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    Things to Run Away From Really Fast

    #148. Lost

    by , 09-19-2010 at 05:57 AM (718 Views)
    Some quick backstory, for context.

    Selina is a girl I knew in high school. She showed up once in a previous dream. The two of us never spent much time together, but we got along fine. From what I remember, Selina is a very nice person.

    Jesse, I also went to high school with. We didn't get along, and though we're distantly related (small towns, eh?), we really don't share any of the same viewpoints. At all.

    I met Zoe Killion a few years ago, at a fine arts-related event. We've been friends ever since. She has a younger sister, whose name is (not really) Ava.

    This dream relates to Nomad's RPG. Vaguely.


    The good of one, versus the good of many.

    We are in a forest, surrounded by tall, black-barked trees. The edges of the clearing are choked with thick underbrush, and the lilac leaves and tall grasses tickle against the back of my t-shirt. The sky is streaked with the orange of the setting sun, which is hidden by the trees ahead of me.

    The group is gathered in a large circle, sitting cross-legged on the ground and facing inwards. I look around the circle, cataloging each face. I know all of these people. All of them are my age, and they're from all over the world, these people I've met in waking life.

    We've been stranded here, I realize.

    "It'll be one of them," says Jesse, pointing at me and - Zoe, sitting to my left. "Look at you two! Your spots are right next to the forest! Anything could come by and grab you."

    I'm lucid, not even feeling the need for a reality check. I frown. I can feel the dark, wolf-like presence lurking in the shadows behind me. Wordlessly, effortlessly, I call up a wall of mirrors on the other side of the clearing, confident that I'll be able to see the creature coming.

    I recognize the mirrors as a part of Nomad's first task, and I decide to stay here to play out the rest of the game. I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror: short blond hair, black clothes... everything gets a little fuzzy.

    Who cares about the many? I just don't want it to be -

    "- anyone," says Zoe, a bit sharply. "All we've been told is that one of us is going to die."

    "And if that happens," says Jesse, "Then the rest of us will be safe until tomorrow night!"

    Half of the table stands up at these words, shouting at each other. They're leaning across the round, stone table, ready to escalate into violence.

    The sunset is fading into darkness.

    Selina is standing up, ready to play the mediator. To get everyone to calm down, and work together, and I see my opportunity.

    I squeeze a hand into a fist under the table, and Selina collapses, dropping to the ground like a marrionette whose strings have been cut. Her internal organs have been liquefied, some of her bones have been ground into dust, and I'm pretending to panic along with the rest, pushing through the crowd as someone yells "WHAT HAPPENED!" and "Did you see?" and I'm pressing two fingers against her carotid artery, checking for a pulse that I know won't be there.

    "She's dead." I say quietly, and the faces around me reflect both horror and relief.

    The rules don't apply to monsters.

    I twist open the back door on a blue van, crawling in the back to reach for a case. It's orange, and the outside is covered in foam. My fingers sink into it as I lock it, latch it, make sure nothing is going to open it by accident.

    "Everyone's still trying to figure out what happened," says a voice from behind me.

    I crawl out of the van, resting the case upright on the bumper.

    "I mean, one second she was alive, you know?" says Ava, rubbing her left arm with her other hand. "Everyone thinks it was something supernatural, a new kind of monster from the forest."

    "It probably was." I say.

    "That's the briefcase." Ava nods at the orange case I'm holding. "The one that'll kill us if we go near it. So, it's safe now?" She makes a grab for it.

    "Don't touch that!" I snap, hitting her hands away. Idiot, of course it will still kill you! It's just that nothing is going to attack you outright - at least for now.

    I slam the door shut on the van, and walk away from the camp, still carrying the orange case so I can hand it over to my employer.

    I'm on no side but my own.

    "We're leaving!" says the Matron as she paces the inside of her ship, the flowing fabric of her dress trailing behind her. "Get the rest of the crew."

    "And the survivors?" I ask.

    The Matron growls. "I meant to capture all of them, but we're on a deadline."

    I nod, and turn to leave.

    "If you should happen across Miss Killion, of course," says the Matron coldly, "Bring her to me."

    I pass Ava as I leave the ship. She has her arms crossed, and is guarding the gangplank. She winks at me, and I allow myself a small smile.

    I'm certainly not on yours.

    I hit the drunk crewman over the back of the head with a bottle. It shatters over him and he collapses to the ground, dead weight. His equally drunk friend, who was about to attack me, looks from the unconscious man to the razor-sharp bottle neck in my hand. The man stumbles away, apologizing, and promising to go back to the ship.

    I sigh, and pick up the unconscious man, swinging him into a fireman's carry over my shoulders. I turn to Zoe and nod in the direction that the man just ran in. We start walking.

    "So let me get this straight," says Zoe. "We're working with the bad guys. Who want to kill me."

    "Because the Matron has the only transportation off the island."

    "Who wants to kill me."

    "She won't," I say, grinning.

    You really should have seen this coming.

    "You can't touch her." I say. I'm feeling gleeful, and I'm sure that I'm radiating an air of smugness that's setting the Matron on edge. Well, that and the fact that I stole away her first prize in manipulation.

    "You can't do this." She hisses.

    Except that I can. If I own Zoe's soul, the Matron can't touch her. I would be obliged, even within all of the complicated truces and agreements we have with one another, to pay back any harm threefold.

    I don't actually own Zoe's soul. But the Matron's not about to question my integrity. She has too much to lose.

    The Matron's sulking is so pronounced that I have to laugh. "I'm the devil!" I tell her, "Did you really think that I wasn't after anything for myself?"

    Scare Factor: 4/10
    Rating: 7/10

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    Updated 09-20-2010 at 02:18 AM by 31096

    lucid , non-lucid , memorable


    1. Mzzkc's Avatar
      I like the part where you kill the nice one.
    2. Raspberry's Avatar
      Whoa, that's pretty cool