Burn On

MurderWeasel
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Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

June 15th, 2011, 5:39 am #1

((Kimberly Nguyen continued from Dead Girls))

Kimberly was playing the grave robber again, up on the mountain in the midday heat, poking through the scene of carnage she had encountered. Dead people, here and everywhere, but that was no surprise now. What was a surprise was the results. She'd expected things to have been thoroughly looted. A girl lay off the path a bit, clearly the victim of a collar detonation. A boy lay on the ground, stabbed to death. There'd been a battle here, someone really fucking serious about ending this guy's life. That someone had been wounded, too. A blood trail led over the edge of the mountain, down the slope.

That would have been a good sign, but someone, presumably someone else, had taken all the food out of the bags strewn around. That was fine. Kimberly wasn't all that hungry anymore. Whatever was fucked up in her guts was probably past the point of no return. She'd finished off her rations a couple days ago, and wasn't feeling all that much now. The real issue was the suggestion that the weapons had been taken. Kris had some serious firepower behind her, and Kimberly had a little combat knife.

But for all that, the vultures had left three glass bottles unattended.

Molotov cocktails. Kimberly knew what they were from the fumes, from the books she had read and the protest songs she had sung but never understood. Molotovs. Real anarchist shit. She could run with this.

Kimberly had lost and left a lot of things in her time on this island, but she still had her box of pretty blue-tipped matches.

So she scooped up one of the bottles, and she stuffed it into her backpack, and she took up another, and she shoved it into the hand warmer of the sweat-and-blood-and-dirt-stained hoodie she still wore, with its missing left sleeve and its rips and tears. The sweater was still comfortable enough. She needed it to keep warm at night, and she couldn't exactly take it off and put it on over and over, not with her left arm fucked up. It was enough of a nightmare dealing with her jeans when nature called.

Oh, Kris, the little indignities I have to repay you for. The little ways you destroyed my life. Could you even begin to imagine?

The third bottle, she left for the next person. They'd probably need it more than she did, and she had enough shit to carry. She looked at the bodies for a second, and found she actually could identify the boy. Nick. Nick Reid, and some girl she didn't know. Nick was smiling. Kimberly smiled back at him.

Die with a smile. Seemed someone knew what it was all about. A little beacon of hope for her, then. A positive role model.

And she kept going, kept moving uphill. She was going to the summit. There was no practical reason; in fact, all common sense told her it was an awful idea. Her arm was still messed up. Yeah, she could move it a little bit by now, could wiggle her fingers and bend her elbow just the tiniest of bits without all that much pain—or had she just gotten used to the pain?—but that meant little if she had to catch herself. She moved carefully, though, except when the caution became too much to bear and she ran for a few seconds.

However it was, she didn't trip, and eventually she found herself at the top. She'd been on this mountain before, back when she'd tried to mess with that girl, back before she'd met Liz Polanski. She'd never been to the top, though. Now, here, she could see that there wasn't much. A bench. A view.

It was all worth it.

So she sat on the bench, her backpack pressing awkwardly into the wood, a slight slosh coming from the improvised firebombs she carried. She sat, and she watched. She had a little time. Kris had kept this long. She'd still be fresh in a couple hours.
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MurderWeasel
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Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

June 28th, 2011, 3:57 am #2

It'd been a couple hours, and while Kris might still be fresh wherever she was, Kimberly was starting to feel a bit like she'd been rolled in grease. It was fucking baking, and her head was itching. Her nose was probably sunburned. Just what she needed. She reached her hand to her ear, found the flowers she had picked. They were wilted, wrinkled, dead. Whatever. She tossed them to the ground, looked at them just lying there.

It was hot. She didn't want to come down with heatstroke or inconvenient shit like that, so she took a nice long drink from one of her bottles of water. It was actually something of a process, given that her arm was still fucked up. She couldn't help but take another look at the Molotov in her backpack, since it was right next to the water. It was really, really tempting to just take the thing out, get it started, and set the whole damn mountain on fire. There were lots of dead pine needles accumulated. Fuck, she could burn a lot from here. Maybe flush Kris out, if the girl was hiding. Maybe the fire'd reach all the way to Brook and his shrine of horrors.

