as he poured his heart out.

He wanted to interrupt, but he couldn’t. There was nothing to argue with, or disagree over. Matt was admitting what Nate had been thinking about him, would’ve told him in due time. He hated to admit it, but he knew it was true.

So why? Why was Matt still trying to help him, if he was such a terrible person? He had all the guns, all the experience, he could’ve ended this as soon as he’d started. He didn’t have to stand there, listen to Nate, let him punch him. He could’ve just kept going, doing what everyone wanted.

Nate stared down at the jacket held out between them. He reached out, and took it.

He looked back at Matt. The first person he’d met on the island, the person he’d wanted to help, the person he’d come to hate. Before all this, they hadn’t been anything, had never met. Now?

He ran forwards, and hugged him tight.

“Don’t talk like that! You don’t have to die, or kill people, or anything like that! I don’t care what you’ve done, ok? I don’t care, so just stop it already!”
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Nate kept crying into Matt’s chest. He couldn’t do this to him, not after everything he’d done. He couldn’t just say he’d given up, that it was all up to him. Nate couldn’t handle that, he wasn’t strong enough. He couldn’t lose Matt.

But of course, he did. He heard the roar of the gun, the sound of bullets tearing into flesh. He felt Matt’s blood pour down over his arms from the bullet holes in his back.

He couldn’t move, but he had to look up. He saw Matt. He saw that there was nothing left.

Matt fell, because Nate couldn’t hold him up. He hit the floor, and lay there. That was it.

Nate screamed.

He fell on top of Matt, grabbed at his shirt, screamed his name. He held on as tight as he could, he did everything he could think to do, but none of it mattered.

Everything fell away, as he screamed Matt’s name.
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]


He was standing in front of the door. It was time to go.

He hadn’t done anything with Matt’s body. There was nothing he could do that would even come close to representing what Matt was to Nate. There were no words, no gestures, nothing. He’d tried to pray, but there weren’t any prayers. Matt was dead, and he couldn’t do anything to change that.

The basket of chicken wings had been reduced to bones. The aroma had been unmistakable, just standing obnoxiously amidst the smell of death that had permeated the room forever. He’d eaten a basket of chicken wings whilst surrounded by dead bodies. He didn’t know how he’d done it, and he didn’t want to. There was an aftertaste stuck in his mouth. It was unpleasant.

He might’ve passed out at some point, but he wasn’t really sure. It had all just blurred together, his sense of time lost.

He’d seen the gun. He’d thought about it.

Now it was in his hand. He knew he wouldn’t use it, not for that. He didn’t think he could. He wanted to, more than he wanted anything. He couldn’t keep doing this.

But Matt had said he had to go home. Matt had wanted him to live.

So that was all there was to it.

He gripped the handle of the pistol tight, the metal pressing back. He didn’t know the first thing about guns.

The machete was in his other hand. He’d wanted to leave it, but he couldn’t. This was what he’d decided to do, the second he pulled it out of Jon’s body. He’d told himself he’d use it, even if he hadn’t tried to use it on Matt. Not that it mattered. And like Matt said, if he wanted to go home, he had to kill someone.

He wanted to go home. At least, that’s what he’d been telling himself for the past few days. He didn’t want to deal with this anymore.

If he went home, he wouldn’t have to. That's what he wanted to believe, that there had to be a way out. For his sake, and for Matt's, he had to believe. There had to be a point.

He’d left his daypack. He was too tired to keep lugging it around, and it was way too big for him anyway. He didn’t need it anymore. Like Matt said, there weren’t many people left, so this probably wasn’t going to last much longer. If he forgot where a danger zone was because he didn’t have his map, well, that would be how it ended. If he got too thirsty and died, or starved, well, that would be how it ended.

There was one more thing he was taking from the storage closet, which he never in his life no matter how long wanted to return to, and that was Matt’s jacket. He’d had to roll up the sleeves a tonne, and it draped far past where it should’ve been, but he wasn’t going to take it off. It was the only thing he had left. It was Matt's embrace, wrapped around him. He needed it to keep standing.

He left the storage closet. It was time to go.

((Nate Turner to be concluded))
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