((Bryony Adams continued from A Moth of Peace
Bryony had lagged far, far behind the other two.
Alice had gotten a head start over herself and Sandra, and Sandra practically spent her entire life running about, so she had quickly caught up. Bryony, on the other hand, couldnt run fast, and she couldnt run for long. By the time she had reached the ground floor, her two friends were already well on their way towards the cliffs. She sighed again, tugged on the straps of her bag, and set off after them, trying her best to keep the pace.
Eventually, she finally caught up with the other two, but it seemed it was already time to head off.
Bryony didnt even notice Bernadettes corpse at first. As soon as she got within a few feet of Alice and Sandra, she staggered to a halt, putting her hands on her knees and breathing heavily in and out. Her vision was focused down on the ground, and her hearing was obscured by her harsh breathing. She just assumed theyd stopped to let her catch up, or to take a breather.
The first sign that there was something more than that was the smell of copper on the breeze.
Blinking, Bryony shakily stood up, and moved closer to her friends, peering between them at what they were looking at. She had been almost certain what it would be as soon as shed caught the scent of blood, but it didnt stop her face from turning pale and the bile to rise up her throat.
She had known of Bernadette, rather than known her, and mostly due to her association with Ty Yazzie. Theyd never really talked, thanks to that association, but it still didnt feel right, looking down at the body of someone shed seen nearly every day at school, a body that would be forever still and cold.
It hadnt been the first body shed seen. It wouldnt be the last. She knew it wasnt going to get easier no matter how many they stumbled upon. Every dead body was going to make her feel sick and shaken to her core and make her want to just stop and give up and walk into a danger zone and end it all.
But eventually, she would get back up, and she would keep on pushing forwards and, against all odds, she would stay alive. If escape was off the cards, then what else could she do but that?
Bryony hung back for a moment as Alice and Sandra started to move. She took a step closer towards Bernadette and took a deep breath. She hesitated, then as quick as she could, reached into her pocket, pulled out the next playing card in the deck, and tucked it underneath one of Bernadettes dungaree straps. She swiftly stood back up, and turned away from the corpse, hand covering her mouth, willing herself not to be sick.
Eventually, the feeling passed, and Bryony headed off along with Alice and Sandra.
She could feel tears welling up, but this time, she didnt care.
((Bryony Adams continued in Tea Party with Death at Dawn