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 New Breaths [closed; solo]

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Jay
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PostSubject: New Breaths [closed; solo]   Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:21 pm

He'd awoken with a copper taste in his mouth. That was the thing about death. In the blurry revival of his heart, when the air began to shock his tired lungs once more and when a violent cough threatened to shatter his ribcage, all he could notice was the metallic pang in his mouth. It was so simple, death. You didn't know you were dead until you lived again, and the only thing abnormal as he sat there was the taste it exuded on a mouth never expected to taste again. "He's alive." The murmurs spread through the room like butterflies, fluttering across the clouded faces in happy giggles, little realizations, small and rapid, white-coated figures pouring into the room like it was an aquarium tank. "He's alive."

"It's a miracle!"

Someone had died.

In the moments where he was nothing, there was a fuzzy bit of clarity where he was something, where another was something, where a million figures marched themselves through a shady valley forever hung with the blackish haze of foggy twilight. It was so hard to see, to squint, without eyes. But he saw her. Etched in a faceless figure, sitting there on the cold, grayblack ground, while everyone around her walked forward, looking up at him, saying nothing. He remembered seeing her. He knew her, he loved her. But he left her with the cruel ambivalence of a person who no longer had a heart.

He saved himself. It was no miracle. He found the ethereal strength to bring himself back to the world, mercilessly, evilly, leaving everyone else behind. The only thing he consoled himself in was that there was no god to anger by this. All those people marched nowhere, into the distant abyss. He could not think of a god who would take anyone to a place like that.

A news reporter came. They said that the longest time someone had been clinically dead and revived was 17 hours. He had been dead for almost 2 days. Flurries of questions came pouring over him, asking how it felt, why he thought he survived. Preachers came asking him what heaven was like, for help with their sermons, with assurance to the people that God was good and great and there. But his stomach ached with a rotten effort of revival, slurging through its own deadened cells as his body tried rapidly to replace them, and along with this came the brisk feeling of contempt. He hated these people. He stopped admitting them, and instead withdrew to himself, sitting in that hospital bed. Through rehabilitation his mind flashed to when he was dead, the brief seconds that in actuality were hours, a time long enough to put him in a morgue, long enough for his mom to begin funeral arrangements. They were mere lightning in his head. He saw the girl, the army of the faceless dead, the haze that stuck to his vision like tar.

Who was that girl waiting for? Was she waiting for him?

Was she still waiting as he sat there?

He stayed in that hospital for 2 months. Each person that came to him, each face that brightened at his bedside, was eclipsed by the person in his mind without a face, that girl.  He left her, he concluded. He was a bad person. He didn't want to leave anyone ever again.

Logan flicked on the light. The room caught up with it, a momentary dark followed by the buzz of old bulbs, flashes spreading across the ceiling in patches. The infirmary was empty, the light from sunrise starting to announce itself in painted pools of violet. Cicadas buzzed angrily outside the windows, crawling eagerly through the trees, shouting for summer to endure. Even cicadas feared death, Logan thought with a tired sigh, putting his bag on his old desk chair, looking through the dusty items of an area unkempt. "Come back soon, Logan," read a paper, strewn with ribbon and long spent streamers. It was like his own little world, undisturbed and ignored for months. He imagined it just becoming a daily part of the area, just a place people passed and paid no heed to. Patients stopped asking its story, the allure of its haunting cheerfulness having left. He was already dead to these people. They already accepted he was gone.

How empty was that statement? Come back soon, Logan. It was a lie, a bitter trick on both him and themselves. He died. They knew he was going to die. They accepted he was going to die. The name Logan Welsh was scratched from the school census, was taken off the names of infirmary staff, was wiped from the minds of every person he'd encountered through the short time he was at the academy. Now all that was left was the desk, the roadside memorial, the teddy bear caked with mud and rings of water slouched pathetically on its side. He took the paper and ripped it up. He threw the streamers in the garbage.

The infirmary was filled with closed curtains, a lonely feeling that someone was watching him, someone was there.

Someone was constantly calling his name.

He breathed new breaths, one of a million, and sat down at his desk, ready for the night shift.

ooc;; in 1918, Trotsky declared that Russia was leaving World War I. Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shot down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day. A Bolshevik firing squad at Ekaterinburg, Siberia, executed Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family.

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PostSubject: Re: New Breaths [closed; solo]   Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:51 am

Someone had died.

