"Just you and me then? Alright."
Alex seemed content with the fact that Ray was lagging behind the others, staying behind to confront the unhinged and armed boy. His creepy little grin had yet to fade away even as the other two boys took off running. They didn't matter as long as Alex had someone to play with. Someone like Ray. Looking at the two of them, it certainly looked like they were evenly matched. Alex stood at a good 5' 9" and Ray stood somewhere around six feet easy. They were both athletic and it looked like this fight would certainly be a more even match than the one Alex had with Jimmy fucking Brennan.
There was certainly a fun time to be had with Ray. Well, at least, that's what Alex thought.
It didn't take long for him to be proven wrong again. Ray wasn't going to stay and entertain him. He was just buying time for his friends to get away, that righteous little fuck. No! There was no way Alex was going to let that dog shit bastard waste his time! He couldn't let him get away, not this time. After that bastard Nick and that little cunt Liz, there was no way he could just let Ray get away from him!
Alex wasn't going to be giving chase any time soon. The 'spear' didn't do any serious damage but that blade managed to slice open Alex's calf before the wide shaft tripped him up. It hurt like hell but he needed to run Ray down! Get up! Get up and chase that fucker down!
Ray was disappearing from sight by now and Alex was just sitting there in the dirt. He fucked up again. He let them get away. He let them escape despite everything telling him that he wouldn't. He fucked up again.
"God damn it."
Alex slammed his fist into the ground. His eyes flared and he stared at the ground, fire in his veins as he slammed his fist into the dirt again and again. Not only had Ray and his friends managed to get away from him, but that bastard had cut up Alex's leg in the process. It wasn't a shallow cut nor was it something that would cripple the track runner, but it was going to slow him down considerably. Alex shouted and cursed as he pummeled the dirt, taking out his frustration. But was he taking it out on the earth beneath him or himself?
"GOD FUCKING DAMN IT!"
Alex panted and grit his teeth, staring at his blood stained and dirt encrusted fist. That wasn't exactly the best idea, trying to beat in the ground with his bare hands. Now he was left with more than one open wound as he brushed away the rocks from his knuckles, wincing slightly from the new wounds. Thinking more on revenge than his own well-being, Alex's eyes darted and searched the surrounding area, looking for that weapon of his. When he finally found the shiv, he carefully picked it up and inspected the glass shard for any damage. It hadn't been a long fall but when he dropped it, he feared the worst. It was still in one piece.
"What am I doing..."
He ran his fingers over the edge of the jagged glass, pondering on the sharpness of the shiv. He needed to make it sharper if he actually wanted to use it against someone.
"You can't just charge people like that."
Alex muttered to himself as he picked up a nearby rock and ran it over the edge of the glass shard.
"I know, I know. I have to appear... harmless, right?"
Again and again, he ran the rock over the edge of the glass and wore it down, an actual edge slowly starting to appear.
"That's right. Appear harmless and take advantage of your relative anonymity. You have yet to appear on the announcements, so you have an advantage over any who have. You know who has been listed and who hasn't."
"That's true. I know most of their names, have spent time with everyone at some point in time. That was Dad again. Socialize with your friends, have fun. Go to the parties but be responsible."
Alex flipped the shard over and started on the other side.
"Exactly. Appeal to their desire for safety. Appeal to them as a friend. Then and only then should you try anything."
By the time he was finished speaking, Alex had turned the glass shard into a respectable looking shiv, drawing on faint memories of his father and the lectures he would give. The shows on TV that dealt with life in prison. Old movies from the early nineties and eighties. All it took was a little knowledge and a little hard work. With those, almost anything could become a weapon capable of dealing remarkable amounts of damage. Toothbrushes and plastic cases, sunglasses and plastic spoons.
"A respectable shiv. Perfect to shank with. Or was it the other way around?"
