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We are the Dead; Aaand we're Private again
Topic Started: Jun 12 2011, 10:45 AM (1,214 Views)
Kitten
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An' I don't really care if you think I'm strange; I ain't gunna change.
[ *  * ]
((Odile Jones continued from Give a Finger...))

With a weapon in hand the world seemed less daunting. Granted, it wasn’t much of a weapon; Odile had found scissors in a first-aid kit while looking around in her bag for something to eat. They were small, designed for cutting clothes or bandages rather than people, but they were sharp. She held them in one hand, two fingers through the handles, blades up against her palm.

Would they be useful? She doubted it. Odile was long-limbed, but even she wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone unless she was within a couple of feet of them. For her to get that close, they’d need to lack either the means or the intention of hurting her, in which case why would she need to be attacking them in the first place? Still, they were reassuring.

Fear aside, irrationality aside, Odile could look at her situation logically. Her problem, she decided, had been a lack of clarity. Sure, she had set out to make things interesting, but that was her default response to every situation. She should have clarified this; codified her intentions. Odile had never been one for improv: without a plan, without a point, a show would never work.

Fucking around entertained to a point, but to pull the real crowds you had to set out to entertain. Right now, Odile had the realest crowds on earth, and she was going to damn well give them a show.

A goal made things clear, and clarity was important. Decisions were easier, when all you needed to decide was whether or not something would make the show better. Odile had an instinct for that kinda thing, and while the show was different, the principles were the same.

Did she need to survive? To a point, yeah. You couldn’t entertain when you were dead.

Did she need allies? Not as such, but she needed people with her. Of course, there was a lot that a girl alone could do to entertain, but there were also dozens on the island who could do all of that better than Odile. Her skill was with people; it’d be foolish not to use it.

Sure, the people here were different, but she was confident she could adapt. Odile was clever like that.

Did she need to kill? Survival aside, probably not. Yeah, killing drew viewers, but there were bound to be those better and more prolific than Odile. Killing was hard and killing was dangerous, especially if you were going up against a well-armed, jumpy teenager armed only with a pair of scissors.

That is to say, Odile would be armed with the scissors. Knowing her luck so far, her opponent’d have a fucking bazooka. Still, she wasn’t worried. Shit, she was feeling great.

She’d needed to have this talk with herself, that was clear. No wonder she’d been feeling a little down. Going on stage without a plan? Amateurish. Shameful, even. She was lucky things hadn’t turned out worse.

Still, there was no sense dwelling. She’d lucked out so far, and her first act hadn’t been half bad. With a weapon though, and a plan, her second act would be great. Odile grinned to herself, with genuine pleasure. Initiative, forethought, showmanship; she’d make Uncle Q proud.

Yeah, a plan made everything better. Even her shitty excuse for a weapon. She pushed the blades against the heel of her hand, testing their ability to pierce flesh. She felt the skin break, something warm spread down her hand. The scissors weren’t much, but they’d do.

They made the world seem less daunting.

Odile had arrived at a beach. It seemed as good a place as any for a rest.
Edited by Kitten, Jun 12 2011, 07:54 PM.
...Hai
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[ *  * ]
((Holly Hadaway continued from You, the living))

There was a girl nearby. She was holding a gun.

How long had she been there? Long enough to take her shoes off. Long enough to drop her bag and wander out into the shallows. Easily long enough to kill a sleeping girl, so the fact that Odile wasn’t dead suggested that the girl didn’t want her to be.

Had she even seen her? Almost certainly. It was dark, sure, but a lone figure on the white sand would’ve been hard to miss. Odile would’ve been willing to bet that her presence was the reason the girl was cooling her feet with a gun in her hand.

Did she know the girl? Again, it was dark, but Odile was fairly certain that she didn’t look familiar. The girl was small, hardly striking; she could easily have slipped below the radar at Detroit, but it was far more likely that she was a private school bitch. Probably rich, probably spoilt, probably entitled. Cautious, but non aggressive. These were all assumptions, of course, but they were a good place to start.

Odile raised herself into a crouch. There were twelve yards or so between her and the girl, but Odile had long legs and good reflexes. Could she close the distance before the girl could get a shot off? Doubtful. Odile squinted, trying to make out the gun. Like Tiffany’s, but bigger.

