Chapter 4.16- Sorta Kinda Child Abusey

2 Aug

Wow! I’m back! So sorry about the unexplained two month absence. I went on a rather long vacation and am now actively trying to become an adult. That means looking for a job and other anxiety inducing things, so real talk: I might not be able to do as much writing as I would like. I still have about 6 posts that are already written so I will continue to post those regularly but the jury’s still out on whether I will be able to regularly churn out a post a week. Probably in the fall when my life settles down I will be able to do that.

Also I’m having this issue where a large amount of my screenshots aren’t loading. It is only a problem for me on chrome, on opera they show up fine. This is hopefully just a me problem, but if it is also a you problem please let me know so I can address it.

Anyways, let’s plunge right back into our story! Last time, Briony got left with a sorta kinda child abusey family, and then Rylo saved her using his super awesome teenager-murdering abilities. Mmkay? Mmkay.

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Rylo and Briony’s escape from the scene at the little hovel leaves them with the screams of a family in their ears, but thankfully with no pursuers. Rylo lets Briony lead, and she tears through the forest and across fields with seemingly no intent to stop. Rylo makes no move to slow her, knowing that it isn’t people she’s running from right now.

Finally her steps slow, and with each impact of her feet against the rocky ground Rylo hears her emit two words that start as a whisper and culminate into a scream, at which point she stops and turns around to face him.

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Briony: …fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you FUCK YOU-

Rylo: Briony, I’m sorry!

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Tears spill over onto her cheeks and she screams on, shaking violently.

Briony: You shouldn’t have left me there! You shouldn’t have!!

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Rylo: I know, I know, I thought it was what you wanted.

Briony: They pushed me into walls and made me eat on the floor and locked me up at night! In a pantry!

Rylo: Okay, okay. We don’t have to do that again. I’m not going to make you leave. I promise.

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Briony glares silently back at him with all her rage seemingly contained in her tightly balled fists and the sobs she struggles to swallow.

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Then, without a word, she turns and stalks off, finally coming to sit a few meters away. Rylo stands still, awaiting another outburst or perhaps an attempt to run away. Instead she remains with her back to him, glowering at the boulders ahead.

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As night begins to fall the air grows cooler, and Rylo builds a fire, periodically glancing over to make sure Briony is still there.

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The sun begins to set and still she sits brooding at the mountains. Wonder who she got that from.

Rylo uses a flaming stick to persuade a family of chipmunks out of their burrow, and soon finds himself roasting kebabs in the waning light.

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He starts picking at his dinner, burning his fingertips on the searing hot meat. A pair of soft footsteps make their way slowly to the fire, and Rylo keeps his eyes cast down onto his food.

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She seems to be trembling, this time not from rage but from the cold. Rylo breaks his cooking stick in the centre and quietly passes her a side. She takes a bite of steaming chipmunk and lets out a long sigh.

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The rest of the night is passed in total silence, and eventually they both fall asleep blanketed only by the heat of the fire. It would be difficult for either of them to sleep on the uneven, rocky surface on any other night, but after the today’s events they’re both so exhausted they don’t give it a thought.

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The next morning Rylo wakes feeling sore but well-rested. He watches Briony as she stands and stretches away the stiffness in her muscles, and he tries to discern some hint as to her mental state. Her eyes are red and puffy from yesterday’s crying, but when she looks back at him it doesn’t seem to be with any leftover anger.

Briony: So… where are we going today?

Rylo: I don’t know. Where should we go?

He stands and kicks out the surviving embers in their fire.

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Briony gives a faint half-smile, and then closes her eyes and spins on the spot for a few seconds. When she opens her eyes again, she’s facing due south. She marches off into this new direction, and after a few moments Rylo falls into step beside her.

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They wander aimlessly through the wild, sometimes with Briony leading and sometimes with Rylo leading. The crisp morning air soothes Briony’s swollen eyes, and the golden tint of early sunlight leaves them both with lifted spirits.

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Poking into every abandoned structure he comes across is just sort of what Rylo does, so Briony takes a break to practice her cartwheels while he checks out this old shed. When you’re like, nine, cartwheels are of the utmost importance. And you just know her mom had to have taught her to cartwheel.

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She executes the perfect double-cartwheel-somersault and glances back to see if Rylo’s done messing around in the shed yet, and sees him flinch back from a zombie emerging around the corner.

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Rylo tries to pull out his knife but the zombie is already too close, and he grabs it’s thrashing wrists in an attempt to keep it off him. He feels the cracking of bone under his fingers, and recoils back from the wildly snapping jaws now aiming at his hands.

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From his left he hears a high voice yelling a ridiculous stream of taunts that in any other situation would make him crack up.

Briony: Hey stupid rotten-face, over here! Come drag your butt full of mouldy meat over this way, come get me! Come eat me with your mouthful of nasty broken grody teeth! I’m a delicious little steak, just for you! That’s it, bring your dirty dead self over this way!

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This new offering catches the zombie’s attention, and it lurches towards Briony who follows up her tirade with a butt shake and some variant of the chicken dance.

It’s essentially this

mixed with this, and it’s just enough for Rylo to sling his crossbow around his back and plant a bolt straight into the zombie’s brain.

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The zombie collapses in front of Briony, and Rylo steps around the corpse.

Rylo: Thanks, that was pretty cool.

Briony: My dance? Yeah, I know.