Maybe it'd be a really awful idea to burn everything in sight on a whim. No, no maybes about it. She knew it was stupid. Knew it was nothing more than another destructive impulse.

That wasn't what held her back.

No more killing. No more Aislyns. She didn't want to burn some pathetic fuck to death in their sleep. She didn't want to hear her name on the next announcement next to a laundry list of imbeciles who got caught in the blaze. Sure, she might change her mind later, might want to cause some more serious damage, but for now, she was content to repack her bag, adjust herself, and continue sitting. The afternoon was wearing on. Maybe when night fell, she'd prowl again. Maybe she'd finally accomplish her mission.
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ifnotwinter
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Joined: April 6th, 2009, 5:22 pm

July 5th, 2011, 4:15 am #3

[[Erik Laurin continued from Pull My Daisy, Tip My Cup))

Oxygen burned like fire in Erik's lungs as he crouched at the summit of the mountain. His breath came in great heaving gasps; whatever semblance of control he'd had over the slide of air in and out of his body long since stripped away by the climb. He braced his palms on his thighs and concentrated on the ground in front of him, dimly aware that he felt like vomiting, more occupied by the desperate need for air.

He'd been running for what felt like forever. Originally he had planned to search the island in grids, slow and methodical in his search for Brendan. He'd gotten fairly far as well - still dodging any action, but not before scoping it from the trees just in case that was where his quarry lay. But then there had come the escape and he'd hauled ass, running until his legs gave way and pitched him into the trees and even then he got up and staggered on because that was where Brendan was, he knew it, it had to be, it all made sense...

He'd been right, of course.

Not that it had helped. He arrived too late. Too slow. Far too slow. And now Brendan was dead. His firm grasp on the newfound feeling of serenity had slipped and fractured and now he clung to it with all he had, because if he stopped to think about Brendan dead he would start to think about blood and bodies and seabirds pecking open eyes and then, then he wouldn't be able to think anymore and this time he wasn't sure he'd be able to stop himself from taking that long slow dive from the edge of the sweet-salt cliffs.

So instead, he ran.

Most of the time he kept it slow. He lost himself in the steady repeating rhythm of footfalls, of trying to predict the terrain below his battered sneakers. He settled into the floating ocean of calm (or tried and tried and tried) and made himself measure each length until he was like clockwork with his steady long-distance pace.

But sometimes it failed. It had failed at the base of the mountain and he punished himself with the fire in his calves and thighs, made himself run harder and faster and more because maybe this time he would be fast enough and there would be bright eyes and big hands waiting for him and he would be okay and he wouldn't have fucked up so bad if he just ran a little faster.

All it got him was agonizing cramps and black spots swimming in his vision, though. He remained bent over and gasping until the worst of the nausea had faded and it didn't feel quite as much like he was drowning on dry land. He didn't both looking up, still concentrating on the frantic beat of his pulse, trying to use it like a mantra; the steady drum-beat of not dead yet.

Not. Dead. Yet.

marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}

phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight
sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}
[/center][/center]
(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

July 5th, 2011, 6:03 am #4

Kimberly heard the panting, but she didn't bother to turn. It was clearly not Kris. Whoever it was, they'd been running, and none too quietly. Being chased? No way to say. A couple days ago, she might've fucked with this person, might've seen if she could screw with their head. Now, the idea bored her almost as much as everything else. It was pointless. It was petty. She had better shit to do. She had someone to find before she died. She had business to finish.

But, hey, that didn't mean she had to entirely give this new person the cold shoulder, right? Better to say something, to make sure they weren't aiming a pistol at the back of her head amidst those gasps. Better to help them realize that things could get pretty fucking ugly if they decided they wanted to mess with her. She wasn't too worried about who they were, but she certainly didn't want to be killed by some nobody. She had a score to settle. Nothing was getting in the way of that.

"Hey," she called. She didn't turn. Most people hated it when she talked to them without looking at them.

"I don't know who you are. I'm Kimberly. Not playing and all that shit. If you want to make trouble, I just want you to know that I'll blow us both to pieces."

