((Hannah Kendrickstone, Olivia Fischer, and Irene Djezari continued from Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools...))
Three girls walked towards it.
It was an unscalable distance remaining. It was brick painted by dust and eternity. It was a titanic shadow cast over the path they walked. Echoes from three distinct pairs of shoes bleated weakly and were swallowed by the asylum's cold vine choked corpse. Ever lurking, following the girls as it stood perfectly still. The path was littered with thorny brambles of light foliage. Scattered leaves from long forgotten autumns.
Ruby orange blood splatters of a sun setting.
One girl smiled at the other two as best she could.
Come on girls, we gotta keep moving.
Her watchful eye scanned the other two.
We dont hurry and those two creeps catch up with us.
In front of her at half a pace was Irene.
Wouldnt have minded if they were with us though.
Irenes gun gently clattered with each step, in chitters of cold steel.
Alan and Kait are kinda always like that anyway. Crazy plans on their brains and
Irene glanced back at Hannah, over her own lump of neck.
Yeah but no excuse for the stupid ideas. Hey Livvie? What do you think about them?
The third girl half a pace behind startled.
Her feet carried her a bit faster.
She moved herself close into Hannahs gaze.
Yeah, they were strange.
Olivia was silent.
Irene was silent.
Hannah was silent.
Irenes feet found brief stumble.
Both Hannah and Olivia glanced over at the instinctive yelp, it cracked like whip or gunshot through their skins and brains.
Irenes body contorted madly for a moment. It mutated.
Wheres your watch, Olive? Gotta check our ticks and tocks.
The shrill whispers of leaves cackling underfoot.
Like it looks like it should be late-ish.
Olivia nodded briefly. To herself. She fumbled awkwardly with her bag, attention split.
Against walking on the cusp of hurriedly.
A quiet, bloodied mewl of frustration.
I. Didnt bring one.
Hannah smiled, a smile that was a smile attempted.
Its no big deal Livvie. The time isnt so important, yeah?
Hannahs right. Time is just a property of relating positions in space.
Irene paused to breathe.
The infinity of space.
Olivia just nodded dumbly, and let her gaze drift into an unfathomable infinity.
Her chest. Her feet.
She took a quiet gulp of breath the other two didnt hear.
It looks like its going to be a chilly night though, Irene murmured at nothing in particular.
Kinda like out in the desert, and all.
Loud yet somehow to herself.
We are by the ocean.
Hannah observed ocean. It cast a tremendous shadow in the distance, lurking beyond where eyes could see.
You two girls pack your sweaters?
Olivia glanced into her bag. Her eyebrows fell sharply, like a guillotine blade.
No. I didnt think Id need one.
Irene didnt immediately respond. They were closer now.
The slope of path began to carelessly level into the flatground of school yard or cemetery. The asylum was the horizon. Immediately, and in all distant futures.
A door before them opened, though not willingly. It's handle was a whispered suggestion, wood half eroded away by the chomping of something unseen and unknown to the girls. Time itself, perhaps. An enemy to them as any other element of nature. They passed on, away from the light of the sun. Hallways stretched on past where the eye could see, painted and bleached white as the bones of the dead. Hallways ended in darkness, in shadows that teased and tortured the eye with suggestions unfathomable.
Three girls walked in.
Earth to Irene, hello?
Irene glanced about.
Her eyes mindlessly followed the harsh angle of the ceiling.
Then floor. Thick blocks of ink swarmed the ground in relentless procession.
Uh, yeah. Asimah insisted I bring a change of clothes..."
... Because thats a thing she does. Olivia
... Can have the sweater.
From a thin scattered mess of fabrics a bundle of inert black was produced.
Run into Olivias face.
... Isnt that cold is it?
She carefully watched Irenes reaction.
But thanks... Ill keep it just in case.
The sweater changed hands. Irene nodded thickly.
Returned to her position erstwhile. Hannah nodded approval in the unfathomable distance.
So it sucks that Olive doesnt have her watch...
Olivias attempts to scurry through her bag faltered. She was silently breathing.
Irene grew louder.
... but, like, we can easily figure out the time from the way the suns setting
As they walked deeper into the darkness.
Everyone briefly slowed, echoes of their feet vanishing into their own bodies.
... like its angle of the sun to the ground and how it casts a shadow and
Brick and metal and paint were all eroded away, time scorching the wall in the polite nibbles and teethings of some force unseen and unknown. Doors on all sides, six doors for all eyes, themselves but a thin sheets of metal. Stoic. Stalwart. Windows did not exist in this world, only the weakest of ambient lights from behind them existed to be snuffed out. Flashlights were produced, and with them the shadows danced in a mad frenzy. Over everything, including the things that maybe weren't actually there.
Three girls walked on.
((All GMing approved))
It was a good show. A real good show, okay? Would they be happy if she just gave them that? If she just threw up her hands, looked at the camera, and went, 'you got me?' 'cuz for a second, all the pageantry, all the fanfare or whatevs, all the detail, like...it got to her. It looked real. Like maybe this was legit, they were abandoned out in the middle of nowhere and maybe people were dying, and maybe she'd taken the quirky aesthetic a couple steps too far because she was scared and everything was fucked and she couldn't breathe and and and-
But no. That couldn't be right. It was just a really good trick, that was all. She hadn't seen any bodies, right? Just a bunch of other scared and confused people, and some of them had bought in, but not her. No, they got her, but not for long. Just like, a quick moment of weakness, and now it was over. She was just glad that Hannah and Olive hadn't seen her crack, because she'd never live that down after this all shook out, y'know?
And it had to shake out soon. Nobody could keep this kind of thing up long before the strings started to show. The trick was figuring out exactly what it was. A prank didn't really add up, because man, who would air this? Career suicide right there b o y z, nobody was stupid enough to bank it all on that. Unless it was some weird internet thing. Oh god, it could totally be some weird internet thing. If somebody came out of the bushes screaming "JUST A PRANK BRO," she could actually shoot them, it'd be so lame. Was the school cringey enough to do something like that, or like, did someone just sink a ton of cash into this? That couldn't be the case, because if that was the case, she was gonna get gif'd to death for letting Johnny Three go off earlier. And also for whatever embarrassing stuff she did in her sleep. She definitely did embarrassing stuff in her sleep, and they'd probably caught some of it before she came to on that beach.
Was it bad that that felt worse than this being real? Like, that had to be messed up, right? She really should deal with that when they got home, girl gotta sort her priorities out. Death was not worse than Meme Hell.
It was easy to keep that kinda manic energy going as they trawled through the place together. The three of them shining flashlights all over the place felt like something out of a cheesy Scooby Doo spin-off where like, Daphne and Velma go off to college and pick up a spunky third wheel to tag along with The Forbidden Ship. Mysteries by day, pillow fights by night, and like, probably classes in there sometimes too whenever it was convenient for the plot. What kind of ghost would they be looking for here? The Asylum Abomination? The Glasspane Ghoul? The Disorderlies? Ugh, that one was terrible, just terrible, she was gonna have to up her game for-
The flashlight dropped out of her hands and rolled across the floor into the pool of congealed blood around what used to be a person. A good enough look and maybe you could tell who it used to be. A good sorority detective would hunt for clues, look around for signs, push past the disgust to prove that it wasn't real after all and the dead body was just a lot of food coloring and corn starch and old man Jenkins hiding in a mask while he jerked off in the closet. Irene wasn't a good detective though. At the moment, she wasn't really conscious enough to know what she was, other than running.
((Irene Djezari Continued Elsewhere))