She squeezed her fingers around the scissor handles, reassured by their coolness against her palm. Enough delaying. Odile took a deep breath, calming her nerves. Friendly. Non-threatening. Calm. Trustworthy. Go.

Showtime.

“Hey there! You’re from that Texan school, right?”

A simple question. The girl knows the answer, makes her think she knows what’s going on. She understands what’s happening, she’s less afraid. She’s less afraid, and Odile’s less likely to be taking a bullet.

“That’th right.”

Cautious. Wary. Unashamedly lispy. Not hiding her speech impediment was a good sign, or a lack of a bad one at any rate. It showed confidence, and confidence meant she’d be less likely to feel threatened.

Less likely to feel threatened, less likely to shoot.

“I’m from Detroit, myself. Believe it or not, this place is an improvement.”

She’d considered telling her about Harold, but no; mentioning violence would bring violence to mind, and that was not what Odile wanted the girl thinking of.

She’d considered asking if she was alone, but that was just so many kinds of creepy. No, a joke was best. Something simple, easy to get. The girl understood, she felt more at ease, her trigger finger felt less twitchy.

The girl hadn’t laughed, but that wasn’t a problem. The joke was meant to break the tension, nothing more. Odile hoped it had worked.

She stood up.

“Name’s Odile”

“Mine’th Holly”

Holly was walking towards Odile, slowly. She wasn’t aiming her gun or anything, but it was raised a little, certainly ready to aim.

Odile raised her hands in mock terror, cupping her fingers around the scissors slightly to stop them catching any stray moonlight. The last thing she needed was the girl to see a glimmer in her hand and think that Odile had a knife.

“Hey, relax! I got fucking tape in my bag, I’m hardly a threat”

The curse was calculated. Now Odile was the foulmouthed, maleducated urban trash, and rich girl got to feel all safe and superior. Should she add more?

“Seriously, I’m just trying ta find a way out of this place.”

Holly was close enough for Odile to see her face clearly. She looked relieved at that, and lowered the gun. Odile lowered her hands.

“Do you have any idea’th? There’ve been eth’cape’th before, th’o we ju’tht need to find th’omeone who can get the collar’th off.”

And she had her. Odile had graduated from creepy beach stranger to accomplice, from victim to ally. She’d done it, she was back in the game. Oh fuck yes.

An eth’cape attempt sounded stupid, and not just because of the way Holly said it. Odile was almost dizzy from the thrill of puppetry, from pitting her wits against a gunman (or was it gunwoman?) and surviving. Give this up, risk blowing her head off, for a chance to run back to Detroit?

That simply was not happening.

“Yeah, that sounds great! No, I’ve no ideas sorry. Know anyone who might? We can look for them in the morning”

And now they were a “we”. Goddamn Odile was good.

“Well, there’th th’ome pretty th’mart people at my th’chool. I’m th’ure that th’ome of them will figure the collar’th out.”

God, that fucking lisp. A useful tell, but a pain to listen to. Odile tried not to wince. She regretted agreeing with Holly’s godawful plan so readily; five minutes in and she was already getting sick of the girl.

New plan: take her gun while she slept, leave the girl to th’ort her own shit out.

“It’s too late to do anything now. Even if it were light enough to see, everyone’ll be grabbing some sleep. If ya wanna do the same, I’m happy to take watch”

The girl stiffened, slightly. Stupid stupid stupid! Odile’d said, what, two dozen words to her? It was way too early to suggest that kinda shit.

“It’th okay. My boyfriend’th not far behind, I th’ould keep an eye out for him”

Boyfriend? Fuck. Odile got gaffer tape and fucking Tiffany for company, and thi’th bitch got a gun and her some guy on side? This was bullshit.

Odile was getting angry.

“Is it a good idea? You sticking together? I mean, what’s going to happen? You get to see each other die?”

Her tone stayed even, but Odile’s words were starting to betray her feelings. She needed to calm down, take some deep breaths.

“We get to eth’cape together.”