She'd retrieved a match during her little speech, which she now struck on the bench. It made a good sound. Pretty, in its own way. More beautiful than anything she'd heard in days. Maybe her mysterious guest would appreciate it as much as she did. Probably not. Pity.

"Otherwise, wanna sit down? There's a bench, and you sound beat."
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ifnotwinter
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Joined: April 6th, 2009, 5:22 pm

July 5th, 2011, 6:19 am #5

He jerked hard when she first spoke, almost losing his balance in the sudden shock of voices. It had been so long since someone had addressed him directly that he almost felt like the hapless straight man in a comedy routine; who, me? But of course there was no one else on the top of the scrubby mountain. Just himself and -- Kimberly, it was. He let a surprised smile cross his face. That wasn't bad. Kimberly was. Well. They'd never been close but he knew her and he thought, he thought maybe that would be okay. At the very least she probably wasn't going to try and shoot him.

He took in a long gulp of air and exhaled until it hurt, pushing each and every scrap of panic away from him. Old techniques therapists had taught him, how to school the mind and body into believing that everything was going to be alright. Denial doesn't work in the long term but oh, oh it is sweet in the short.

Another breath and he was ready. He straightened, limping a step forwards on feet which had finally given up and sprouted painful blisters under the rough canvas of his shoes. "Erik." His own voice sounded hoarse and strange in his ears and he grimaced, clearing his throat. Had it been that long alone?

"Laurin. The gay track guy or whatever. Not playing." He leaned his hands on the bench when he got there, not sitting yet but merely propping up his weight as he stretched a leg behind him. "Bit of a rarity these days."

The attempt at humor sounded sad even to him, and he closed his eyes for a moment, concentrating on the serenity he knew was floating somewhere in the chaos. You re-entered the game, Laurin. You've gotta play by its rules now.

marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}

phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight
sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}
[/center][/center]
(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

July 5th, 2011, 6:53 am #6

"You can say that again."

Erik Laurin. Decent enough guy. He'd kept his head low, stayed out of the fight. Certainly there were no Aislyns hanging over him. She could remember him from back at school, remember him and his date at Prom, before she'd bailed. Man, what was his name? Brandon? Fuck. Didn't matter. He was probably dead. Most people were. That, or killing. That'd probably be worse.

She yawned, stretched one-armed, worked the kinks out of her back. She'd been still for a while. A long while, felt like. It was actually good to have someone else. It served as a little reminder that she was still real, still alive, still there. It had almost been possible to believe that the game had ended, that they'd all killed each other and the winner had left and somehow throughout it all they'd just forgotten to tell her. It wouldn't be so bad, living on this island all alone. She was pretty sure she wasn't going to keel over from her wound anytime soon. It would be an acceptable life.

But no. She knew that she would give up her hunt for Kris in a heartbeat if there was a chance to return home, to go back to her old life, but she wouldn't do the same to live on in isolation and boredom. She'd missed the boats, anyways, missed her chance to find glory or freedom. That was for others, for those who'd been lucky. Luck. it all came down to luck. Being in the right place at the right time. Surviving when the odds were against it. Just managing to keep existing.

Kimberly had been pretty damn lucky so far. Yeah, she'd had a tough run those first few days, with Kris and Jeremy and all that shit, but it'd toughened her up. Yeah, sure, she'd had another bad run, losing Sarah and Bridget—and, now that she thought about it, Jeremy too—but she was still alive when the vast majority of her classmates were corpses lying in the sun. More than that, she'd actually accomplished a lot. She'd done what nobody else had: found Liz Polanski and forced her to think. She'd gotten Dutchy out of Brook's web, given him a little bit of a nicer death. More than that, everyone who had crossed her, who had hurt or offended her, was supposedly dead.

All but one.

Oh, Kris. Where are you now? Do you remember me?

She waved the match in the air, snuffing the flame. A thin wisp of smoke curled away from it. She'd never understood that, how the smoke didn't come until the fire had been extinguished. Back in the real world, she'd have gone to the internet to find out. Now, she just had to accept the mystery. It was almost better this way.