Kaya Yakone stared at the body of the dead girl. The clock ticked with a metronomic murmur, the lights buzzing their ancient, deathly hum. She put her chin in her arms, resting her head on the nightstand and watching the dead girl sleep her eternal sleep. Kaya had seen dead people before, but never so intact, never so peaceful.

A ring sounded in the front of the infirmary. Kaya perked up, gusting a dozen funeral planning business cards onto the floor. What time was it? 4? 5? The sun was threatening the darkness outside the window already, the night slipping away. It would be the first day the girl wouldn't see since her birth. What a weird thought that was, the world's light going by in a whisper without a single care that one of its passengers died. The world went on. What a weird thought it was, to be dead, unable to perceive the daytime, yet having it still go by without your eyes to see it. The pale corpse of the girl looked up in melancholy. Kaya smiled sadly at it in return, and turned toward the front room.

The curtain opened suddenly. Logan gave a start and looked over to find a wide eyed, owl-like girl. She clung to the curtain with small, pale fingers, gripping it and looking out at him.

She said nothing at first. Logan cleared his throat.

"Do you work here?" he asked.

"Yes," she responded in a small, breathy voice. She distached herself from the curtain but continued that curious, tight-lipped stare.

"I used to work here too," remarked the boy with a rigid smile. "I'm Logan."

The girl's hesitations seemed to wash away like the stars from the sky. She smiled, massaging one of her braids. "Yes, I've heard of you," she said.

"Oh?"

"Yeah, Miss L discusses you sometimes."

"And who is that? My secret admirer?"

"Kayla. My name is Kaya, her name is likely to mine but with an L. I'm learning to read, I find it...cool," she looked up, almost for approval, and when Logan said nothing, she continued. "Our names sound very different, but look so much the same. So I call her Miss L, it sticks out to me."


Logan leaned forward in the chair, its flexible frame moving with him. He reached out a hand. "Well, nice to meet you, Kaya," he said. "I'm glad Miss L found a friend."

Kaya looked at it for a long time, still residing in the dark area behind the curtain. However, after looking up to his face, her pale face heart-shaped in the glaze of the faraway light, she stepped forward and revealed it wholly, taking his hand.

"Nice to meet you." How she repeated it sounded foreign.

A shadow passed by the windows, a flick of movement like a honeybee across a pasture. Students were beginning to rise. Logan looked over his shoulder for a brief moment, unzipping his coat. "Why are you here so late?" he asked.

"I'm supposed to be watching a dead girl."

Silence bathed the infirmary. The shadows overtook them completely as a band of clouds passed the rising sun. Logan's lips tightened and he looked at the small girl for any sign of a joke, or any sign of more information. She said nothing else. She too seemed to be waiting for him to speak, her owl eyes observing him calmly.

"Someone died?" Logan asked, voice cracking at the silence of the words.

"Yes. A girl."

"Who?"

"Who, I don't know." She gave breathy cough. "A girl."

The blood through Logan's veins were fireworks. It burst with each breath he took, exploding in spectacular booms that pinnacled at his fingertips. His hands twisted. He rubbed at his wrist.

"How long ago?"

"2 hours."

"How'd it happen?"

"Her boyfriend stabbed her. I do not know where he is now."

"Can I see her?"

"If you are who you say you are--" Kaya smiled again "--you are welcome to."

The girl's movements to the back room were almost skips. She had a saunter to her, a briskness that almost felt like enjoyment; when Logan followed her, he looked over the dark corners of the infirmary's rear, over the ominous lack of patients that hung like a portent. And then, through the door, he saw her.

Madison Morse. He remembered her, from the time she hurt her back. She was a crazy one, amiable but crazy, and Logan almost felt like he knew it was her before he saw her. A bitter relief caught in his throat, however, that it was her. He swallowed, his saliva like lead.

"Isn't she strange?" whispered the girl as they entered the room. It was darker back there, with only one small window that did not yet capture the light of day.

Logan approached her. His footsteps tapped loudly, the stillness of the room disrupted in waves. The aura she gave, the dead girl, shivered. Logan pulled up the chair, one one beside the nightstand, and sat next to her. Kaya stood behind him. The viewing began. The two figures mourned the girl in their silence, in the looks they gave and the thoughts that coursed through their mind. The quiet hung so prevalently, Logan's breathe evaded the air. Kaya's, however, was completely silent.

