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Psycho Beach Party; Open
Topic Started: Sep 19 2014, 09:40 PM (1,420 Views)
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[ *  *  * ]
Marcus’ tentative smile wavered slightly as Lily rejected his offer of food, but remained firmly in place when Lucia decided to take him up on it.

“Take whatever you like, really, I don’t mind,” he said softly, resisting the urge to put a comforting hand on her shoulder as Norma and Lily continued their conversation. As he looked up to see what they were talking about - having dropped his focus on the pairing to see to Lucia - his heart almost instantaneously plummeted to the bottom of his stomach. They were leaving, just like that, with no fanfare or climactic build-up, Norma’s arm looped with Lily’s as they gave their farewells and began to progress down the beach together.

His mouth contorted slightly as he struggled to find words, struggled to assess the frenzy of emotions rising within him. All he could think about was the last time this had happened, the last time someone had abandoned him, and the pain that’d arisen as a result. Marcus bit his lip and turned away, not wanting to turn around again until the duo had fully departed from eyesight. He wouldn’t do it again. Couldn’t. Not the same mistakes. Never again.

For even without Norma, he still had his mentor with the treacly voice and never-ending words of comfort so much like his father’s.

And Lucia, at least for a little while.

So as Norma and Lily left the remaining pair behind, Marcus did not shout after them, did not beg for them to stay, did not retrieve his scissors and plunge them into their hearts. Instead he just stood, in quiet solitude, as a light breeze whipped his dirtied hair across his face and his heart remained heavy in his chest.

And then, when he was certain it was just the two of them, he pivoted on his heel and gave his full attention to the one person still beside him.

“They’re gone.”

It was stating the obvious, but part of him needed to hear it, needed the words to echo around his ears, just to be sure it was real and not some mirage.

“What do we do now?”
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
It was strange. Lucia had readily accepted Marcus’ offer of food, but now that he was offering up as much as she wanted, she wasn’t sure whether to take it. She still had plenty of food in her own bag, after all. She needed food, true, but if she wanted she could take some of her own stuff. If her bag had gone missing, though, would she immediately take Marcus’ food?

No, probably not. She still didn’t know who this person was, after all. He and the other girl hadn’t given their names. The boy had claimed he had killed before, but how much of that was true? Had he done so, or was that a total lie? And if he had... then for what reason?

All of those questions were temporarily thrown out of the window by Lily and Norma’s sudden departure. One moment, they were standing around the cluster of deck chairs, the next they were walking away, arms linked together, as if this conversation had simply bored them.

“W-wait... hang on...” Lucia stammered at the retreating figures of Norma and Lily. But her words held no conviction, and were soon carried away by the breeze.

Some stupid part of Lucia wanted to tell Norma that she was only wearing sandals, even though she knew the real reason the two girls were leaving.

Was that confirmation that this boy, this soft-spoken, polite boy was a murderer too? Had the strange girl abandoned the sinking ship occupied by two killers for a safer vessel? Lucia turned to look at her new companion, looking for anything that might suggest there was something... off about him.

She knew, after all, that the Lucia on the resort and the Lucia back at home were two different people entirely.

The boy continued to watch Lily and his erstwhile companion leave. His hair was being completely messed up by the wind. Lucia subconsciously adjusted her own, smoothing strands away from her face.

Eventually, the boy turned to face her. He stated the obvious, that the other two were gone. Then, he asked the less obvious. What, exactly, were they supposed to do now?

And once again, Lucia had no idea.

“I... I, uh... I don’t...”

Simple steps first. Easy questions before launching into the tough stuff.

“I’m... I’m sorry, I do not think I, uh... I got your name, did I?”
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[ *  *  * ]
“It’s Marcus. Marcus Redder.”

The implications of Lucia’s name hadn’t truly resonated with him until his own passed through his lips, the distant knowledge that she too had killed only firmly planting itself in the forefront of his mind at that moment. Truthfully, he didn’t exactly know what to feel about that fact. The only other killer he’d encountered in this place was Vahka, and even then it’d been before he’d taken another person’s life. To be standing - alone, as it were - with another killer for the first time since he’d awoken was a strange situation. Should he approach her in a different way than he’d done with everybody else he’d met? Should he ask the ever present question of ‘why?’ that seemed to be on everyone’s lips?