"How's life been treating you?" she asked Erik. "Oh, and you haven't seen Kris, have you? Blond girl? Probably covered in blood?"
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ifnotwinter
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Joined: April 6th, 2009, 5:22 pm

July 6th, 2011, 1:56 am #7

The bench was small enough that Erik was folded almost double with his elbows propped on the back, chin resting in his hands. He watched Kimberly through half-closed eyes, oddly fascinated with the conversation. It felt so -- calm. Relaxed. Another brief oasis of calm. He hadn't realized how much he'd missed just being able to speak with someone.

Even if it wasn't under the best of circumstances. He chose to ignore the first question because how did you answer that? Oh, not bad. Stuck on an island with a whole bunch of trigger-happy murderers as dead classmates but hey, I think I got a tan! Answering it in a socially polite way would feel ridiculous. He focused on the second half instead. "Hartmann? Yeah. A couple days back, I guess." He absent-mindedly swiped a lock of dirty blonde hair out of his face. "Didn't stop for a chat. Kinda like my blood where it is."

Even as he said it he winced internally. Gallows humor had an uncomfortable habit of becoming real here. "She the one," pausing to gesture at the swathe of slightly dirty bandage covering her arm, "who winged you?"

He didn't quite look at the match in her hand. Everyone had their coping strategies. No sense drawing attention to it, and no point doing so either. Abruptly straightening his back, he swung around to the front of the bench and sat, stretching long legs out in front of him and tugging on a stray thread coming loose from the ragged holes over his knees. His shoulders hunched into the familiar half-hiding position, every physical movement designed to minimize his height. He hadn't been as self-conscious with Brendan.

But then, that didn't matter now. The past was the past and it was going to stay there until he got off this godforsaken island and found a hole to crawl into and just scream. Brendan wasn't important. Kimberly was in the here-and-now (made him think of Kimkim back home smiling but that was in the past too) and he had to stay here with her if he didn't want to get swept off his feet.

Conversation was good for that. Probably the only thing that was. He indicated her arm again. "Should keep an eye on that. Apparently coastal rainforest isn't actually sterile."

marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}

phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight
sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}
[/center][/center]
(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

July 6th, 2011, 3:32 am #8

Kimberly actually managed a laugh, a nice long one, for once not at anyone else's pain or the absurdity of this whole situation, but at Erik's comments. Fuck, she'd missed people. Especially, she'd missed having people on a somewhat even footing with her. Everyone she'd met had either thought she was worthless and tried to push her around or baby her or had been worthless themselves, useless and helpless and scared and demanding of her attention. Well, okay, no, that wasn't quite true. There'd been Aislyn. Aislyn would've maybe been a good companion, someone to share the days with while waiting to die. Kimberly had just fucked that up beyond all belief.

As her laughter shrank to chuckles and then silence, she considered. She hadn't told anyone what was going on, not that she could remember. Not beyond the group that had saved her life, and they were all gone now. Erik asking felt a little intrusive, but what the fuck, right? He'd seen Kris. He'd been scared of her, run from her. Good enough. It meant they had some common ground, a bonding experience.

"Yeah," she said. "Bitch shot me... ah, fuck, a week and a bit ago? Maybe a half hour after I woke up? She'd killed Ishida by then, and she came over and we tried to talk and she shot me."

She yawned. Considered lighting something on fire. No, she'd need her matches. Everything else, all the other shit she'd lugged around, it was all gone, but these matches were different. She'd need them until Kris Hartmann had paid. Then maybe she'd toss the pack into the sea, but not a second before.

"I was pretty damn lucky," she said. "Some people helped me. Stitched me up. I haven't died of infection yet, so hopefully it'll be alright."

She really hoped she would be fine. That would be a horrible way to go. Wasting away—that was for other people. Not her. Never her. When her time came, it would come with a roar. She wasn't about to settle for anything less. She'd made it this far, had lived through more guns being pointed at her than she could count, had wriggled off the hooks of numberless killers and psychopaths. She figured at this point she could pretty much die however she wanted.

"Don't think I have much of a chance overall with an arm down, though," she said. "I just figure I'll find Kris, make her day a little worse."

