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Walden; Open
Topic Started: May 5 2013, 05:30 PM (658 Views)
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((Louisa Bloom continued from What the Water Gave Me))

Even in the rain, the lake still had a sense of beauty to it. The melancholia of the scene felt largely appropriate to Louisa. She'd been in the valley for three days, and the situation wasn't getting any better. It was as if the world around her was dying. She sighed and approached the lake.

Well, I guess this is a good landmark as any. I can probably patrol this area and spot anyone who might be dangerous.

Louisa noticed that there seemed to be a boat house on the other side of the lake. It provided shelter, but part of her was worried that it also meant she could find anyone else in there.

I might as well take the risk. What else do I have to lose at this point?

Louisa began to walk around the edge of the lake. She was sure there was something within the shack worth investigating.
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((Frank Callahan continued from Whatever Happened to the American Dream))

There hadn't been much in the way of furniture where Frank had decided to rest. The boat house had a table, probably for fishing implements or whatever, and some old, rotting chairs that he was certain would give under his weight. So he contented himself to sit.

He had to admit, the peace was welcome. He didn't like being alone, not by any means, but the change was something he could enjoy, at least for a little bit. He sat facing the front door of the shack, rifle across his knees for easy access as he reflected.

He may have been hurt. He may have having a tough time since the town. But he could definitively say he felt like his purpose had been reconfirmed. Having a purpose was nearly therapeutic.

Still, being alone with his thoughts allowed those thoughts to drift. He had to fight to keep them from drifting toward unpleasant ones.

He pulled a piece of bread from his bag, and started munching. The act of eating kept him occupied. He kept his eyes on the door as he worked the morsels in his jaw.



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Louisa was finally close enough to the shack to see that it was a boat house. In another time, this was probably a prime spot for the residents of the valley to go fishing or rowing. The sort of location Thoreau would write about. Only now, it was a derelict that only raised questions Louisa had never pondered. Had people really lived in the valley? Were all the landmarks set up by the Program heads? If so, how did they make them look so aged?

Ugh, never mind. Shelter. Shelter is the focus right now. Still, it might be a good idea to try and check on whether or not someone could be in the buildings.

Louisa scanned the area around her. She was facing the door of one of the shacks. There were some other sides she could hide around in case there was anyone inside. If someone was inside, she'd have to make sure that she could see if they were someone reliable or dangerous.

Still, the forest was somewhat close by. She could always take shelter in the bushes or behind a tree.

God, your way of thinking is pretty bizarre. Then again, you do want to make sure you can take the boat house without any conflict. Okay, let's try this.

Louisa ran over to a nearby bush and crouched low. She felt around the ground and soon found her hand on top of a reasonably sized rock. Louisa kept her position and held her arm back.

Okay. Time to pray you can actually throw something and hit your target.

Louisa chucked the rock at the shack. As soon as it left her hand, she threw herself to the floor. She was pretty sure she heard it hit the wall she was aiming at. She probably didn't hit the door, but it was hopefully loud enough to force someone to investigate. She tried to peer through the bushes and check if anyone would come out.

Please be empty. Please be empty.
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There was a thump to the right of the door that Frank had been watching. He stared at the wall, as if that would reveal the thrower. He sighed. And here he was, having a good, relaxing time. He wished there was a fucking window facing that side of the house.

Frank pushed off of the wall that he was leaning against and headed for the door. He damn sure didn't like the idea of going out to look. He toyed with the idea of firing a round through the door, to either drop who was fucking around outside or at least get them to go away.

He went the conservative approach. He took one hand off the rifle and turned the knob, then pushed the door open with the barrel of the gun, slowly. When it was fully open, he stepped out and cut off at an angle to his right, clearing the right and then turning on the left. He didn't know if that was the proper way to clear a doorway, but he figured he would have wanted to see everything on a football field too. Had to be somewhat applicable.

He saw no one, and he huffed, frustrated. He shook his head, and re-entered the shack. This time he took a set off to the left of the door, so he was in position to watch whoever might have come through.

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Louisa stared at the house. She didn't see any response, so she figured it might have been empty after all. Still, it couldn't hurt to wait a little longer, just in case.

That's when Louisa saw the door slowly open, and a gun barrel emerge from behind it. Louisa covered her mouth. Stepping out, she could slightly make out a figure. Frank Callahan. She remembered him very well. Patriot High football player and former essay partner. The guy who thought George Washington's military career was more important than his time as President. Presently, not someone she really wanted to be around.

Louisa watched as he scanned the area. She knew that if he walked over, she was probably dead. He had killed already, if she recalled correctly. She might have thrown a rock at the wrong house.

Fortunately, Frank went back inside the shack. Louisa sighed.

Okay, I definitely can't stay in this area. I just need to go somewhere else. Maybe I can find a cave or a hole under a tree or something.

Louisa slowly got up and began to make her way out from behind the bush. She made sure to keep the Beretta in her hand as she stepped over the bush. However, as she did, she found herself struggling. The end of her dress got caught on the bush. She tried to wrestle free from the bush, however, all that did was cause her to lose balance.

Louisa let out a loud shriek as she fell to the ground, landing on her side. The Beretta fell to her side as she quickly turned to the shack.

Please tell me he didn't hear that.
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Frank did, in fact, hear that. He almost smiled as he got back up and headed back out of the shack. He'd see who it was, then go from there. It was a girl. The voice was vaguely familiar, and he wondered who'd be finding.

He scanned the area, and sure enough, there was a girl in a long skirt sprawled out on the ground. A gun was a short distance away from here.

Frank covered her with the rifle and started walking over, slowly and deliberately.

"You may have just made the last mistake of your life." He got closer, then realized that he just might have known this girl. He started skimming his memory, and a name and a time period that felt so long ago came up.

