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Cursed are the ones who can't abide.; Open
Topic Started: Sep 12 2017, 09:47 PM (815 Views)
The Homeless Beard
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"Two plus two is four, minus one is three quick maths"
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Hey, Bridgette," Kasumi said in greeting, then frowned as the Wendy talked over her.

"You guys know where Panya is?" she continued at the mention of their classmate, and her frown deepened when the conversation continued.

Kasumi reached for a blade of grass at her side, played with it as the two girls talked, her eyes trained on the red stain of Bridgette's pants. She hesitated, then opened her mouth.

"Um, you have something on your-"

Then, Wendy interrupted, asking about the stain, and Bridgette said it was from her fight.

"Oh, well," Kasumi said, in a small voice. The two continued again as if she hadn't spoken.

If there had been a niggle of doubt surrounding Kasumi's working theory that this all was a fever dream, the fact that the two girls were less ignoring her as seemingly completely forgotten her existence was proof enough.

"So, which one of you is the bad one, then?" Kasumi said, coyly, right before Bridgette fucking tried to stab Wendy.

Kasumi dropped her blade of grass, watching as Bridgette fell into the tar pit, watching as Wendy watched the other girl.

"Um," she said.


"Uh, Wendy?" she asked, as the other girl merrily began to eat dinner and stare at the sinking classmate.

Wendy kept chewing.

"Okay," Kasumi said, in a smaller voice.


Wendy kept throwing garbage around Kasumi in the form of sticks and random leaves and Kasumi wanted it to stop more than anything. Annoyed, she tapped at the pile and was genuinely surprised that it moved, that she felt the feedback from her bat.

"Is that really you, Wendy?"
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Yes," she trailed off, flicking the lighter in her hand as she attempted to set the tarry baton on fire. With only a few more clicks, the stick lit up the evening sky, sparkling like a Morning Glory, as the lighter burnt through the black ooze tip.

"One and only."

Her big, glossy grin illuminated behind the blaze of her baton turned torch. She approached Kasumi, slowly twirling the flames.

To her surprise, the brightness glinted off a speck of familiar metal, flat on the grass. She knelt.

"Huh," she said lifting it up, inspecting it with slight rotation. The gardener was right. This thing really was pretty.

She planted it back into the dirt as she continued on the task at hand.

Daddy had taught her to build a camp-fire using some tinder and twigs, surrounded with rocks, when she was a young girl, out camping with him. She’d been a bit rusty, but ultimately the skill only proved to be complementary, as the pack had already contained a lighter within the first aid kit, for good use. Still, she arranged the collection of sticks and rocks like so, touching the small pile with her torch. New flames rose from the earth.

Looks like the tar was flammable after all. At least in small amounts on wooden sticks. It was good to know.

"Let's get some sleep. It's bed time."

There were no more sounds in the witching hour, aside from the crackles of fire — just the hooting of owls.

For a moment, Wendy’s nearly eternal smile disappeared as she looked onto the dancing embers of their campfire, mesmerization taking ahold of her. It was as if she could see images in the flames, sounds louder than the crackling wood as it burned. More like gunshots, screams, an unrecognizable boy torched as the fire engulfed him.

Then a flash. Wendy could see the flames rise from the contained campfire, saw them slither up her arms, roasting them into charcoal. She saw them work their way up to her braided pigtails, sizzling them up, reducing them to ash. The image of herself, burned into her vision, her charred remains collapsing into a heap onto the smoldering floor.

She continued to stare for a while.


“You okay?” Wendy spoke to the still jutting legs that hadn’t quite sunken yet. A fresh new tar baton in hand. It surely hadn't taken this long last time, did it. Perhaps she was still alive?

"See Vincent down there?"


The skies sparkled in the clear night. Laying here on the ground like this, next to Kasumi was pleasant, almost like stargazing. She arched her left knee up, crossed her right ankle over it, her arms crossed in back and under head. She sighed in delight and drifted to sleep.


Sometime during the latest part of night, the legs had finally sunken, no longer were they there, leaving only Bridgette's black Doc Martens boots, floating at the surface.

The gardener had become the fertilizer.

Sometime during the initial breaths of morning, when the dark remained, mixing a slight blue hue before the earliest hours; a carnation had been placed upon the grimy earth just before the boots. A pretty knife, taking its place within the handbag.

Then came the dawn, with it a whisper and a promise of help and return, careful not to disturb. Aside from shattered knees, a shattered globe and a shattered girl still clutching her carved and personalized totem - Only the campfire remains, remained.

There were other fish in the sea.