A little? You wish, Kris. I owe you for ten days of bullshit. I owe you for treating me like garbage, like just another number on your little kill counter. You're going to regret not finishing me off.

You're going to regret it for a long, long time.
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ifnotwinter
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Joined: April 6th, 2009, 5:22 pm

July 6th, 2011, 5:30 am #9

Erik mostly stared at her when she first started laughing, but it was contagious and soon enough he was laughing as well, muffling his snorts of amusement in his hands, trying not to make too much noise but the absurdity of being stealthy on a mountaintop making him laugh all the harder. When their mirth eventually died down he was sitting a little taller, inexplicably more comfortable than he had been only minutes before.

He kept silent as she talked, though, eyes dark. His fingers pulled busily at the loops of string encircling his wrists, testing their strength, smoothing the abused fibers back into some semblance of normality. It sounded so strange. So alien. Someone had shot her, had pointed a gun and pulled the trigger. He couldn't seem to imagine it properly in his head without it looking like a scene from a movie -- without it being a scene from a movie, two-dimensional figures who didn't laugh unless it was photogenic or cry unless it was a single perfect tear.

He let the moment hang as she finished talking, bobbing his head once in a nod of acknowledgement. What to say? Hell, what could you say to that? It had taken him uncomfortably long to realize that she was talking about killing Kris, and longer still for him to admit that the thought didn't repulse him as much as he thought. Where had his old morals gone, the crippling fear of death and dying that had hung over him since his mother's cancer? It seemed like the island had devoured them.

It had been longer in his mind than in the world. Eons lost in thought translated to seconds, and he shook his head, lifting it to catch her eyes. "Feel like I oughtta try and talk you out of that, but." The smile twisted for a moment, something awkward and a little confused. "Hell, after the shit she's done maybe it's not such a bad thing."

Had he ever thought like that before? Even when he fought at school, he'd never felt like it wasn't a bad thing. A necessary evil, that's what it had been. Was that what this was? Killing couldn't be right, he knew it wasn't, but someone he didn't think this battered girl in front of him, steel to the core, was going to want to hold hands and talk it out in a sharing circle.

His shoulders twitched in half a shrug. "I'm sorry, though. Must've fucking sucked." Should have sounded patronizing but didn't because hell, he meant it. Sincere. That's what people said. An open book. "Give Kris one hell of a kick from me when you find her."

marc st. yves
light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire
{food for thought}

phineas rosario
fall down seven times stand up eight
sebastian conway
can't see the forest for the trees
{book of sparrows}
[/center][/center]
(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

July 6th, 2011, 6:03 am #10

"I think I can manage that," Kimberly said. Her mental arithmetic was running full blast, trying to figure just what the hell she owed Kris now. Fuck. It wasn't so easy to figure. The whole potential encounter was nebulous in her mind, layers upon waves of fantasy. It wouldn't be easy, she knew that. It'd be a struggle, a biting bloody battle. Kris wanted to live. Nothing else made sense. Kimberly had a few advantages there. She didn't much give a fuck what happened to her after that fight. Well, okay, not entirely true. She really wanted to survive longer than Kris, just out of spite, unless there was some grand opportunity to fuck with the girl even more by dying.

But Erik didn't need to know any of that. He probably didn't give a shit. They all had their own problems.

"And yeah," she said. "It sucked pretty fucking bad. But, hey, anyone left has had a bad time, you know? I figure I'm no worse off than anyone. Except maybe the ones who got away."

She wanted a cigarette. Small annoyances. Instead, she adjusted her position, bringing her right knee to her chest, toying with the laces of her boot. She sighed, glanced up at the sky.

She couldn't help wondering what was going on back in Saint Paul. All the people she'd known probably thought she was nuts. She could practically hear the cries of vindication from her exes. She focused on that. Better to drown out anything her family might be thinking or feeling. She did miss them. Fuck, all this and she'd have dropped it all, would have given everything up just to sit down at her kitchen table, reeking of vodka and smoke, and eat a couple cookies. Pointless shit like that. Not that it'd matter much, not in the long run. You lived with what life threw at you, until one day you didn't.
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