"Lisa?" Was that right? Sounded right.

In any case, ball was in her court.
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Louisa saw Frank walk out of the shack. She froze in place and held her breath. He was right. She probably just forfeited her life because she didn't wear pants to Announcement Day. Louisa stared at Frank and slowly raised her hands up.

"Louisa. You were pretty close and you didn't call me 'Ginger,' so I commend you for that."

Louisa's eyes quickly darted to the Beretta. There was no way she'd be able to grab it without Frank shooting her. She was sure this was the exact situation Brian was in earlier. There was no way she could move without giving him cause. Still, she had her mouth and her mind, so she was sure she could probably think of something to prolong her life.

"Frank, if this is really the end, are you willing to give final requests?"
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Frank raised an eyebrow at the question. He hadn't even been sure if he was going to kill her yet. She'd done her part in that little essay thing. Shut up and got out of the way, and they'd managed to get a decent grade. He could've let her go and let one of their other fine classmates take care of her.

Still, this song-and-dance was a welcome distraction from his thoughts.

"I suppose there's no harm in it. If you would do me a favor and slide that weapon over to me, I'll even take dictation, as one American citizen to another." He said. He kept the barrel on her prostrate form.
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Louisa adjusted her position so she was now sitting on her knees. Frank was willing to hear her out, and wanted her to pass the gun over to him.

"Well..."

Louisa's eyes darted back to the Beretta, then to Frank. Finally, an idea popped in her head.

This is insane, but let me try it.

"...that might be an issue, because that is part of the request."

Louisa brushed her hair out of her face.

"Frank, if it's alright with you, I'd like the chance to earn my survival. If you're going to kill me, let's at least be on even terms. It can be a duel or a fistfight, but let me at least try to not die in such a pitiful state. Let me die fighting."

Louisa swallowed. She couldn't believe she requested something like that, but she didn't have to kill him. She just needed to find a way to get away from him. She had already killed once, and if she was going to kill again, she needed to have the strength to do it. She just hoped she didn't regret this choice.
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Oh?

Interesting.

The girl wanted a chance to fight for her life. To earn some shred of self-respect through means of martial ability?

He tossed his head back and gave a bitter laugh before returning his attention to her.

"A duel? Pistols at dawn, ten paces, turn and fire?" He moved closer, smiling, gun still trained on her.

"Or a fistfight? Man to-" He coughed, "Man, two fine American soldiers committed to dying for their country?"

He stopped about three feet from Louisa.

"I have to admit, I like your style." He squatted on his haunches so he was eye level with Louisa.

"When I had to kill Angel, I did it with some trepidation. He was a dirty goddamn spic, but he was a dirty goddamn spic who fought for what he thought was right." There was a maddened gleam in Frank's eyes as he talked.

"You don't get much more American than that. You remember. Remember that paper we wrote? Washington helped lead our country to victory for that very reason."

Frank licked his lips. "Before I offer you such a chance, tell me. What do you believe is worth fighting for?"
Edited by outfoxd, May 8 2013, 03:52 PM.
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Louisa remained still as Frank reacted to her request. It looked like she was right in requesting a fight with Frank, even if he addressed it with a tone of mockery. At the very least, it would give her the chance to talk to him and maybe haggle the conditions.

Frank got on Louisa's level and began to discuss how he killed Angel. Louisa found herself staring into Frank's eyes as he talked about killing the boy. Part of her was put off by his usage of slurs towards Angel's race, but it sounded like he did find respect towards the boy.

Frank then asked what Louisa wanted to fight for. Louisa closed her eyes and slowed her breathing down. She then spoke.

"I'm fighting... because I need to survive," she said. "That might sound like a weak excuse, but my time here has been rough. I've lost my best friends from home and several good allies I made here. I've lost control of my temper and my morals, and I finally broke them completely by killing someone."

"I don't know what happens if I win, but I need to make amends and spend the rest of my life showing that what happened in this valley wasn't a waste. I need to find a way to become whole again."

Louisa then looked at the ground.

"Frank, I don't know why you're fighting, but do you have people to fight for? Do you know why you want to survive this game?"
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Frank smirked as the girl cited survival as her first priority. Of course. And she was right, it was weak. He almost shot her then and there.

Then she kept talking. The words dulled some of that gleam in his eyes. He clenched his jaw. Something seemed to break, from the look on his face.

"I don't need to survive. That's not important."

He stood up and started to back away.

"I think you need to leave." He said. "Just get your shit and go."

He let his finger outside of the trigger guard, lowered the barrel to the ground.

"Next time I see you, I'm going to kill you. I suggest you do your country proud in the meantime."

He gestured with his gun at Louisa's fallen pistol.
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Louisa could only sit in silence. He was going to let her go. He really wasn't go to kill her. Did she touch a nerve? She probably did, seeing as he still threatened to kill her if he ran into her again.

You know what, I'll take it. There's always a chance I won't see him again.

Louisa leaned over and grabbed her Beretta. She quickly stood up and brushed some of the dirt off her knees.

"Alright, I hope it doesn't come to that though."

Louisa picked her bag up and began to walk away, keeping her eye on Frank.

"I hope you find a reason to survive."

Louisa turned around and ran into the forest.

Not everyone's going to be like that. I should consider myself fortunate.

((Louisa Bloom continued in The Hecate Sisters))
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Frank watched Louisa go for a time. He toyed with the idea of taking aim and putting a bullet into her spine. But he was good to his word. He'd kill her later. Not now.

He went back to the shack and retrieved his bag. He was tired of this fucking lake already.

((Frank Callahan continued in Welcome to the New Age))
Edited by outfoxd, May 9 2013, 04:24 AM.
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