The viewing ended. Logan touched the dead girl's arm.

"I'm going to save her," he announced.

"All right," whispered Kaya.

Logan stood, running his hand up the girl's arm. She was cold, almost powdery like snow. He probed for a place, unsure where to begin. He remembered hearing about the stab, catching the blossom of blood that came through the pajama shirt. The boy lifted it. The stab wound was crusted over with the time, blackened and deep.

"Do you need me?" Kaya asked smally.

"No," said Logan. He placed two fingers on the area of the wound. "I think I've got this."

Violently, he dug his fingers in. The body seemed to flinch. Kaya watched wordlessly, observantly, and left. The loud tapping of her feet let him know that she left.

Logan breathed. New breaths sparked through him, filling his newly-acquainted lungs, passing through his bloodstream and through his fingers. He began to feel a spark through him, a green light eminating through the dark room. It splashed his face, the white face of the dead girl.

He would save her. She didn't even seem so dead in the first place.

The wound seemed to hum. A cacophony of sounds entered the dreary space, the murmurs of flesh and the taps of Kaya's feet in the other room, the breaths of Logan as he transferred his breath into Madison. Madison, Madison. She was becoming real again. She lurched, her fingers twitched under the green glow he exuded. Logan coughed. Madison coughed. The dead girl breathed in unison with him, her chest moving when his chest moved. He opened his mouth and she opened her mouth. Logan placed his hand on his wrist, slowly pulling it from the wound, adding to the green aura he gave. Her breathing became more apparent as the seconds drew by, agonizing seconds, seconds that felt like days, seconds that were days, days that felt like seconds.

He separated his fingers from her. A green energy still connected him to her chest, latching on to her like a beam. The blackened wound turned dark pink to light pink. The dried blood withered in the light he gave off, that and the light of the sun that had begun to pierce orange into the room, opening it to the world, opening the girl to the daylight.

And he stopped.

The green light stopped.

Silence beared down on them.

Logan breathed deeply.

Madison didn't breath at all.

The connection was broken.

The auburn sunlight cawed in announcement of a new morning.

Students laughed outside.

Students passed outside.

The world drew on.

Madison's body lurched upwards, her eyes opening in a start, a wretched start, bulging out to the ceiling as the girl let out a loud scream. Logan fell back in alarm, his chair toppling. The scream echoed her own voice and the voice of an army, the voice of a monster so wicked that seemed to hang over her in the pervasion of the morning light. Logan saw it, he knew he saw it, her wild eyes frantic, her tendril hands clawing to get to Madison, to wrap around her throat and keep the dead dead, the broken broken, the forgotten forgotten. The girl screamed until she couldn't, and it faded into shout, from a shout to murmur, from a murmur to whisper, and then she collapsed once more, her chest heaving and her eyes closing.

And just the tick of the clock sounded in the air. Logan watched the girl from his place on the ground, collapsed upon the fallen chair, watching for movement. If God existed, he just had angered God. If the girl was alive, he had cheated death twice.

Was Madison the one he left behind? Was she the one who waited for him to save her?

The boy stood. Wobbly, he went over to the girl once more, walking across and touching two fingers to her neck.

Logan opened the door. Kaya was leaning against the wall, arms crossed. When he came threw, she unpressed herself from beside the door.

"Is she alive?"

Logan gave a weak smile and nodded. Kaya smiled too.

"I'll alert the Headmaster you're back," she said.

Logan's smile endured as Kaya scampered off. He walked feebly to his chair and sat, almost like he had been standing his entire life. The boy had collapsed, and for a second there he stayed, breathless, looking across the infirmary he had left for months, processing what had happened. He was the best thing to ever happen to humanity. He could perform man's biggest wish.

So why did he feel so hollow? Why did he feel like he did something wrong?

A curtain was closed in the corner of the infirmary. Logan studied it for minutes, panting. What was it hiding? Why couldn't he stop looking at it? When worked up some strength, Logan stood, rubbing his numb fingers and walking across the infirmary, the shadows of students dancing across his face, projected by the now-higher sun. with each step the clock screamed at him. It threatened him, laughed at him. He bounded to the curtain, gripping it tightly, and threw it across.

There lay Jane.

He stared at her a while as the orange light painted his face emotionless, looking over her with an introspective horror, a horror that only existed as lava in his bloodstream.

And silently, he threw the curtain back, hiding her once more.

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