Tara closed her eyes for a moment and let her awareness trickle over her body, parsing through the general sense of aches and pains. Worst seemed to her left arm and her neck where the patch of ivy had caught her. Probably why her voice sounded so raspy.
"Yeah," she said. "Bit bruised." She propped herself up on her elbows, felt a wash of pain and nausea and letit engulf her, relished it, used it to focus herself, anchor her mind as she pushed herself back to proper consciousness. She rose to her feet next. Hazel and the boy behind her seemed decent, but she wasn't gonna risk it. She'd seen more of SotF than she'd been shown. She knew that trust, full trust, was not something she could really allow herself.
She swayed unsteadily on her feet. She forced herself to stand still, even if it hurt worse.
"Okay enough, though," she said.
She glanced towards the tall man in the back when he spoke. "Nah," she said. "I-"
Slipped fell jumped rolled I wanted this I needed this
"-slipped," she said aloud. Then Hazel spoke again. "Yeah," she said. "Alex and Lizzie. Both seem pretty..." Her mouth flickered. "Not alright." She shrugged, looked between them. "I don't know you," she said to the tall man. "I'm Tara."
Movement on the hills. She raised her eyes and saw a figure moving towards them. Her hands reached reflexively for her bag only to find it was no longer on her shoulder. Her eyes flickered back to the slopes, where she saw it clinging to a piece of scrub brush a little ways up.
"Head's up," she said, jerking her head up towards the person on the hill.
Getting too crowded. Too many people. Hazel was fine. Her tall friend, okay. But this stranger? No chance.
She darted forwards as her bruises and throat ached. She grabbed her bag, and flung it over one shoulder. She shot uncertain eyes at the two who'd come to her. "Thanks for helping me," she said. "Good luck."
She took off, slowly at first as her aching body protested. Then she was off and running again, her parched throat aching, her body hurting, her mind wild. Her eyes flickered to her feet.
Jumped? Or fell?
(Tara Behzad continued in St. Patrick's Purgatory