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Cicada Nights
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((Minus five ones and one zero: Rachael Langdon: Start))

I didn't pack anything for the trip. I really really really should have.

Out of the many similar-voice thoughts competing for expression in Rachael's head that was the only one that wasn't screamed.

Rachael was pretty sure she was going to die and Mom and Dad and Bridget oh god Bridget they'd hear it through the news and one of them would break the television with their chest heaving with uncontrollable sobs but also Daniel was here, Eris was here, Jasmine was here and somewhere on this island be it far away or close where there were maybe already gunshots and blood splatters and broken mangled rotten corpses splayed with every limb broken into an impossibly bent and twisted spaghetti noodle angle melting flesh sluicing onto the salted earth over the crags of bleached bones

Rachael couldn't breathe.

She could remember last night. Daniel laughing as he pointed out the window of his room and Rachael on tiptoe to peek around his shoulder. The scene looped in her conscious thought, over and over again, picture perfect. It mocked her, like the camera above did as it whirred and hummed and it was so loud and right in her ears and heavy like the buzzing of flies over Rachael's broken body. She unwillingly imagined herself painted in red and brittle smears on the floor, like Mr. Dolph.

It was too cold, even though the sun was out. It was too hot, and Rachael had furiously scratched at the sleeves and bodice of her blouse, rubbing her nails raw against the fabric and her own skin to try and dry the sweat off her still dry and mealy blouse. She'd also started violently tearing at her own face, because no matter how many times she'd ground the bridge of her nose into paste against the long since slimy and snotty skin of her forearm the tears hadn't stopped. Rachael's face had come to resemble some sort of ground, raw meat as red splotches painted her face bloody. Rachael had trembled to pieces, with each step, until she'd collapsed barely a few feet from where she'd woken up. She still couldn't breathe. Each thought of taking a breath only became a tight constriction over her collarbone.

I need to find someone Ineedto
find Felicia or Daniel or someone they're going to die they're going to
die and I'm going to find the corpse the cameras are everywhere please don't watch medon'tlookat me i'm sorry it's my fault i promisei'll never do it again
I need to talk to someone I have to do something I have to hide I have to run why am I sweating so much I feel disgusting I feel like I'm going to puke I feel so sick where am I why does ithurtsobadly

The lonely and ghostly sound of a dying animal echoed from the vagueness that lay beyond the section of rusted fence that had been Rachael's sole solid connection to existence for the past five minutes.

Rachael stuttered and squeaked to herself, nervously shifting in place, rolling on her hips a bit, she hissed in pain as a bit of jagged metal jutting from the fence links dug into her back with a dull swipe.

She glanced up and around. She saw someone in the distance, an amorphous human shape blob jutting right over the edge of the horizon-swallowing cliff like her own shadow over the abyss. She stared. The sounds were those of an instrument, she barely recognized.

She had to say something. Logically she was safe. Gun in her bag, smooth and sickle-like, enough thorny bullets to gun down everyone she'd ever known and loved. She tried to open her mouth, a wave of nausea only let her shove out a pained moan as she nearly collapsed, cheek of her face slamming hard into the sharp flakes of the fence. She desperately gulped at air. She tried to say something again. She had to call out, to connect to something beyond herself, beyond her own flailing self-pity.

say something say somethingsay something something


Rachael did as she was told without hesitation, or decency, as her overwhelmed mind once more commanded her to cry and she did, a pathetic animal wail that screeched through an octave almost too high for human hearing, she folded like a house of cards onto herself and became nothing more than a quivering sack of meat unceremoniously thrown onto the earth.

im so sorry im sorry please please dont hurt me im sorry
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