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The first and last thing you heard from me was a plea for help.

It wasn't anything dramatic, not really, or anything special. Someone stole my clothes from the bathroom counter. I couldn't go much of anywhere without some.
And you said you'd find me something, and that was that. You left.

 

I'd scrubbed gingerly, first. I thought there was no way the weird dark marks on my skin were anything but paint, or dirt, or maybe bruises. I didn't remember anything happening that would conclude in those, but it was a house party. I had been drunk all the night before. I hardly even remembered arriving here.
And I can only guess you were the girl I saw passed out on the bed whenever I'd come to, covered in marks, and went straight for the shower.

But like I said to you... whatever this stuff is... it wasn't coming off. By the time we spoke I'd graduated to frantic scrubbing with the washcloth I'd found.
You've been gone a minute or two now.
I think... I think it's getting worse.
I keep scrubbing, but these marks aren't budging. They don't hurt. If anything, I'm starting to think they're going numb.

Oh please, please, please...

I've slid down the wall of the shower to sit curled on myself on the tub floor. The marks have gone a greenish-greyish, they're spreading, oh god they're spreading and I don't want to see this.

How long has it been...
I'm so... tired. I can't find the energy to be worried anymore, and that worries me.
I swear I can hear footsteps. I hope they're yours.
They're so... so distant.
It's so bright in here. The bathroom fluorescents hurt my eyes.

I can't feel my legs or my hands.

 

I shut my eyes slowly and listen, listen, listen. I...

I. Smell blood. I smell blood.
I s... I smell....

 

You.

Chapter Text

There was only a single set of clothes in the whole house that I could find.

I fought off those... well, fuck, I know they could only have been other— people, who'd been people just the night before, but. Well.
I don't want to think about it.
I don't want to think about their flesh drooping and falling from bone and falling to the floor as I strike them with all these empty cans and bottles and, god, fuck, nevermind about the few times I've touched one or two of them, just to push them away...

I take a moment, outside in the back, with the sickly illuminated pool. There's what I don't want to acknowledge as a body floating in it.
I press my back to the house's siding and I shut my eyes and I breathe, in, out, in—
There's noises in the bushes. Breathing that isn't mine.

I pulled away from the wall, went around to the source of the noise in the bushes. And someone else is there. Someone alive, someone not like them.
I don't see him, in fact he tells me off for trying—
But he needs clothes too.

I suck in a breath as I push through a gap in the bushes the set of clothes I'd been hunting down for you. I try to tell myself it's no big deal. Maybe there's something in a drawer I missed.

But I looked in all the drawers in the bedroom and even every room I could after that and I know there's no clothes, no nothing, a guilt gnaws at me, what am I going to tell her? What am I—

By the time I realize the rustling in the bushes has stopped, he's gone. No further comment. I never even saw the guy or anything.
He could've had the decency to stick around and help with... Well. Whatever. I guess it doesn't matter now.

-

By the time I'm upstairs again, I swear that faint smell of rotting is back.
And then I see you.

You're dripping wet, holding together better than the others, for just a moment I wonder if I'm mistaken because you managed to do up a towel around your hair- but no. No.
It isn't a mistake, and your glazed eyes lock onto my movements as I reach for another empty bottle.
It's.
Just.
Like I did with the others.

I only talked to you once, through a glass shower door.
It shouldn't be a big deal.
It isn't anything dramatic. It wasn't anything special.

So why does it hurt to realize I couldn't even do one thing for you?

 

I take a moment in the hall when you're gone. I don't cry.
I light one of the cigs I found lying around the house. I take a long, slow drag. I breathe out.
I move on.

The last thing on my mind now is an unanswered plea for help.