Alex tightened the torn denim around the blunt portion of the shard, tying it off to create a decent handle for the weapon. By now it was stained red with his own blood from the numerous cuts on his knuckles. Perhaps it was time that he tended to his wounds and took his mind off of things like revenge, assault and proper planning and preparation. Within a moment, Alex had set aside the shiv and taken the backpacks off, removing the first aid kits from them.
"One for me and one from Liz. I'll have to thank that bitch some time."
He rolled up his sleeves and his pant leg. Sure enough, he went to work tending to his new wounds, checking on his old ones in the process. Alex used the last of his water to help clean the cuts, something he would have to tend to once he was up and moving again. With gauze and bandages applied, Alex turned to the weapon that caused the damage to his leg. He didn't recognize it for what it was, but, like Ray, he saw a blade at the end of a wooden staff and was quick to assume it was a spear. Perhaps not a normal spear, but a spear none-the-less.
"And I'll have to thank Ray for this."
By now, he had grown used to handling the thick pine branch he had been carrying around for days. The transition to the Goedendag was quick and relatively easy. It was about the same length and not much thicker than the club he'd been carrying around. After rising to his feet and taking a few practice swings with his new weapon, Alex was content to be rid of the branch he'd been using and adopt Ray's gift as his new weapon of choice. The blade at the end was certainly going to be of far more use than the charred, blackened end of the branch. He'd have to get used to thrusting instead of swinging now that he had something to really do some damage with.
"Hmm... Where to now?"
Alex had wasted quite a bit of time, sitting there on the logging road with only his thoughts to keep him company. But he had nowhere else to be at the moment, having no real lead on where Andrea may have been and lacking the motivation or desire to chase down the boys. More time would be wasted as Alex sat back down and dug through the packs again, looking through his own belongings and taking a better look at what was in Liz's bag.
"Bitch has the flashlight. Figures."
There was no reason for him to carry around three bags anymore. One was empty now and the only ones that really mattered were his own. But he didn't want to just forget Liz, not after his encounter with her. The Goedendag's blade made quick work of the backpack, slicing it at the seams and cutting out the name tag. Alex didn't want to leave it behind for someone else to find and he always found use for random bits of cloth. But for whatever reason, he wanted to keep that name tag close. He wanted to keep that name fresh in his mind. Tying the bit of cloth around his wrist would make that easy.
"Might as well do something useful."
Alex pulled something from his personal bag, something that for all intents and purposes was mundane and useless on the island. A toothbrush. Nothing more, nothing less. But there he sat, scraping away at one end of it with the Goedendag's blade and a rock. For the longest time, there was nothing to be heard in that section of the logging road but the scraping noise Alex was making and the wildlife that surrounded him. The distant call of a bird or the sound of a critter in the leaf litter that sat in the surrounding landscape. The felled forests to the north and south, places he seemed to visit an awful lot lately. He hadn't moved from them in almost two days. Perhaps it was time.
Something did catch Alex's attention as the hours ticked on by, however. It was the screech of the loud speakers and a voice that had long since been forgotten as one of the dead. Mr. Kwong. He was still alive, for whatever reason, and he had a message for the class.
"Liz Polanski. That little bitch did something to fuck it up for the rest of us, huh?"
Alex glanced down at the name on his wrist.
"Looks like I have a new mission."
Alex grinned and went back to work on the toothbrush, scraping and cutting away at the plastic. Mr. Kwong was a decent teacher, but Alex always suspected something was going on between the mild mannered asian man and that slut Polanski. It wasn't exactly a secret, at least among certain people that Alex had connections with, that Polanski was dealing in more than just drugs. That cunt was up for sale to anyone who would be interested and it wouldn't cost you any more than an afternoon and a pack of cigarettes. But no one ever wondered how she got the grades in Math or why Kwong spent so much time with her. Well, at least not out loud.
"So, a bounty on the bitch, huh?"