The gun was just below waist heigh now, pointed somewhere around Odile’s shins. Had Holly been more then 4 feet away, it would have been a fuckload more threatening. As it was, Odile was more pissed off than worried.

“You’re just gonna wander around until you find someone kind enough to take ya collar off? Anyone could do that, they’d already be gone, hun”

The endearment did nothing to soften her words. Odile knew she should stop, knew that they were heading for an argument but she was tired and she was jealous and that fucking lisp was like daggers in her ears.

She wasn’t thinking, wasn’t planning. Odile just kept talking.

“You’ve got a gun, right? It’s hardly fair to let your boyfriend walk about, just waiting to be hurt, or tortured, or have to kill”

God, this wasn’t even elegant. This barely even made sense. She wasn’t saying this to sway or to convince. Odile had been having a shitty day, she was sick of this stupid girl, and she was saying all of this just to hurt.

“You won’t find anyone. You won’t eth’cape. Some psycho will catch your boy, and they’ll hurt him, and you won’t be able to stop it. But you can stop it now. You’ve got a gun, ri-”

“Ye’th I do”

Holly pointed it at Odile’s head. Fuck.

Odile closed her eyes.

She’d caught a dove, once. It probably seemed like a strange thing for her to be thinking about, but it was once of Odile’s most treasured memories.

Sure, the dove had been old. It’d been in a tiny prop box for hours, and it was cramped and disoriented and confused when someone had accidentally knocked the lid off and let it free. Still, it had been a bird on the wing and Odile had caught it with her hands, mid-flight.

Uncle Q had applauded her. He never did that, not even at shows, but he’d done that then.

Thinking back on it always made her smile.


Odile opened her eyes. There was a gun in front of them, but Odile smiled anyway.

Holly was slower than a dove.

With her left hand Odile knocked the gun away. She knew her arm, any arm, could move faster than a person can react; she had whole shows depending on this.

Using her right hand, Odile punched Holly in the head.

She didn’t know much about boxing, or fighting in general. She didn’t know if the punch was good, or hard, or painful. What Odile did know was that she had her middle finger and her ring finger of her right hand through the handles of some surgical scissors, and that there was now a hole in Holly’s cheek.

The bitch raised a hand to it.

“You whor-“

Odile stabbed her again, in the throat.

And again.

And again.

The blood had trickled from the puncture in Holly’s face. From here, it fucking spurted.

Holly fell forward, knocking Odile backwards. They fell back together, hitting the ground hard. Odile’s tophat fell off, rolling away. The girls were on the ground, Holly lying on top of Odile. The bitch opened her mouth, coughed blood onto the other girl’s face. Odile swore violently and pushed her off, rolling away and pushing herself to her feet.

“Cunt!”

Holly still had the gun in her hand, was trying to aim it. Odile kicked her in the face, again in the ribs. The blood on the girl’s neck was encrusted with sand. Odile picked up her top hat, wiped sweat from her brow and pulled it back on.

Holly’s breaths were shallow and desperate. Her mouth was spluttering, filling with blood, and the breaths she took with her nose were punctuate by a agonized whine. For good measure, Odile stamped down on it hard. Holly shrieked.

Had she been yelling before? Had Odile? She didn’t even… shit… she didn’t…

Odile needed to calm down, to stop and think. Objectively she knew this, but it was hard to put into practice with her heart in her fucking ears and blood all over her… everything.

Holly tried again to talk.

“Flugh… flahk yuhh-”

Holly’s last words were garbled with a mouth full of blood, nasal with a broken nose. Odile knelt on her chest, cutting them off. She stabbed the scissors into the side of Holly’s throat and slowly, almost surgically, dragged the blade across.

BLK 3: HOLLY HADAWAY: DECEASED

Odile searched for something witty to say, something to make this cool and awesome and make the dead girl in the sand okay.

She settled for throwing up; kneeling and retching over and over until there was nothing left in her stomach.

This was… shit… this was bad.
...Hai
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An' I don't really care if you think I'm strange; I ain't gunna change.
[ *  * ]
Okay.

Fuck.

Okay.

Wow.

Okay.

