Chapter 4.9- Blood-Covered Hands

28 Apr

Sorry, life got busy!! Let’s return to Rylo, who is now living in a group where none of them actually give a shit about each other. They’re just together for survival, and Rylo likes survival.

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While Rylo still hunts his own small game, hunting big game is a lot easier. Usually the others will herd a panicked deer into an area where Rylo sits waiting with his crossbow. He doesn’t mind sharing kills this big, as it’s too much meat for him alone. When he kills small game on his own, or picks fruit, there are no expectations of sharing.

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There are pretty much no expectations at all in this group. People come and disappear. Sometimes they die, or break off into their own groups, and Rylo hardly ever has to even get familiar with a face, let alone know someone’s name.

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Fights are common, and the group has a mutual understanding that your fight is your business.

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Sometimes the fights can get pretty nasty, but noone ever cares to intervene no matter how bloody and ruthless the altercation. One night, Rylo almost had to get into one of those fights himself.

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They were sleeping in an old creaky garage. For a while Rylo had been suspicious of a guy named Randall who had been eyeing his crossbow with a little too much admiration. His suspicions were confirmed when he heard soft footsteps coming towards him.

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Rylo leaped out of his sleeping furs to stand over his crossbow in one fluid motion. Wordlessly he balled his fists and hunched his shoulders, ready to defend his property. Randall gave him the same look of a challenging animal, and then backed off into the darkness. Rylo had won this round, but he slept with his crossbow against his chest after that.

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Overall it’s not a happy life with this group, but it’s life. There’s no smiling or laughing or joking, and that seems to suit everyone just fine.

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Sometimes they sleep in buildings that are still sturdy enough, and sometimes they find a protected place in the open air. Once they’ve found a sleeping spot, it’s an unspoken rule that they sleep as far away from each other as possible.

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Rylo quickly learns of another unspoken rule. Sometimes, someone in the group gets hurt or sick. Sometimes they just give up and don’t get up one morning.

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When that happens, the group moves on. It’s none of their business who can and can’t keep surviving.

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Over the next winter and spring, Randall starts to get bolder. After months of shooting dark glances Rylo’s way and slamming into his shoulder as they pass, it all peaks one early summer evening. The group is roasting a recently killed deer on the fire. Feeling a call of nature coming on, Rylo goes behind a house to answer it. When he comes back, Randall is looking agitated and blocks his way back to the fire.

Rylo: Let me go, Randall.

Rylo tries to pass, but every time he does Randall cuts him off and steps in even closer.

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Randall: You and me, right now.

The group around the fire is entirely disinterested, as scraps like this are common. Rylo knows this fight is all his, and is losing patience.

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Rylo: I don’t want to fight you, Randall! Fucking let me through!

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Randall: I don’t think so, you little punk! That crossbow’s either mine or yours, and we’re gonna decide whose it is before the sun goes down.

Rylo: Fuck that, I-

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But Randall loses interest in words, and delivers a heavy punch straight to Rylo’s jaw. All Rylo’s hesitation disappears with that punch, and he hardly finishes recoiling before he springs forward, retaliating with all the viciousness of a kid who grew up in the Madhouse.

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Rylo grabs Randall by his clothes and savagely forces him to the ground. He doesn’t waste any punches on Randall’s face, instead sending a barrage of blows to his ribs and belly.

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Randall lands hard on his back, and scrambles weakly away from the onslaught of kicks and stomps raining from above.

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From the fire, the group can hear the sounds of weak protests slowly abate, to be replaced with animalistic grunts and the crack of bone.

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Slowly Rylo returns to himself. No longer does it feel like he’s fighting Randall, but more like he’s uselessly pounding something lifeless and still. He laboriously stands up, panting and trembling.

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Noone at the fire seems particularly interested in the life that was just extinguished next to them, or the shaking victor with blood-covered hands. Rylo takes a reeling step over the body, and rejoins everyone at the fire.

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He tears a strip off the roasted deer and chews. Life carries on.

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The rest of summer flies by with few events of interest. It’s the same eat, sleep, shit, and kill zombies routine as when Rylo’s alone, but with better security when he’s sleeping and less security when he’s awake.

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One morning, Rylo decides to just not get up.

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As the group begins to stir, Rylo lays still. He knows they’ll leave him without a second thought. On the way out, somebody kicks his foot, probably just to see if he’s alive.

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Rylo doesn’t respond, and soon the group is walking out the door.

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Rylo spends the morning laying on the floor, giving the group a long time to put some distance between them.

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Finally he lifts himself off the ground. His body aches from only using a threadbare rug to sleep on, but his mind is all relief.

Rylo had spent a summer, a winter, and most of another summer with these people, but now he just feels done.

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Alone again, Rylo leaves the old building in search of the next place.

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The mid morning sun glistens pink upon the silent water. Rylo gazes at the horizon and sighs in appreciation of his complete solitude, a solitude that never has to end as long as he wills it.

Yayyy murder. I’ll probably post the next chapter fairly soon. There’s like two or three more chapters of character developmenty type stuff, and then things get cool, so I want to get to the asap. Later!

 

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8 Responses to “Chapter 4.9- Blood-Covered Hands”

  1. Purplehamsterz April 29, 2015 at 12:30 am #

    Hi, you may not remember me – I’m Purplehamsterz, who wrote the Rose and Zodie legacies. I haven’t been writing sims stories any more as I’m studying, but I just wanted to let you know that I DO still read them, particularly yours. I love this legacy and have read every single update since it started – thank you for your commitment to such a brilliant story!

    • thronepie April 29, 2015 at 9:24 am #

      I do remember you, and thank you!! And the commitment is totally hard when you’re studying. I’ve been pretty out of the game for the past few weeks due to uni, but now that it’s ended I’m back to writing! I’m really glad to have people along for the journey with me 🙂

  2. notjustabook April 29, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

    For a second there, I thought you’d killed off Rylo. You never know with this legacy 😛 And Rylo did bonk that lady (which means potential for an heir) so you totally could have…

    • thronepie April 29, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

      Haha nice to hear I’m keeping people on their toes!

  3. Niura April 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

    There was a point in the story where i thought Randall will turn into dinner. Wouldn’t have surprised me with these weirdos Rylo was hanging out with.

    • thronepie April 30, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

      No cannibalism this time, just regular old murder 🙂

  4. ixot May 1, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    That must be a terrible line to cross, even during the zombie apocalypse. Seems like a good thing that he left that group, they were really depressing. Hope he finds some people who actually still care about the well-being of their group members, or other humans in general.

    • thronepie May 1, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

      Crossing lines seems to be the general theme of Rylo’s life at this point, doesn’t it?

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