Neither of those options were things Marcus wanted from anybody, yet he’d received them both all the same. And if Lucia didn’t want them either, then he couldn’t be so cruel as to do the same with her. The old lesson that’d been instilled within him in his youth by his parents, ‘treat others how you wish to be treated’, rang even truer now. He needed people to treat him normally, needed them to pretend that he was still the sweet-faced boy from back at Whittree. It was all he had.

Marcus tucked a loose strand of hair behind his ear and took a shaking breath, wondering in which direction to steer their discussion; not wanting it to linger on the reputations and names they’d carved out for themselves. His eyes turned to the gentle waves as they washed against the shore, carrying with them a multitude of debris; dried seaweed and driftwood and the like. It was pretty, even with the current climate and in a situation like this.

“The beach looks lovely today,” he said quietly, wrapping his hoodie around himself to preserve his warmth. He didn’t really know where he was going when he started speaking, but every second he spent doing so was another one he didn’t have to spend on remembering what’d happened, or let their conversation dovetail in that direction. It didn’t matter what they talked about; it could’ve been anything for all he cared, so long as they never stopped.

“What do you think?”
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The boy hadn’t been lying. He was Marcus Redder. He had definitely killed people before.

Lucia couldn’t think of any reason he would be lying about who he was and what benefit that would give him. So here she was, standing with Marcus Redder, killer of three people, with only the wind as company.

On the other side of the coin, here was Marcus Redder, standing all alone with Lucia del Pirlo, killer of two people.

Lucia’s mind was screaming at her to back off and run, run as far away from this boy as possible. He was a killer, after all, a potential player. But, then again, so was she. And there was just something that kept her feet glued to the spot and watching the wind blow Marcus’ hair every which way. There was something about him that didn’t seem right. He just... didn’t seem like the sort of person who would willingly murder another human being. Was she like him, with some sort of rational, no matter how twisted and eventually unfounded, as to why he’d murdered so many people?

It went against everything she’d learnt whilst watching horror films, but Lucia stayed long enough to listen to Marcus speak. Lucia looked away from him and her gaze turned instead to the gently rolling grey waves, the frost covering the entire beach and shimmering as far as the eye could see, the flotsam and jetsam bobbing in the surf, and at the sky, stretching off into eternity.

“Yes... yes, it really does.” Lucia murmured. She stepped forwards again, and reached out to trace her finger in the frost coating one of the umbrellas.

“I lived most of my life in Sicily, and I never had much of a chance to come and visit the beach. This... This is my very first time on one, I think. It... It really is beautiful. I wish I had my c-camera... or my sketchbook...”

Lucia looked at Marcus again. She wasn’t sure why she’d started talking, but now that she had, the words just seemed to come naturally to her.

“I made art, back at home. I painted. I made sketches. I took photographs. I... anything that I saw, I saw some sort of... beauty to it, no matter what that was. A crumpled drinks can, it still has so many points and angles, and I... I just loved making art of all the things I saw.”

Lucia moved her hand away from the umbrella, leaving her initials traced in the frost, and looked back across the ocean. Somewhere out there was Albuquerque. Somewhere out there was Sicily. Somewhere out there was home. She realised she’d begun to cry again.

“But... e-ever since I woke up on the first day here... I have not been able to see that. Just now was the first time for a while that I have been able to see the beauty in anything. I have... I have been so scared all the time... and every day, all I can think about is whether I will live long enough to see the sun rising again, and I... I... I do not care how it happens. I just want this all to be over...”
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[ *  *  * ]
Marcus nodded thoughtfully as Lucia spoke, agreeing with his sentiments about the beach before elaborating upon her hometown and how much she missed it. It was something he could readily empathise with; this place was so alien, so removed from where he’d come from, with nary a trace of nostalgia or comfort to be found. There were his friends, sure, but they weren’t they same people he’d known back in Whittree. He couldn’t expect them to be, honestly. He certainly wasn’t.

“I did art too.” It was one of the things Lucia said that struck a chord with Marcus, her interest in art and how little of its beauty was present in the resort hammering home even more how awful this place was, how much it changed people. “When I was little, we didn’t ever have much chance to go to beaches, but I always loved it when we did. I used to bring a sketchbook with me, and the few moments I wasn’t in the water I’d spend drawing everything I saw around me.”

