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 Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]

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nahn-SEK-wuh-tuhr



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PostSubject: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:29 pm

This was some bullshit.

Maria had started out in the first ward (When they'd actually managed to get her to the hospital--she hadn't been here as long as most, and not because they couldn't find her. She'd put up quite the struggle.), but it hadn't taken very long to establish a reputation. She wasn't sure why they hadn't thrown her in the third ward straight away to begin with. Maybe because the dumbasses running the place saw "RAPE TRAUMA DISORDER" and assumed she was some scared, harmless, but crazy, girl. Counselors tried to baby-talk her, while she scowled at their stupid faces.

On the first day, she'd stolen a knife from the cafeteria's kitchen and hid it in her mattress. By day two, she was looking for ways to conceal it on her without getting caught. By day three, she was considering growing her nails out long enough to be sharpened and usable as weapons. By day four, she'd grabbed the back of her roommate's head by the hair and slammed her face into the wall. Repeatedly. Until she lost consciousness.

Because she'd threatened to snitch about the knife. Maria had been lead away in restraints while they were scrubbing the bloodstains off of the wall.

Now she was being relocated to the second ward--moving up the ladder, she supposed. It wasn't as if she was surprised, but neither was she pleased. The next step was third ward, and though it wasn't like being around all these lunatics was fun, being secluded definitely wasn't in her agenda, either.

Because if she was completely under lock and key, she had no hope of escaping. Which was precisely what she planned to do. When that blonde bimbo had just wandered out onto the grounds the other day, and got back in alive, she knew there was a chance.

Maria didn't like people. So she certainly didn't want to be trapped in this place, surrounded by them. Subject to their rules and tortures and conversations. She didn't care much for the outside world, either, but it was decidedly better. At least, out there, she was on her own. In charge of her own fate, and more than capable of being in charge. Even when that fate was unusually cruel. 

In here were psychopaths, out there were psychopaths. It was all the same. But at least out there, she could freely arm herself.

And she knew she could escape, even from second ward, and even if she got shot in the process--so long as it wasn't in any vital area of her body. She could limp away, lose an arm for a while, clutch her side, tough it out until she got away. And then she could survive, in any environment, working odd jobs. Maybe in a way, being forced to start over in unfamiliar territory would be for the best. It couldn't be any worse than living in Juarez.

So that was not what bothered her. What bothered her was her new apparent roommate. She stood outside the door, scowling at the name tag on it, with hers newly posted beneath it.

That Austrian cunt.

Maria thought she'd never hear about this girl again after they'd won their independence from the imperialists. (Admittedly, Maximilian had not been all that bad, but Benito was better. The Zapotec man was the only hero in Maria's life.) She wondered if the other woman had similarly taken a dramatic change--whether for better or for worse. Probably the latter, if she was in this place.

She'd been informed that everyone else was still in group therapy (neither she nor her ex-roommate had shown up, for the aforementioned reasons), so she had a chance to look around the room. Which was fine by her, because that meant making damn sure there were no unpleasant surprises in the form of hidden weapons, in the Austrian's possession. Unlikely and hypocritical, but that was how one stayed alive, in her opinion.

After making the effort to move her bed in the furthest corner away from the other one first (no easy or fun task, given its weight), she started poking around the other girl's side. 

It didn't seem like there was anything she needed to be particularly worried about, and she doubted she had anything to fear from the anorexic woman, anyways. Still, it never hurt to have one's guard up. deciding that her work was done, she was about to turn away when she caught a glimpse of herself in the bizarre excuse for a mirror arranged on the wall (the only thing that concerned her, though none of the pieces looked sharp enough to constitute as a deadly threat). Frowning, she looked at herself in it's shattered reflection.

A person stared back. A person she knew quite well. Sometimes she wondered, during those one-on-one sessions with the shrinks, if that person actually did have something to say. A story to tell.

I didn't really know what was happening. A second passed, and there was a gaping hole in his stomach, with his guts were spilling out, all over me.

I think he screamed, but I stopped hearing. He fell on me and I pushed him off. While he was writhing around, I kept stabbing him--anywhere, everywhere. Until he stopped moving and my eyes were watering too much to see. They dripped everywhere. My hands did, too, but not with tears. The knife had become slippery, it was so slick with red, but I never dropped it.