She was definitely dead, or close enough to it that any distinction’d be rendered moot pretty fucking soon. Should Odile close the girl’s eyes, or something? Holly’s face was caked with blood and sand. No way she was touching that if she didn’t absolutely need to.

Had she needed to? Was it… was it really necessary? Holly had aimed a gun at her, was going to shoot her…

Was she really? A niggling voice of doubt. Did she really intend to kill you?

Odile didn’t know, genuinely hadn’t known. She hadn’t been thinking straight, hadn’t even known what she was doing. She needed to figure this out, to get a handle on what she’d done.

Okay, so gun on you. Was she going to shoot? Maybe not, but-

But this was better. Odile hated herself, hated what she’d done, but she hadn’t had a choice. Had she needed to kill her? It had been better than to stand around and hope she didn’t get shot, or robbed, or beaten. Once she’d made the choice to not just let Holly do whatever, once she’d decided to do something about the gun in her face, then killing was really her only option. She could have tried to fight her barehanded, but Odile had no idea what Holly was capable of in that department, and despite all Chelsea’s posturing she had every confidence that a gun was deadly as anything no matter how close one was standing.

It had been necessary. Ugly, but necessary. Her own loss of control frightened Odile, almost more than the fact that she’d just… god… she’d just taken a human life. Sure, Holly hadn’t posed any danger before Odile’d provoked her, but if she had meant Odile harm, if she had been halfway competent, there would’ve been fuck all that Odile could’ve done about it. Holly mightn’t’ve killed her, but what about the next person she came across, or the next person, or the next person? Odile’d heard the announcement; Karen Ruiz had already clocked up a kill, and Odile was willing to bet that by now others had as well. The island was dangerous, and if killing Holly was what it took to make it less dangerous for Odile, well…

Well so be it.

She couldn’t die now, not so soon into her second act. The show had to go on and all that, for Odile at least. She thought back to the kill, to- to her kill, trying to avoid thinking on the horror of the act and focus on how it would’ve looked.

The conversation was mostly fine, she was pretty sure. She’d lost control at the end there, but that would’ve just served to give her words more punch. Odile was sure she could pass that off as intentional. The kill? Fast, efficient. Making up in brutality what it lacked in grace. The fall was pretty bad, but she could laugh it off. The kicks’d play well though, and the coup de grace was near-magnificent. The aftermath? Less than stellar, but still workable.

The format of the show would work in her favour here. On stage, a performance like that would be embarrassing, for the performer and the crowd. Throw in the right music though, some rapid camera shot changes, maybe a couple of well chosen sound effects and the like and “hey, presto!”: humiliating became terrifying. Odile was rather taking to being a TV star.

Still, the ending was a problem. Not her only problem, and not her most pressing problem, but the one that needed the most immediate attention. She needed to make sure that the editors did go down the scary route, that they made her kill look cool rather than pathetic and made her out to be the creepy manipulatrix and not some freaked-out kid. Throwing up definitely was not working in her favour here.

Okay, think. It’d been gross, but vomiting was still pretty common. Shit, with the shock of the whole being-trapped-in-a-deathgame thing, it was probably happening all over the island. Would it even get aired? Probably, if they went with the whole “overcome with remorse” angle. Odile needed to make sure they didn’t do that.

Well it was common, she’d established that. And murder-by-stabbing was less common, meaning that there were reasons to hurl other guilt. Overexertion was an example, and that killing had been pretty fucking aerobic. Yeah, she could make this work.

This next part would be gross, though.

Odile grabbed Holly by the wrist, surprised at how warm the girl still was. She didn’t know what she was expecting, the girl had been dead all of five minutes, but she still felt so… alive. It was probably better that way, this would’ve been much harder to go through with if Holly was cold. Odile dragged her- no, don’t think that way – Odile dragged the body a couple of feet and dropped it onto the sick-soaked sand. For good measure, she stomped on it’s back viciously.

Yeah, make me out to be remorseful now.

Time for overexertion. Odile out her hands on the small of her back and leant backwards, letting out a theatrical sigh.

“Now that was just way too difficult.”

Fucking perfect.