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Rylo: Hey, have you ever actually killed one yourself?

Briony: I never had to, they were always too zonked out to come after me when I lived with my mom.

Rylo: Well, since you’re living out here now, you should probably learn how to do things out here. Killing zombies, getting food, that kind of stuff.

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Briony: I shall consume your knowledge through telepathic mind melding!

Umm wtf. When she talks to Rylo, her eyes roll back in her head cause he’s that much taller than her. Yikes.

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Rylo: I was thinking experiential learning.

Briony: Yeah, okay, that’s cool too.

And then they get into their 80’s workout gear and put on their training mix to pump them up for the epic training montage that is to follow.

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They start with how to choose a fishing pole and how to weave fishing line out of tree bark. Because they can’t just pull high-quality fishing rods out of their asses or anything.

Briony catches three fish on her first try using fresh gopher entrails as bait.

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With lunch and dinner secured, they then scare all the fish away with stone-skipping lessons.

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As the day wears on they move into swimming lessons. Briony has never been swimming before, having grown up on a hill, but soon develops a strong knack for splashing.

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Her knack for getting splashed back will probably take some time.

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In the days to follow they move into Fire Starting 101, a class that Rylo is more than certified to teach.

Sorry, that joke is probably way too dark considering what happened to Bri’s mom but whatevs.

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He then teaches her to track small animals, and how to build the simple traps to catch them. Briony picks up trap-setting easily, and Rylo thinks back to his early days in the Madhouse teaching himself to make these exact snares. He still remembers the first skinny rat he caught after weeks of trial and error, and the delight he felt at capturing that meager prize. It had been the first thing he’d eaten in days, but he had never gone hungry afterwards.

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One day, their wandering brings them here. The decaying cars propped on their sides seem to form a wall, and Rylo’s curiosity is piqued.

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He and Briony creep towards the structure, finding a person-sized break in the barricade of cars. Through the small passage they see something they hadn’t expected to find, and stand agape.

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Inside the walls, a woman snuggles a child, singing softly to her as a little boy plays by a fire pit. Behind them the stacked cars form some kind of shelter, and have been decorated with numerous potted plants blooming with red and pink flowers.

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The peacefulness of the scene is so unexpected they hardly notice the man looking at them in alarm.

Man: Uh, hello?

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Rylo and Briony are unsure what to say, and the man starts looking back and forth between them as though wondering how two such different looking people could come to be standing here together at his front door. His gaze lingers on Rylo’s weapons and strange fashion choices, and he looks uneasily to Briony.

Man: Uh, are you alright?

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Briony: Yep. Just passing through.

Man: You sure? Who is this man?

Briony: That’s my dad.

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Man: Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize!

The man relaxes and looks warmly at Rylo. Rylo feels a blush creep up his neck and suppresses a half-smile.

Man: Well if you two are hungry you’re welcome to come in. It’s just the four of us and we have more than we need. Our shelter’s not very big but our walls are strong if you’re looking for a safe place for tonight.

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Rylo looks down to Briony and waits with baited breath for her answer to the invitation.

Briony: That’s really generous, but no thanks. We’re doing good. It was nice meeting you!

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Man: It was nice meeting you both as well. It’s so good to see other families who are still hanging on. Good luck out there!

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The two carry on in the quickly darkening forest. It’s nearly nightfall and Rylo knows they have no shelter and no clue where dinner will be coming from, but for some reason he can’t explain to himself, in this moment he feels he has infinitely more than he ever has.

Alrighty, bit of a longer chapter than I usually write but that’s probably a good thing. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve written a chapter and felt like, happy.

It’s kind of a foreign concept here, but I think I kinda like it. Let’s hope it lasts.

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8 Responses to “Chapter 4.16- Sorta Kinda Child Abusey”

  1. AtlasSims August 2, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    Yay, it’s back! I’ve missed this story so it’s nice to see it again.
    Um…Why does the meat on that family’s spit look vaguely human shaped? Oh goodness, please tell me there didn’t use to be five of them before that night.
    Looking forward to seeing more of Rylo and Briony’s adventures!

    Atlas

    • thronepie August 3, 2015 at 8:56 am #

      Haha nah it wasn’t human shaped, we’ve already done the cannibalism thing.
      Glad you’re still here after all this time!

      • AtlasSims August 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

        Phew! So happy about that.
        I like this story way too much to not stick around.

  2. notjustabook August 7, 2015 at 9:08 am #

    I, too, have missed the story 😀 I’m glad to see you back. And glad to see Rylo and Briony getting along and being kinda sorta like a family. She’s a cool kid.

    • thronepie August 10, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

      I missed the story too! I’m very much looking forward to a time where I can write regularly again.

  3. ixot August 10, 2015 at 10:39 am #

    I’m very glad you’re back. I was wondering where you went, and I was afraid you’d lose interest. It’s good for us that you didn’t.

    Briony is a ballsy kid, good for her. She’ll need it. Cool of her to say no thanks to a free meal. I really liked the shadows in that scene, both over the fire and from Rylo’s crossbow.

    • thronepie August 10, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

      Thanks, that scene did end up looking kind of cool.
      Definitely didn’t lose interest, but I do have a lot going on in life right now so hopefully I’ll have time for sims!

  4. wraithqueen September 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    I’ve been waiting so long for this and I had given up, until something inside me said just check!
    So glad I did!!! XD

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