Tucking a loose strand behind his ear, Marcus gingerly seated himself on the ground, folding his legs underneath his rear as a cushion as the fatigue of the day began to weigh down on him.

“Me too, Lucia,” he said softly, wrapping his arms around himself as his lip began to tremble and his voice quavered. “I wanna see my mama and my papa and my siblings again. I wanna cook for them, I wanna play soccer with my friends and draw beneath the open sky.”

He paused to take a painful breath, fighting back the bitter sting of tears as they threatened to come forth.

“I want to go home. I want to go home so bad.”
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Lucia stayed standing whilst Marcus took his seat and he finished talking. In part, this was due to her already realising her mistake of sitting straight down onto the frost covering of the beach. Her track pants weren’t entirely water resistant and were starting to feel damp, and her feet, protected only by sandals, weren’t faring much better.

It was also taking every ounce of her strength and willpower not to crumple to the floor in a sobbing wreck. Tears were still flowing, no matter how furiously she screwed her eyes shut and blinked rapidly.

This whole thing was a horrible nightmare that only grew worse the longer it went on for. Since she had first woken up, Lucia had been driven by fear, and in turn, blinded by it. People, people that had once been classmates, friends, crushes, enemies, and everything in between, had been simply divided up; there were players, there were allies, and there were people scared of her. That had been it.

But now that Marcus had opened his heart to her, talking about his family and his hobbies and everything he loved, it was impossible to look at things that way anymore. Everyone here had dreams and hopes and aspirations and desires and fears. It was almost certain that no-one, no matter their fate, would be able to keep those the same once the dust had settled.

“Th-this... this is... this is so u-u-unfair...”

Lucia continued looking out to sea for a few moments after speaking, before angling her head to look at Marcus.

“We all... you, m-me, everyone... we all just want to get h-home, to live our lives as normal... but we cannot leave unless we k-... unless we... we k-kill someone... so how on earth can we go back to ‘n-normal l-life’ once we have done that?”

Lucia sniffed. She removed her bag, and gently placed it on the ground besides Marcus, using it as a makeshift seat. There was nothing in there that she needed aside from the food, and it would need to be more than squished to stop her from eating it.

“I do not know whether there is anyone... anyone else on my team still... still al-... still alive. I cannot simply hope that they will... will do what they need for us to leave here alive. B-but I c-c-cannot kill again... I will not kill again! I can’t! N-no matter how much I want to see my mother and papa and Giuseppe and Marcos, and j-just hold them tightly forever and ever... I cannot do it...”

Lucia had given up trying to stem the flow of tears now, as she looked into Marcus’ eyes. Dark brown, yet made up of so many shades and tints, that flickered and changed with every tiny movement. Her father had once said that eyes were the window to the soul, but right now, if they were telling her something, she was missing it entirely.

“Wh-what will they think of me with the blood of t-two people on my hands? What... wh-what do I do now?”
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[ *  *  * ]
Back home, Marcus usually had to resist the urge to hug his friends whenever the chance arose, fighting back his seemingly inherent wish to embrace whomever was close by. Some of his friends were more than eager to reciprocate his touchy-feeliness, whilst others were put off by it. Understandably so – Marcus knew that not everybody appreciated hugs as much as him. And as Lucia’s tears flowed freely and she poured open her own heart to him, the familiar urge arose within him once more.

And this time, he didn’t fight it.

Thankful he didn’t have to move from his position on the ground thanks to Lucia seating herself beside them, Marcus looped his arms around her, gently resting his head upon her shoulder as he did so; no longer worried about fighting back his own tears as they broke a clean trail down his face. He rested there for a moment, willing his shaking breaths to even out once more as he digested what she’d said. He’d never been good with sad people, but even if his words failed him, he could still hope that his hug had been comfort enough.

“You’re not a bad person, Lucia. I know you’re not. Your family loves you, they have to. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. If we hadn’t been tossed into this place, we wouldn’t have done anything like what’s happened, and our families know that. Yours won’t judge you; they’ll judge the people that put us here and they’ll love you just the same. You and I... We’re not bad people. We’re good people, good kids, and we've seen so much suffering. We deserve a chance. A chance to live our lives. So I’ll tell you what you do now.”

Releasing Lucia from his embrace, Marcus pushed himself off the ground and dusted away the sprinkling of damp sand that he’d accumulated about his person, extending his unbandaged hand towards the girl.