With her image protected, Odile turned her focus onto protecting her life. Firstly, she needed to hide the body. She didn’t know nearly enough woodcrafty-bullshit to hide her tracks, and the last thing Odile wanted was someone coming across the corpse and having any bright ideas about tracking down whoever did this to their friend.

Secondly, she needed to deal with Holly’s boyfriend. Or ex-boyfriend now, she supposed. Again, having someone trying to hunt her down was not Odile’s idea of a good time, and from what Holly had said he was pretty nearby, and headed this way. A plan for him had only just begun to crystallize in Odile’s mind, but she had a gun now and knew the kinda shit she was capable of, so figuring out something to do with dear-departed Holly’s boytoy didn’t look like it’d prove too difficult.

Finally, she needed allies. This wasn’t a new issue, but the pending announcement put a time constraint on the whole thing. There were few enough students who saw her as a friend as it was, and there’d be a hell of a lot less when her penchant for scissor-shanking was announced to the island’s populace. If she could find people before then and spin them some beautiful nonsense about having to defend herself from a lunatic with a revolver, she should be in the clear.

Lots to do, not much time. She needed to get going.

Holly was heavy. Odile had dug at the sand for all of twenty seconds before giving up, and deciding to just dump the body in the sea instead. Still, Holly was heavy enough to make Odile almost reconsider the burial option.

But no, she’d have to cover a lot of ground before the announcin’ got started. Odile would need all her energy for walking, she couldn’t afford to waste it digging stupid holes.

When Odile got what had once been Holly to the edge of the water she encountered a new problem. However heavy ex-Holly might’ve been, she still fucking floated. The sea was crazy calm, almost flat, but if Odile just left her bobbing there the tide was bound to wash her back in eventually?

Could she swim her further out? No, the collar’d probably go off before she got out far enough. Odile would have to make the body sink somehow.

The lungs were just big balls of air, right? So that meant she just needed to fill them with water, and Holly should sink. Could she puncture them? How deep were the lungs, exactly? The scissor blade wasn’t all that long, and even if she managed to pierce a lung, she’d have to somehow hold a hole open for long enough that water could fill it up. And do that twice, too.

Wait, no. No, that was stupid. It was a stupid idea, and Odile felt stupid for even thinking it.

She left Holly facedown in the shallows and wandered back up the beach. Picking up Holly’s bag, Odile unzipped it and emptied its contents onto the sand. Grenades were good. Grenades went over by Odile’s bag. A first aid kit and a bunch of food and drink joined it, as did a black tank top after a moment’s thought. A cocktail dress with a square missing from it- what the fuck happened there? – went back in Holly’s bag. Odile stripped off her bloody t shirt and jeans, and put them in the bag as well.

Odile looked at what was now her gun, which until this point had been stuck down the back of her jeans. Had Holly been a killer? Certainly she hadn’t been issued with a pistol and a bunch of grenades. Either she’d taken these from someone, or she had a friend who was generous to the point of stupidity.

The gun was big, way too big to be held up by panty-elastic, and Odile would need both her hands for the next part of her clean-up operation. Leaving it here was risky, especially with a potentially gun-toting and almost certainly pissed-off boyfriend on the way, but if Odile took the gun with her and it somehow got damaged by the seawater, it wasn’t any use to her anyway. She’d just have to be fast.

She slung Holly’s bag over her shoulder and walked back down to where the dead girl lay. The seawater had washed a lot of the blood away, and the patches that remained served to make Holly look like she had nothing more than really bad acne. That is, if you ignored the gaping holes in her neck.

The sea had also cooled her off. Odile stifled a gasp as her hand brushed the corpse’s freezing cheek. She put her hands under Holly’s armpits and began to drag her into the sea. Odile had to bend over a lot, and it hurt her back, but she preferred the feel of blood-matted fabric to dead flesh.

Once the water was about chest deep Odile stopped dragging Holly and just let her float. The water was almost totally still, and the dead girl floated there sluggishly. Odile knelt under the water and began to scoop handfuls of sand into the bag. She stood up for air once it was about half full, leaving the bag lying on the bottom. Holly had moved maybe a foot closer to shore. There was no sign of anyone on the beach. Odile finished filling the bag and closed it, struggling with zip underwater. She pulled on the straps, testing the weight; she could barely lift it.