The smell... It was summertime, and his insides were steaming, and his blood on me was steaming. I threw up, until there was nothing left in me. Then I curled up on the ground, empty, and I never wanted to move again. I'm not sure how I got home. It seemed like I lied still there forever in the stench of death, and vomit.

Then I was home, but it was suddenly strangely alien, in its familiarity. I was, too. I stared in a mirror. I didn't know what I was looking at, what that was. It wasn't me.

When did I wash off the blood? When did I let go of the knife? When did I sleep? Eat? Talk to anyone? Did I report him? Did I listen for news of who found the body? Did I go back to work right away? I don't remember. I don't remember a lot of things that happened, afterward. Everything was foggy, for a long time.

But I do remember looking into that mirror, and not connecting myself with the girl staring back. I still don't, when I see her in photos. That girl is dead, even though she survived.


In photos, there was a girl with long hair and a pretty face. A girl for whom a good deal of effort had once been spent on to beautify, to attract more people to her city. That girl was not the one she saw in the mirror. The one in the mirror had cut off her hair and stopped wearing makeup and colorful dresses, had darkened her expression, to make herself uglier. So that maybe predators wouldn't lay eyes on her. Unless it was in fear.

That was what she saw now in the mirror, as opposed to what she saw in the photos: the prey had become the predator. The reflection of her, broken into many pieces, was more accurate than the real her that stood glaring at it.
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bubbelah



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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:53 pm

After the surprisingly good therapy (it wasn't exactly therapy... But at least something nice had come out of it), she had immediately gone to the rec room and picked up every book she could find.  There weren't alot, and only some of them went past remedial reading.  But she supposed they were alright-- she didn't know how much he man she'd just met could or couldn't read.  The mere fact that he couldn't read seemed just unacceptable.  

So she was returning to her room, hauling a stack of books in her arms, when she noticed the door was open.  Immediately suspicious (she didn't see the name on the door), she peeked in.... And saw her.  Looking at her mirror.  She didn't know what she was more afraid of.  

Letting out a scream (who wouldn't), she dropped the books in a loud clatter.  

"What are you doing in here...?!" Almost slipping over the books, she rushed in and shoved the other woman away from her constructed mirror.  "Get away from that-- that's mine...!!!"

While Maria may not have liked looking in the mirror, but for Franze, it was the only thing that could keep her alive, here-- as well as deteriorate her.  She always found something not to like.  She struggled for perfection while her new roomate probably wished to simply disappear into anonymity.  
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:53 am

Jumping at the scream and the crash, and immediately whirling around to glare at the source of the noise (as well as leap into action, if necessary), she scowled upon realizing that she'd been caught. At least it wasn't while in the act of actually going through her things. Though, apparently to the Austrian, this was an equally appalling offense.

"Don't touch me, you whore!" She hissed, pushing her back. Great start to what would inevitably be a great relationship.

Stomping back over to her side of the room, she added with disgust, "If you think I was gonna steal it or something, you can go fuck yourself. I was just looking." Resentfully, she indicated the extra bed, now taken, "'Cause I have to live here, now. So this is my side...got it? Don't even put one toe over here, or your whole foot's coming off." 

With that point made, she glanced at the books the other woman had dropped. What did she have all of them for? How did she even carry them, with arms like that? Though she wouldn't have said so, Maria actually enjoyed reading...or at least, it had been her best subject, in school. Before she became a factory worker, and had the time for it.
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:31 pm

All talk, she didn't dare shove her again.  Not after she was knocked so far back.  After she regained her balance, she muttered, "Fine.  But don't look at it. It's not yours." Like the evil queen from a fairy tale, it was her magic mirror and hers alone.  "And you can't tell anyone it's here.  Or else." She didn't know what yet, but else.

Still not too keen on being called a whore, but not desiring to get into an actual fight, she decided to return to her books.  "Bitch," She mumbled, gathering them back up and putting them on her bed.