“You keep strong, and carry on. It’s what your family would want.”

He’d always used to look for the good in the situation, searched for positivity wherever he could get it. But ever since awakening in this place, it’d been impossible to be like that. Vahka had shattered it to pieces, and when Eden had tried to gather the shards he’d paid her back with a blade in the throat. Since then he’d been free-falling, with the occasional inclement to stop him from hitting the bottom - Angie and Jaxon, his mentor, Norma-Jean... But his allies had left him, and his mentor could only ever be with him for a short while. For now, Marcus felt as though he was plummeting towards rock bottom, hurtled to whatever darkness lay there without a single safety net to soften his fall.

Until Lucia.
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Lucia hadn’t expected Marcus to hug her. Not in the slightest. She was half surprised she didn’t just leap up from her seated position in surprise. Or reacted even worse to the sudden movement from the boy she knew had killed multiple times. She hardly knew him, and had no idea of what he was like under normal circumstances.

And yet Lucia didn’t move, except to lean slightly closer in towards Marcus and rest her head against his own. She was always appreciative of hugs. She’d always receive them from her mother and father when she was younger, and from her siblings when they were younger still. She hadn’t had a boyfriend since leaving Sicily, and none of her friends were of a similarly ‘huggy’ mindset, aside from possibly Lisa, but when it did happen, she always felt slightly safer. Slightly more secure. Slightly more appreciated.

On top of that, she felt like she could trust Marcus. And this was a real feeling of trust, now. She’d trusted Aidan and Laura solely because they had claimed to have a plan, but aside from that, there was no emotional connection between them, nothing that gave them any reason to trust each other besides a shared end goal. Marcus was different. He had killed, and Lucia didn’t know why. Yet despite that, he still seemed like an honest-to-goodness decent person after all that had happened.

Marcus’ little speech served to exemplify this. Lucia sat in silence as he talked, absorbing every word he said. She regretted every single thing she’d done on the resort so far. If she could turn back time and stay her hand, keep her finger of the trigger and keep Austin and Leah alive, she would. But of course, no one could do that.

Did regret at her past actions make her a good person? Was she a good person who’d done terrible things? Lucia had doubted that for so, so long, but Marcus was making her believe it.

She hoped her family truly would believe that as well.

It felt like Marcus let her go far too soon. Lucia would have been happy to just sit there for eternity. But she knew that no good would come of that. That was akin to giving up. And no matter how awful she’d felt, that was the one constant that had stayed with her this entire time; she wasn’t anywhere close to giving up.

Lucia looked up at Marcus, nodding several times before grabbing his hand and pulling herself up. She wiped the sand off of herself with one hand and dabbed at her eyes with the other.

“You... O-of course, yes... you are right. I will not give up now. It... it is so damn hard, but... I have to...”

Lucia sniffled, looking at the gently lapping waves, before looking back to Marcus.

“Thank you... honestly, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, Marcus. I’m so-sorry to have been such a burden...”

Lucia fell silent. She realised her gun was still in her hands, and for what felt like the first time since waking up, she put it down, stowing it in the pocket of her track pants. She didn’t want to use it ever again.

Yet she still couldn’t just throw it away.

“S-so... we keep on going, then? Um... where to now?”
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Lucia was like a waif; even with his lack of arm muscle, it wasn’t at all difficult for Marcus to help hoist her back into a standing position. He found his hand lingering in the air for a moment once she released from his grip, pausing for a second before he returned it to his side as Lucia spoke once more.

“You’re not a burden, Lucia,” he replied, every word dripping with his sincerity. It was the honest truth – they hadn’t even known each other until they’d collided on the beach, but in their short time together he already felt more comfort than he ever had in the resort. It was like Lucia understood him in a manner nobody else had or possibly could, and any degree of comfort he could provide for her in turn wouldn’t be repayment enough. “You’re the opposite, really.”

While Lucia’s first sentence pulled from him an easy truth, her inquiry as to where they should head next brought only a faltering stutter as he struggled to find an answer; eventually settling for

“I’m not sure.”

That wasn’t enough, though. Lucia was depending on him, and he couldn’t merely shrug his shoulders in response to any of her questions, so it was after a moment’s worth of thinking that he asked “Is there anywhere you wanna go?”