[[Wendy Fischer Continued To: I'm Looking For a Place to Start, But Everything Feels So Different Now.]]
Second Chances Version 2 Characters:
B14: Kyran Dean | Alive - bandaged cheek with diagonal scar, bloody nose | Whatever (Catchphrase) in: Hero? But I'm a Kid Like Everyone Else | AK-47
G29: Wendy Fischer | Alive | Pantsless in: Carp Diem | Frozen 25lb Carp with no head (Mr. Dolph)

Sotf-TV Season 65 Flagship:
Gold Team Member #4 (SDA Male): Shawn Morrison | One with the Universe | Being Real in: Oracular Spectacular | Brian Peter George St. John Le Baptiste De La Salle Eno, The Deceased Boa Constrictor.

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The Homeless Beard
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"Two plus two is four, minus one is three quick maths"
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
When Kasumi awoke, the visions had left her again, the Wendy that had insisted she was real fading with the night. The announcements blared to life, and Kasumi listened to them over breakfast, pulling out a slice of bread and ripping the crust off, eating it slowly, pushing it into her mouth and chewing. She drowned the bread with water, endured the feeling of soggy wheat on the roof of her mouth, swallowed with difficulty.

The man stopped speaking, and Kasumi only listened for words rhyming with Dance, names that held sway over her and were more important than her current predicament. None jumped to mind, and so she relaxed, her shoulders shrugging around the tension. Her head felt foggy, her brain throbbing as though something important was beyond the veil, if only she could see it.

She managed to shift herself - with lots of wincing, lots of low sounds of pain - away from the tar pits and the meager fire pile that Wendy had assembled, allowing the toe of her shoe to kick it and confirm it was real.

Vincent and Bridgette she thought to herself, frowning. The man had mentioned them, mentioned they were dead.

She didn’t know what to do with that.


Bits of grass lay at Kasumi’s feet as she plucked them, one after another, brought them to her lips to blow on, fold, meddle with. When she’d tried to use some of them, the taste of tar had permeated their roots, and she’d had to grab the Bible Thumper, drag herself towards a fresh spot to pluck and sample.

The fat ones made lower sounds, she’d found, and the thinner ones made a higher, trilling sound that pleased her ear. She weaved some in her hair, sticking them above her ear so that the green stood out in a stark contrast to the jet black streak that hung loose around her now that she’d freed her hair from the tight ponytail she favored. Each reed that worked well, that she solved, she stuck in little mounds of dirt that she arranged from low sound to high sound, a proud green flag stuck above all the rest, waving slightly whenever a breeze found its way in between the tar pit’s bubbles.

Kasumi hummed tunelessly as she worked, a habit she’d picked up on the range, too. Line up the shot on a wooden dummy, pull the trigger, leave, all while humming a rhythm more than a tune, some choice of chorus that her church had developed, some medley of Christian songs with lyrics that were all about turning it over to God and hoping He’d steer them to salvation, that He’d light the way.

He is the way, the truth, and the light, we live by faith and not by sight for you, give it all for you.

Eight mounds of dirt, eight little mountains with pretty green flags reaching skyward.

Kasumi tossed the one she was working on, wiping at her lower lip. Her hand came away stained black - the earth soaked with the same tar in those pits.

She leaned back on the heels of her palms, looked up at a cloud. One of them looked like a hoodie, tinged slightly yellow.


God spoke to her some time later - Kasumi wasn’t sure how much later. Five more mounds of grass later, if that was a measure of time she could recognize, now. She’d started doubling up blades that were the same sound as other blades, so that when she held both to her lips, they created a chord instead of just one note.

God spoke to her in the method of song lyrics, songs that had invaded her thoughts of late. The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed, and Jesus, you’re my superhero. Songs for children, songs for adults who drank too much and neglected their kids, songs for true believers and people who wanted to make a difference.

God told her, through these songs, that she was a sinner for what she’d done, for how she’d reacted to the game. God told her that K.K. was bad, yes, but charging at her with a bat filled with His word was not the proper way of handling bad. She’d been raised better, and calling the same bat filled with His word a derivative nickname like Bible Thumper was blasphemous, disrespectful.

She wanted to explain to God that things were different, now. She needed comfort, hadn’t she? She hadn’t created the weapon in God’s name, she’d done it on impulse, because she’d needed it.

Then, God bestowed upon her a memory of a gun misfiring, how the lever action had bruised her hand when she’d tried to un-jam it, how Lance had come over and helped her. How she’d been so grateful to him, how competent his hands had been. That maybe-

More sin, she understood. She understood.

Two more grass mounds went by. God didn’t speak again.

((Kasumi White, elsewhere))
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