Fucking fantastic.

Odile straightened up. So far, so good. She put both hands on Holly’s chest, pushing down with all her weight. Once she was under the surface Odile slipped the straps over Holly’s arms and waited. The bag held her down perfectly.

Odile waded back to shore.

She knew what she was doing; she was self-aware enough for that. Treating Holly like a problem as a way to dehumanize her, to avoid focusing on her as a human being whose life she’d eliminated. Odile knew full well that she hadn’t dealt with her actions in any meaningful way, that she’d probably have to do some serious thinking in future.

That worked out, though. She’d no time for serious thinking now.

Odile put on the stockings from her bag and Holly’s tanktop. The result was skanky, but functional. She shovelled all of the shit she’d stolen from Holly back into the bag, taking out the tailcoat to make room. Odile decided against putting it on; it was a warm night, and the silhouette it’d make was too distinctive from Holly’s own, even in the dark. Holly had said that her boyfriend just wanted to get off the island, but there was no harm in Odile making extra sure that he didn’t attack her.

She checked the gun’s chambers to make sure it was loaded- it was, that bitch could’ve killed her –and sat down. Drawing her legs and arms in close, so their spindliness wouldn’t give her away, Odile waited.

When Holly’s boyfriend got there, he’d be in for a surprise.
...Hai
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An' I don't really care if you think I'm strange; I ain't gunna change.
[ *  * ]
It felt like Odile had been waiting forever. God, would this boy of Holly’s ever get here? She was painfully aware that time was not on her side; with every second that passed announcements were getting closer, and making friends would be getting that much harder.

Why was he taking so long? What kind of gentleman lets his girl run about on a murder island? Granted, she’d been well armed, but…

Well, but that hadn’t done her much good, had it?

Odile was growing impatient.

This guy really needed to hurry the fuck up.
...Hai
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Alright, who the hell plugged in the Overlord?
[ *  *  *  * ]
[[John Lemmon Continued From: You, The Living.]]

Following Holly was a bit of an exhausting experience. They had spent the entirety of the day before, just walking and John didn't know if he could handle anymore walking. He had gotten all sweaty, which for a big guy like himself, was not a very delightful experience, as when it rains it pours, so to speak.

Eventually by nightfall, Holly had finally stopped and brought the two of them somewhere! It... just so happened to be the very same place they started from, which kind of annoyed John a little, as it felt like they had made absolutely no progress. All that walking had been for nil. But at least they were done with it and John got to rest for once! He loved Holly anyway and couldn't stay mad at her.

After what felt like only a minute or two of rest, Holly announced that they were going to go on the move again, to which John groaned internally. They had just stopped to rest and already they were leaving?

"Holly, Honey? I'm just going in one of those buildings to use the restroom. This could be the only places on the island where we'll be able to see an actual toilet, you know?"

He smiled at his girl, and she smiled back.

"Well, ok. Ju'th th'ay th'afe alright? I'll wait for you, out here."

So John went in. He didn't need to worry about her. She had his gun. She could have it, for all he cared. John just could not fathom himself looking at that gun, let alone carrying it around with him. It was in better hands with Holly.


After John used the toilet, he sighed, realizing they'd be on the move again. He saw a padded chair nearby and decided to sit for a little bit.

Ah yes, that was what he needed. Holly wouldn't have minded if he just rested his back and his legs a little right? Maybe his eyelids as well...

Before he knew it; he was asleep.



John Lemmon woke about an hour later, as the chair wasn't exactly a bed. He opened his eyes and noticed that it was still dark out and... Oh crap I forgot about Holly! Shoot, I hope she isn't mad at me!

Quickly, John got to his feet and headed out of the building onto the sands of the resort beach's shoreline. His eyes searched the coast for Holly, but where was she? Did she get bored waiting for him and -

Wait, there she was, still waiting for him. He picked up the pace, walking toward her.

"Haha, I'm so glad you're still here. Sorry for making you wait so long! I sorta fell asleep in there."

But something was wrong. She looked a little taller. Her hair looked a little shorter.

"Wait a minute - You're, not Holly!"
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[ *  * ]
And things had just gotten harder. Fantastic.

