Black and Smoking Christmas Trees

Joined: November 10th, 2008, 9:40 pm

May 30th, 2013, 6:42 am #1

G038 - Deanna Hull - START

When the body fell from the sky and broke on the rocks in front of her, Deanna Hull was staring out to sea and smoking a clove cigarette.

She'd taken six of them on the trip. She didn't quite know why. Whitney (no, Mac -- he was Mac to her now just like he was to everyone else) had given her a pack he'd flinched from somewhere a month ago, then broken up with her two weeks later. Maybe her plan had been to smoke them all over the course of the trip since Mac wasn't going, thus in some symbolic way demonstrating that she was over him. Maybe she'd been hoping to write a song about it, or at least scribble some lines she'd think about turning into a song one day. She didn't know. Probably would have been a terrible song.

It had taken a dozen tries before she'd steadied her hands enough to light up; now the paper burned, smelling like incense and black honey. Brief snippets of exactly what kind of shit she'd gotten herself into had zipped through her brainwaves in nanoseconds. She'd looked out to the skyline, back to the small inlet or cave she'd woken up in, and down to the water lapping at her gloriously impractical shoes, just right for a stroll through an amusement park and exactly wrong for a stroll through an overgrown island. Yeah, all in all it had been a predictable first hour of Survival of the Fittest for Deanna Hull.

Then there was motion, way above her. A pair of legs dangled over the edge up and to her left, and Dee retreated tortoise-like into her alcove, trembling again. She took the first drag, felt the spice and sweetness in her throat, and it calmed her down a bit. Flavoured cigs were a rarity these days; they'd banned sales a couple years ago thanks to all the underage kids like Dee flocking to them. She'd moved on to the occasional roach and other substitutes, but still indulged in her old not-quite-a-habit when she got an opportunity.

The air in the cave not yet polluted by her smoke was damp but not unpleasant to the senses. Dee breathed it in and gave herself a few minutes. Then she'd peek back out and see if those legs were still there. Hopefully not. Dee hadn't made a specific gameplan to avoid people here, of course. She hadn't made any gameplan at all. But she wanted those legs to be gone. In the meantime, she zipped open her daypack for the second time. Her weapon, or whatever, hadn't changed. She pulled it out and put it on her hand. Now she was Cheapo Freddy Krueger, with a glove that didn't fit and was barely sharp. Hey, maybe that was an accurate portrait of Freddy in the movies, wasn't like Dee had seen any of them. Not her thing. Even the new one that was supposed to be way better than the cheesy 80's ones. She snorted and fiddled with the straps to eat up a few seconds until the replica fit her hand like, well, you know.

There was a splash in the cove, barely audible. Dee guessed the leg-dangler had maybe tossed a stone. The water's edge almost to the entrance of her cave-thing, and the cove itself was dotted with rocks solo and in bunches. It looked like the water got deep in a hurry, and it wasn't a place she wanted to stick around overnight. Dee was about to venture outside for another look when there were voices and shouting a hundred feet above, and she backpedalled again. Then she took another drag, absently hefted her personal backpack on her shoulders, and took a half-determined step to see what was going on.

And the body came screaming down.

It hit, and she realized it hadn't been a body. Sure, it was one now, but only after its spine snapped and the back of its head dashed all over the rocks. Before that, the body had been the still alive Dave Russell.

And Deanna had responded naturally, for her. She froze. She was trembling more, and her lungs were trying to work but her vocal chords weren't cooperating. She held the cigarette in one hand and had her Freddy glove on another, and she stepped back and watched as Dave's body lay above the sea while the waves buffered its perch, lapping greedily. Then, almost gently, Dave began to slip down off the rocks.

Dee vaguely processed the sounds above her, not noticing that the dangling legs had become a dangling person and then been pulled out of her sight, but mostly she stared at the form bobbing in the water. Most of it had dipped below the surface, but something -- his hand or sleeve -- was caught, keeping Dave Russell tethered to the rock like a grisly anchor.

Some urge compelled her forward. Maybe the rhythmic motion of Dave's body was too unnerving. Dee sure didn't have any altruistic purpose for doing what she did. But after a few seconds or minutes, she tentatively waded out towards the rock, the last stub of cloves dangling from her lips. The water was soft; it embraced Dee's body until it was up to her chest. Dave's pink hand was wedged into a fold in the rock. Dee was trying to figure out how to release it -- if she should grab and yank or what -- when the water decided for her.

A stronger wave freed Dave's hand and by extension his body, catching both of them and causing Dee to lose her footing on the uneven sand. She gasped, fell back and swallowed her cigarette, and the once-pleasant taste of sugary smoke choked her. Then she hit the water, sputtered, and blindly grabbed for something to keep her balance.

That something was Dave, and it caused Dee's vocal cords to work again.

She screamed, a croaking, animalistic noise that was miles and leagues away from Seattle's coffee shop stages, and let go of her dead classmate. Dee half-scrambled, half-swam backwards, reached for the rocks Dave had fallen on, and tried to clamber up them in a panic, still screaming and tasting all the worst parts of cheap tobacco and clove oil, forgetting both that she knew how to swim and that she was trying to scale a wet rock with a Freddy Krueger glove.

Her hand slipped, and as the next wave hit she tried with all limbs to claw at the reef. The wave was having none of that. It dragged her effortlessly from the jagged surface, scraping her face and arms, dazing her and drawing red. Dee felt her ankle turn over itself as she fell, and she tried to scream again but this time swallowed blood and seawater. The current caressed her, grabbed her by the arm and pulled; Dee followed it down and then she was gone.

(Deanna Hull continued in Don't Stop, Tick Tock, Sun Blows Up Today. Her dayback is sitting unzipped on the sand just inside the cave, if we're keeping track of that sort of thing.)
G058: Kaitlyn Greene aka Katy Buried - Horse Tranquilizer and Syringe
She Knew She'd Found Freedom - Questions - Fools - Barons - Opportunities - Sideshows - Dawns - Gulches

G038: Deanna Hull - Replica Freddy Glove - DECEASED
From Sea to Sky -Smoke--Sun--Tiki--Nine--Repeat--Talk--Now--Drift--Hunger--Valley--Fall--Rust--Paper--Heart--Sky-
B023: Jesse Jennings - Riz Action Figure - DECEASED
From Vision to Glory -Vision--Summon--Time--Plan--Length--Sleep--Cause-

B006: Ricky Fortino - Trowel - DECEASED
B022: Imraan Al-Hariq - Remington 870 - DECEASED
G036: Carly Jean Dooley - VASE D: - DECEASED
G077: Andrea Raymer - Gunpowder - ?????