As the words left his mouth, an avalanche of memories cascaded towards the forefront of his mind – of the museum, the sports centre, the daycare, and the things that’d happened there.

“Or don’t want to, for that matter,” he added, quietly.
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There she was again. Apologising for things that didn’t need to be apologised for. Lucia didn’t know why that was her natural reaction to... well, anything that ever happened, but it was, and there was little she could do to change that. Maybe if she ever got out of this place, she’d make a start on it. Although if that was still a huge concern for her when all was said and done, then some miracle would have to take place to wipe away everything else eating away at her.

Lucia was a little surprised to hear Marcus say she was the opposite of a burden. She didn’t quite understand what he meant. She had thought that she was the only one whose worries had been alleviated on the beach. After all, she hadn’t actually done anything this whole time, had she? It didn’t exactly matter, though. Marcus’ words only served to strengthen the bond she had felt form between them in such a short space of time.

It struck her that this was now, in the eyes of most people looking in from the outside, a partnership of two previously established killers. Maybe they’d be seen as an even greater threat than before. Yet Lucia still felt safer here than she had previously.

Marcus didn’t have much of an idea as to where to go next. That was fine, though. Lucia didn’t either, after all. There was no grand scheme of escaping anymore, so all they needed to get to was shelter. So the decision was left up to her. Lucia spent a good few seconds umming and erring before remembering she had a map in her bag, quickly digging it out, knowing her face had inevitably tinged red.

“Well... um... we, uh, could...”

There were still quite a good number of places Lucia hadn’t visited yet. There were a few she did recognise, though. Pretty much all of them she wanted to avoid.

“We could go to, uh, the... the theatre, perhaps? If we... if we could, I would like to avoid the, um, the sports area... and the restaurants... but aside from that, I just... want to get out of the cold. I h-have never liked the cold. I have always preferred sunny days...”

Lucia wondered whether she’d ever see one again.
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“Me too,” Marcus began, once again feeling the full force of the area’s frigid chill as Lucia brought it to his attention; though its effect was diminished somewhat by the warmth Lucia’s presence afforded him.

“We barely ever saw cloudy days, back in Whittree,” he continued wistfully, but let his words trail off as he found himself flooded once more with memories and regrets and everything he missed, instead returning his attention to Lucia’s suggestions for their next destination. He couldn’t think of anything better than being out of the cold, back to a shelter which held no bad memories, away from the realities of the game for just awhile longer.

Marcus nodded quietly as he reprocessed Lucia’s thoughts; he honestly had no cares where they travelled next, so long as Lucia was by his side and they never returned to the haunted hallows of the museum or the sports centre or the daycare. He didn’t know what’d happen if he was forced to return there, his mind drawing nothing but blanks whenever the potential scenario entered it, and that notion alone was enough to send another bitter chill rolling down his spine.

“The theatre sounds wonderful,” he replied warmly, taking Lucia’s hand in his own as he offered her a gentle smile. “Let’s go.”

Giving the beach one last look, Marcus breathed out a sigh that was a cocktail of relief and despair; gladness for having found Lucia, and sadness for leaving the closest to touching home he’d been since waking up.

((Marcus Redder continued in FEAR stands for fuck everything and run))
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Lucia used to like clouds. There were so many different types, all of which could form themselves into so many shapes. They could enhance any landscape she drew, in her mind, and add to the detail and beauty she was trying to achieve.

But too much of a good thing could easily make you sick, and there had been almost nothing but clouds in Lucia’s life for the past three or so days. She would do almost anything to see a day of different weather, to stroll through the park with sunlight piercing the boughs of the trees, or to sit by her window in the middle of a storm, listening to the crack of thunder from far away. Maybe someday she’d grow to love cloudy days again.

Everything she was fighting for now was a mix of wishes and ‘maybe somedays’. It was all she really had, but at least she had it. It was more than she’d had before. It was more than others had. Now that she’d found Marcus, all those pipe dreams seemed so much closer to reality now.

Lucia graciously took Marcus’ hand as they made their leave from the beach. It nestled so well into his. It made her feel more at ease. She nodded once as a reply, before she started walking and didn’t look back.

((Lucia del Pirlo continued in FEAR stands for fuck everything and run))
Edited by Pippin, Feb 6 2015, 08:27 PM.
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