That being said, they’d also gotten interesting.

So Amber was a killer now? Odile didn’t see it; especially not in the way the act’d been described. Self-defence seemed more likely; Amber’d never been the sort to let anyone walk over her.

This was good though, this was definitely good. Sure, Odile’s friend would be shaken and all, but she was alive, and she was taking steps to stay that way.

She’d be more sympathetic to the story of how Odile was attacked by some psychotic girl with a gun, and had to kill to save herself too.

Odile’s own announcement didn’t look like it’d be too problematic. It made the kill sound a hell of a lot nicer than it was, and there had been enough going on that no one would particularly focus on it. The lack of physical descriptors would help too; half the island didn’t know her name, so “Odile’s killed somebody” would be meaningless to them. As long as she didn’t run about introducing herself, Odile would be fine.

She regretted not asking Holly’s boyfriend’s name though. Sort of. It would probably have meant some long, drawn out “th’tory” about how cute he was, and how his eyes sparkled when he looked at her, and how much he loved lisps and gap teeth. On the other hand, it would also have meant that the announcement would have told Odile whether he was dead or not.

Wait, she could figure this out. Holly was way too whitebread to date someone called Kohli, so he was out. He probably hadn’t been running about either, so it couldn’t be Lazenby. From what Holly’d said, he wasn’t the type to attack anyone either, so Becker was out. A pity, the idea of Amber finishing off Odile’s problem had a rather wonderful symmetry to it.

Father Fatso was also dead, and killed by someone who wasn’t Marvia. That meant they’d probably been attacked, and the fact that Marvia killing anyone or dieing hadn’t been mentioned meant that the attack must have been recent, probably only minutes before Odile’s own kill. That wasn’t particularly helpful, as it meant she couldn’t eliminate the others based on time.

There had been an Isaac at Detroit, a black kid, and Odile was pretty sure there was a Nick too. Still, Isaac and Nick were both common names, common enough that this meant almost nothing.

King or Simmons then. Two dead kids who could well have been Holly’s boy, and no way of knowing whether they were or not. Or was there?

The announcer had mentioned that the black side wasn’t looking so hot. Harold and Holly were two of the dead ones, could Holly’s boyfriend have been the third? That’d probably figure: Holly seeing some guy wanting to be teammates as a romantic overture. Wow, that was… beyond pathetic.

It was an assumption, Odile was well aware of that, and not a particularly well-grounded one either. Still, she was sick of waiting around for a potentially dead man. Places to be, things to do and all that. Odile went to stand up.

And saw him.

Could his timing have been more perfect? Well yeah, he could’ve gotten there a hell of a lot earlier. Still, Odile wasn’t going to complain. Not when Holly’s boyfriend was here at last.

He thought she was Holly, must’ve missed the announcements. Perfect, perfect. He was getting closer, still didn’t realise. Odile aimed the gun in his direction; two handed, the thing looked like it had some serious kick.

He knew.

She stood up, gun pointed at his chest.

This time, Odile was thinking clearly. She wouldn’t freak out, wouldn’t doubt herself. She would shoot this boy, and then she would take off her clothes, and take his things, and hide his body in the sea. She would do this, because she had done it to his girlfriend and he would find this out and do something horrible to her if she did not. Odile knew this, and she accepted this.

She needed a one-liner, something witty. She needed something that said “I am so detached from these murders I am punning about them”.

Your romance is on the rocks, maybe? No.

You should probably wave goodbye to Holly? Awful.

Your girlfriend’s washed up? Fuck no.

I think Holly might need some breathing room? Clever, but still no.

Odile cleared her throat.

“Fuck it.”

Puns were for sweaty men whose only skill was kicking things.

She looked down the sights and pulled the trigger.
...Hai
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Alright, who the hell plugged in the Overlord?
[ *  *  *  * ]
John Lemmon's heart sank to the bottom of nowhere when he saw his own gun, in this girl's hand. Holly was supposed to have it in her possession, which meant something happened. His face changed from happiness, to shock, to nothingness, then finally to complete sorrow in the span of one minute.

He was all alone now and for real this time. A true loner, without Holly.

