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The Woods (up to 6)

TheLastDragon replied...
Feb. 17, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Tyler weakly brought his hand up to wipe his lips. Sour coated his tongue and lips, a rancid taste that wouldn't go away. It made the cuts inside his mouth sting. 
It wasn't until he started to wipe the foul away that he realized his hands were shaking. He moaned and rolled over, squeezing his eyes shut harder. 
Skyler...Tyler...Skyler...Tyler...
The names danced around in his head, said by Leah's cheerful voice over and over again. Leah had been so happy. Why wouldn't she be? After spending years raising her little brother, she would be having a baby of her own. 
Why couldn't he have been happy for her? Why was he so stupid? 
Tyler laid there helplessly. He had been the reason she ran off. He had been the reason she climbed. He had been the reason her eyes were empty now. 
He would never let himself forget it. Never. 
He clenched his fists, bringing them in tightly to his chest. 

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Xenolith replied...
Feb. 17, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Zac had started out by showing him their sister.  On a tiny black and white screen, there she was. Her life in danger by the son of the man he had killed.  See, Nate?  Look at that.  Melanie doesn’t look too good, does she?  I wonder what they’ve already done to her…They took her right after you died. His voice was acidic. You weren’t there to protect her, Nate. You failed her…
 
“No…I’ve got to go get her!” Nate had grabbed his staff to run to his sister’s aid. But he stopped when a gun was held to his chest. No, Nate.  I want you to suffer, remember?  You can’t save her…unless you cooperate with me.
Nate shivered at the memory.  It was him that made his brother into a monster.

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TheLastDragon replied...
Feb. 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm

"This is your fault! You did this to her!" 
Daniel had screamed at him when he first found out. He had seared the words deep into Tyler, the words he already knew were true. 
"How could you be so selfish?!"
Tyler could only sit and stare at the tiled floor, stare at the ragged toes of his shoes, stare in shock. His heart beat out a heavy, fearful rhythm in his chest, straining against his ribs.
"Why would you say those things to her?!"
Tyler learned to be silent back then. His words hurt people. His words ruined lives. His words killed and broke and smashed. His words were only painful. 
He shuddered silently, remembering Daniel yelling and then sobbing. Tyler had hurt him. He had taken the man's wife and child from him. 
Every minute he had spent in that hospital had been torture. They didn't know if she would live. They didn't know anything, just that she would never be the same again. 
Tyler would've traded with her in a single heartbeat if he could. He would've taken back each word and apologized and held her tightly in his arms and told her not to go because they still had to surprise Daniel. 
Skyler...Tyler...Skyler...Tyler..
Tyler shook his head, trying to shake the voice away. 
Skyler, Tyler, Skyler, Tyler
He pressed his hands to his ears, to no avail. 
Skyler! Tyler! Skyler! Tyler!
"I'm sorry...I'm so sorry..." He choked. Tears started to form again. 

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Xenolith replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 12:19 am

Nate had looked at Zac in complete shock. His brother was holding a gun to his chest when his sister was about to die by the same hand that killed their parents. “Zac…Why?” Those were the only words he could manage at that point. Why? He knew why now. He wished he didn’t, but he did.

Zac had used their sister to get him to listen. To get him to sit still and admit what he had done. To get him to accept his torture quietly. She wasn’t released until after Zac had died. He watched for an hour as they toyed with her and threatened her with knives and guns and fire. At one point, they had even tied fireworks to her and threatened to set them off. All the while, he listened to Zac. He listened to the boy explain his pain. What had transpired when their parents died. What disorder plagued his brain. What he thought of his older brother and his failures. Why exactly he was going to get revenge. How he was going to.

The worst was when he recited the letter. Word for word, he articulated it. No, actually…that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was the last words that came from his mouth. The last sounds carried with his dying breath. I hate you, Nathaniel. But you must promise me…you will not die. You will do everything in your power to survive…you will live as long as you can no matter what. You must promise me…you’ll think about this every day until you lived a hundred years. Do you swear?
“I…I promise you, Zac. I will.”
Then I’ll see you in hell, eighty-three years from today. Goodbye, brother.

Nate opened his eyes in horror. He realized that he had to keep his promise. He had to get out of this forest. He had to do the impossible.

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Xenolith replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 12:20 am

Nate had looked at Zac in complete shock.  His brother was holding a gun to his chest when his sister was about to die by the same hand that killed their parents.  “Zac…Why?” Those were the only words he could manage at that point. Why? He knew why now.  He wished he didn’t, but he did. 
 