Alex spoke up again to no one in particular after at least half an hour of silence. He'd long since finished with the toothbrush and turned his attention to the straps of Liz's backpack, cutting and splicing the fabric as best he could with the knowledge he could dredge up from the depths of his mind. Knots his father had taught him for camping purposes. How to repair a rope or tie something other than a slip knot.
"Well, Danya. I accept. You provide me with an ample reward and I'll kill the slut for you. I'll even save you a trophy."
Alex pulled the fabric taut and tightened the knots. Slipping his hand into the pocket of his pants, he withdrew the balled up denim and opened it, cautious of its contents. Dozens of glass shards, barely big enough to match the size of the pebble around his shoes. But they were perfect. He placed one of them in the seat of the fabric he'd been messing with and stood from his place of rest. This would take some practice to get right. He'd only seen them used a few times and had only used one once with his brother.
"Here goes nothing. Literally."
Alex started to swing the sling, picking up speed. He took aim at a nearby stump and flicked his wrist.
He knelt down and grabbed a handful of rocks and pebbles, roughly the same sizes as the glass shards held in the denim pouch nearby. Better to use cheaper ammunition for practice. His dad and brother would use .22s to practice, so it only made sense for Alex to use rocks instead of the glass. He started spinning the sling once again, taking aim at the stump and flicking his wrist. Again and again, he repeated this action until he got the timing down.
Hours passed by.
Repetition was the path to mastery. Alex didn't have ten thousand hours but he could spare half a dozen to learn the basics. Every time he took a shot, he tweaked the timing of his action and focused on the sound and feel of the sling. Get it down to muscle memory. Focus on something other than the action of using the sling. Leave the analytical mind out of combat and just do what felt natural. He let another stone fly and was satisfied with the tiny thud it made as it struck the stump he aimed at.
Reload and repeat. It happened again. Reload and repeat. Reload and repeat.
"I hear you, Danya. I hear you."
Alex spoke back when Danya's voice decided to make a return, looking to one of the nearby cameras and searching for the loudspeakers as the orator of these events made his feelings known. It just served to add fuel to Alex's desire to hunt the bitch down. She was getting people killed and she had to be stopped, but Alex didn't really care about that anymore. The people he really cared about were all dead or they were all off killing the rest of this damned class. He just wanted to hunt the bitch down. Finish what he started. Prove that he could do that much.
He stopped flinging rocks at the stump and looked to his watch.
"Time to get moving, I suppose. This is a bad place to sleep."
Alex had a few more things to do, but for now, he simply packed up his belongings and looked down at his bandaged hands as they started to work their magic on a spare bit of cloth. The Goedendag was used to punch holes in the cloth before he started to tie the edges together, making a pouch from the seemingly useless scrap of cloth. When it was finished, it was tied to one of the belt loops on his pants. He looked like hell, covered in dirt and stained with blood and bandaged in more places than he would have liked. But he was alive and he was prepared.
He filled the pouch with rocks and poured in the glass shards, discarding the smallest ones and only taking the ones that were of decent size; all-in-all, he managed to keep about eight good pieces among a couple dozen little rocks. Next, he turned his focus to the toothbrush and slid it into the cloth wristband that bore Liz's name, and twisted. It held tight. He positioned it with his watch.
"This is good. Reminds me of something though. Makes me feel like Micheal."
Carefully, he slipped the sling into his belt, making sure he could have it in his hand as soon as he would need it; likewise with the glass shiv, keeping that hidden behind his back and untucking his shirt to conceal it. There was a sense of accomplishment as he double checked his belongings. Would his parents be proud of how well versed he was in survivalist techniques? Or would they turn him away and deny his existence, knowing what he would go on to do and the steps he was taking to prepare for that future?
It didn't matter.
Nothing really mattered.
Nothing but his new mission.
"I'll have fun with you."
Alex looked down at the name on his wrist.
[Boy #14 - Alex White. Continued in Alone in the Dark.
[End of Thread]