Tears were flowing from his eyes, because he knew deep down in his heart that Holly was gone and she was never coming back. That this girl had done something to her and taken her gun and even her clothes. He started to sob out in front of her, not knowing what else he could possibly do; not with his whole world turned upside down like this, in an instant.

The heartbroken teenager, still stuck in the early stages of grief, didn't even have time to feel anger.

Before he could do anything about it, the girl had already pulled the the trigger.

Sending a bullet straight into his heart.

Loner: John Lemmon, Deceased.
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An' I don't really care if you think I'm strange; I ain't gunna change.
[ *  * ]
Some blood had landed on Odile’s wrist. She bent over, used the corner of the dead boy’s shirt to wipe it off. There was a hole the size of her fist in his chest. Gross.

Odile started to take her clothes back off. No sense in getting’ them all wet too.

“Now into the sea with this cunt.”

***

Hiding this body had been easier. Mostly. Even with three quarters of a torso, Holly’s boyfriend had been much heavier than her. He was tall, or had been; six feet at least. Odile had struggled to drag him, almost stumbled over a couple of times.

Still, she’d felt better about it. Holly’s death had been useful, but unnecessary. With this kid, it had been kill or be kill. Probably.

The problem was, with two kills, that logic was becoming more and more tenuous. Even assuming that they both had intended to kill her, which was an assumption that Odile was feeling less and less safe in making, she’d still killed two of them. The exchange of two possibly innocent lives for the life of one double-murderess did not seem like a fair deal.

Of course, that was a massively over simplified way of looking at things. Odile wouldn’t usually have been inclined toward a more complex analysis, but there were emotions welling up insider her that were making it uncomfortably clear that confronting them was the alternative, and that was not something that Odile wanted to do.

For starters, they were both basically dead already. There’d been unexpected SOTF winners in the past, but Odile was fairly sure that a lith’py bitch and blubbering idiot hadn’t been among them. Sure, they’d said they’d try for an escape attempt, but what were the chances of that succeeding? Odile supposed she could make her guilt conditional; put off feeling bad unless an escape actually happened? Though who was to say that Holly and deadboy would’ve been a part of such? And if one didn’t happen, who was to say that it wouldn’t’ve, had Odile not got her murder on?

That whole line of reasoning seemed a bit unclear. Odile was all for ambiguity, but the confusion she caused was subtle, elegant; tiptoeing borderlines, making people guess on which side she stood. There was nothing elegant about these thoughts: they were a diversion, and an obvious one at that.

Plus, all these ideas only applied if Odile had killed for survival. Sure, killing had helped her survive, and it had served as a useful justification, but she knew it wasn’t the truth. Her purpose was to entertain, and she’d killed to fulfil that purpose. Not directly, of course; the kills were not supposed to be enjoyable to watch in themselves, though Odile was sure that they had been. Rather, she had killed because that had been what was needed to allow her to keep entertaining.

Two lives for one? Bad deal.

Two lives for the entertainment millions? Sure, why not?

Society was fine with kids dying for their edification; shit, their favourite show was based around it. Odile wasn’t a fan, but she’d seen the blogs; her kinda behaviour wasn’t vilified or condemned, it was fucking praised. There were holdouts of course, religious nuts and moralists who thought the whole thing should be banned, but for the most part, people seemed to be pretty much on board with what Odile’d done.

She was willing to give her life for entertainment, it was only fair that others do the same. They weren’t willing to? That was selfish, but it wasn’t a problem.

Odile was more than happy to help.

***

The boy’s bag had been almost empty. Presumably they’d been his grenades that she’d relieved Holly of. Odile took a pair of velvet hotpants which she put on, and after some thought, the boy’s wallet. There was fuck all in it; about eight dollars, a condom, a coupon for two-movies-for-the-price-of-one and a photo of him and Holly. Not even a license to give her his name.

Odile buried the wallet. She kept the picture. The kids’ sacrifice to public amusement would not be forgotten.

Her bag was heavy now. It’d slow her down, but Odile didn’t want to throw away food that she might need later.

It was time to get moving.

((Odile Jones continued in Peers))
...Hai
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