((Hilary Strand continued from instinctalgorithm
A place she hadn't been to before; a place she seemed afraid of.
Tangled and knotted, her hair lashed out behind her head, whipping back at the cold morning breeze as it blew harshly at her face.
"No." Her hair would say, as it stood up to the wind.
"You cannot have this girl - not yet. Not now."
It would raise its voice defiantly, making sure the air could hear its every word.
"This girl belongs to our world, not yours. Cast yourselves back into the under, and leave us to her attendance."
It would stare the beast down, before bowing its head.
"We will not falter."
It would speak gently.
"We will guide her."
Hilary trembled as she walked across the clearing. There was no cover here, especially now that the sun had grown tall in the sky. It left her exposed and defenceless, making sure everyone around could see her stumble over the tiniest of rocks and shriek at the most curious of animals. She hated not only the terrorists, but the island itself, and all its creatures. Everything she touched wanted to kill her - or so she thought, and this became a bigger problem still when she reminded herself of what her "weapon" was. Yes, the young girl had been thrown into the deadliest game imaginable, and what was her protection? What was meant to aid her in times of great distress or fast-approaching danger?
...It didn't matter.
The second she'd seen it was the very same second she'd launched it far off into the distance.
Who did they think they were, these...
"They're collars, designed to force us to fight,"
That's right. Harold had told her about these people, albeit briefly.
She stopped walking.
He was dead now.
And as she lingered on this thought, so winding as it was, she felt a familiar sensation overwhelm her, sending shivers through her body. Her throat felt tight, constricted, just like it used to feel back home, before Bayview. She was always crying. She'd dry the tears before her parents could see them, but there was a deep loneliness inside of her which was so much harder to wipe away. The other girls would be relentless in their attacks - both verbal and otherwise - and slowly, with each passing day, it wore her down. There was nothing left of the little girl she used to be, though her behaviour might elicit the same response of empathy from those around her, and over the years of stress she had put her body through she had somehow grown into the shell of a woman. A husk whose fake smiles and dizzy optimism became a shroud in which to hide beneath should anyone try to get too close.
Only... someone had
As much as she tried to fight it, to make herself seem like this happy-go-lucky girl she had created, she'd slipped and let someone in. And once a person has seen inside the shroud, there's no going back, is there? They witnessed the very worst of her youth, and saw every scar she'd gained over the many years she'd battled herself instead of those who would harm her. She thought every fight had been started by an action of her own, or something she had said, or perhaps the way she looked. No, it was always the way she looked. She'd never been good enough for those girls, not once. Not when she stole money from her mother's purse to buy the same brand of jeans, not when she dyed her hair bright pink to fit in with their experimental phases, not even when she decided to ignore them all and try to find herself. She was never good enough for anyone.
Even when she found a group of friends; even when she found a best
friend; even when she found herself a boy
friend... she still felt like she didn't deserve it, that she didn't belong. So she followed Leila blindly, took all of her abuse, and tried her best to take an interest in Violet's fanatical views, and once she found a guy she actually liked, they were all cut away from her. By those men, by the island. It took what little she had going for her, what little she had at all, and it hid them out of sight so she was lonely once again. She felt a warm tear slide down the dirt on her cheek, and she let it hang on the bottom of her chin until it fell onto the grass below her feet.
Hilary Strand watched on from above as two girls murdered the only boy she'd ever loved. She saw the blood and the gore, but the gunshot only startled her; nothing more. The second he pulled the trigger was the second her heart stopped beating. She listened as they mocked his death, and left them to pillage his corpse in peace, because although her heart had always been cracked, and splintered...
It lay in pieces.