Zac had used their sister to get him to listen.  To get him to sit still and admit what he had done.  To get him to accept his torture quietly.  She wasn’t released until after Zac had died. He watched for an hour as they toyed with her and threatened her with knives and guns and fire.  At one point, they had even tied fireworks to her and threatened to set them off.  All the while, he listened to Zac.  He listened to the boy explain his pain.  What had transpired when their parents died.  What disorder plagued his brain. What he thought of his older brother and his failures.  Why exactly he was going to get revenge.  How he was going to.
 
The worst was when he recited the letter. Word for word, he articulated it. No, actually…that wasn’t the worst part.  The worst part was the last words that came from his mouth.  The last sounds carried with his dying breath.  I hate you, Nathaniel.  But you must promise me…you will not die.  You will do everything in your power to survive…you will live as long as you can no matter what.  You must promise me…you’ll think about this every day until you lived a hundred years. Do you swear?
“I…I promise you, Zac. I will.”
Then I’ll see you in he.ll, eighty-three years from today. Goodbye, brother.
 
Nate opened his eyes in horror.  He realized that he had to keep his promise.  He had to get out of this forest. He had to do the impossible.

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TheLastDragon replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 12:33 am

Tyler forced himself to sit up. He pushed against the stream of memories, of the vivid images that hit into him. He shoved them down, pushing them to the side as much as he could. He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. He took a ragged breath. 
Guilt still chewed up the inside of his empty stomach and pain still made his chest tight. But lying down and crying like a child was not the way he handled things. He gritted his teeth and shoved it all down, slamming a lid down on the tangled, jumbled mess. 

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Xenolith replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 12:47 am

Nate got up in one swift movement. There wasn't any time to waste. He still had to live another 81 years before he could see Zac again, and he had to get out of here to do it. That meant he had to stop blaming himself every second if the day. He had to be normal again. He walked closer to Tyler, "Sorry for running off like that...I think they might have done something to induce hysteria...and I succumbed to it."

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TheLastDragon replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 12:50 am

"I threw up." Tyler mumbled disgustedly, spiting in the dirt. He slowly struggled to climb to his feet, but then paused. "C-could..could you give me a hand here?" He asked hesitantly, reluctantly. 

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Xenolith replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:01 am

Nate gave a small lopsided smile as he moved to help Tyler. He hauled the boy to his feet and stuck an arm around his shoulder to provide a human crutch. "Where to?" He said, making sure he had successfully sidestepped the mess below.

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TheLastDragon replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:06 am

"Not here." Tyler said, turning his eyes upward. The branches still covered the sky, but he could see tiny bits of it. He looked down again, at his feet. 

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Xenolith replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:13 am

"Oh, but it's such a nice piece of real estate..." Nate said jokingly. "Nice view and everything. But whatever, you're the boss." He started moving away from the biohazard zone.

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TheLastDragon replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:28 am

Tyler grunted, hobbling along with Nate's help. He had pushed everything down far enough that he could pretend he was okay. That he could be calm now. He took a breath, steadying himself. His hands tremored a little, but he ignored it. 

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Xenolith replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Nate cleared his throat. Both of them had just been at the lowest of lows, so it seemed as good a time as any to discuss slightly sensitive subjects. "So...in light of this new information, it seems our plan needs a little adjustment. Obviously, we can't just walk out of here..."

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TheLastDragon replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Tyler just nodded in response. He hobbled forward a little more, taking another breath. Inwardly, he cringed at Nate's words. He forced himself to admit the other boy was right, even if he didn't want him to be. 

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Xenolith replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

"It's...pretty obvious that their condition is a little...impossible...extremely unlikely, at best..." His voice lowered at the last few words. "So then, we're getting out illegally...somehow."

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TheLastDragon replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm

"Yeah." Tyler said quietly, looking up at the trees surrounding them. "How are we going to do that?" He asked, looking at the ground. 

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Xenolith replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Nate started musing out loud. "With the amount of work they put into this...I doubt there's a gap in security that we could just conveniently find...we can't use force, either. Think of the tree monster. Plus, if we got out without fulfilling the condition, we run the risk of being picked up again. That leaves us with...well, playing the game." He kept his voice low.

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TheLastDragon replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm

"So there really isn't a way out." Tyler said flatly. He winced as he set his foot on the ground. He gritted his teeth and tried to ignore it as he tried desperately to think a way out of this. 

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Xenolith replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm

"Oh, there's a way out...there's only one way out. We fulfil the condition," he smiled his con-artist smile, "we appear to, anyway. It's a scam. Are you ready to try your hand at my trade?"

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TheLastDragon replied...
Feb. 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Tyler raised an eyebrow. He looked up at Nate, his lips pressed together. 
"I'm willing to try anything to get out of here." He finally said, his voice low and quiet. "Just tell me how." 

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