She hadn't ever shared a room.  Not even when she was married.  So to have someone suddenly living with her was a bit unnerving.  How was she supposed to sleep, eat, or do anything in her downtime when she had to worry about someone judging her? Impossible.  This was clearly a set up by the staff-- and it wasn't about Maria.
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:50 pm

She snorted, "What the hell would I tell anyone else for?" Nobody cared. Especially not Maria. "Like I waste my breath talking to these people, anyways," she muttered harshly, flopping down on her bed to stare at the ceiling. It wasn't interesting. It never was. But as it stood, there wasn't a whole lot else that she was inclined to do here. She tried to remember what she did for fun at home, but she couldn't remember the last time she'd actually had "fun" at home.

Acknowledging the returned insult with only a "tch" sound (after all...it was probably true; she couldn't be both unapproachable and likable), without even bothering to shoot her a glare. Though she did glance at the books again, now stacked on the bed. Shame none of the ones in this place seemed to be in Spanish--and English was notoriously difficult to read. None of it was spelled the way it sounded.

After a long moment's silence, she thought of something and sat up again, looking at her roommate accusingly. "You're not some kinda hoarder, are you?" The weird collection of mirrors, all the books that she couldn't possibly intend to read in one go...and the fact that she was so rich that she was probably just used to having more shit lying around than she knew what to do with.
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:43 am

She frowned and busied herself with critiquing her reflection for the umpteenth time.  "Just... They say I can't have it." Impossible.  It was almost like vivisection.  Separation was painful.  Franze laughed incredulously.  "They think I'm starving myself."

Pivoting, she sucked in a breath and pressed her middle in to get a better look.  At least they'd let her keep the corset. 

The breath came out in a sputter with he accusation, and she went red.  Because she was a hoarder.  She never let go, couldn't. She'd had two divorces and one loveless relationship before she was 20, and it had done a number on her, to say the least.  

"That's none of your business!" The reply was curt and caustic.  Glancing at the books, she realized that was what Maria had meant.  "These aren't mine, but I took them.  I have a new friend" A friend.  "I'm teaching him to read.  But I'm not going to keep the books." As if she would keep children's books.  

"I know it's just hilarious for you to believe otherwise," She rolled her eyes and tossed a book casually at the spiritless woman, as if to cruelly jolt her up.  "But I'm not crazy like the rest of you."
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:38 am

"I ain't a snitch." She replied with a callous honesty, "Go ahead and starve yourself." A lot of the other women had very strong opinions on the Austrian's self-obsessed idea of beauty and obnoxious need for attention. Had they known about the mirror, they may have ratted her out, out of spite. Maria on the other hand, couldn't care less if she stopped eating in the name of vanity. More food for the rest of the world.

But the way she snapped back made it obvious that she really was a hoarder. "Just don't fill this place up with a bunch of garbage while I'm here," she replied disgustedly, "I don't want bugs crawling around." Especially not spiders.

And who the hell didn't know how to read? Her new friend must have been an idiot. Or maybe he was some poor kid from a place like Oaxaca. If only she knew...it was both.

Catching the movement of the other girl's arm in her peripheral vision before she even threw anything, Maria immediately swung her legs on reflex off of the bed, kicking the book sideways in midair so that it wouldn't hit her in any vital regions. Or even come close to her. The hapless collection of pages, to her a potential threat, hit the floor with a loud clatter.

On her feet and stiffened in anticipation of an attack, she warned her, "You throw shit at me again, and I'll fuck you up so bad, that mirror'll shatter the next time you look in it." She pointed at her threateningly, "This whole damn world is full of lunatics." (Literally, if one thought about it, the whole 'world' was concentrated in this place...and it was full of lunatics.) "And they're a hell of a lot bigger problem to me than you--so that's fucking fantastic for you if you ain't one of them. You don't wanna be my problem. There's nothing 'hilarious' about it."
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:14 pm

She huffed. "But I'm not doing that." The comeback seemed weak.

At her other comment, she simply sneered. "Please. Do I look like a filthy person?" She did "collect" quite alot of useless things, but she had a penchant for neatness bordering on psychosis. "Do me a favor and just stop talking if you don't even know what you're saying."

Truthfully she wasn't even sure if Maria knew how to read. The way she deflected the book in a panic almost seemed to suggest that she was right. She picked it back up again indignantly, and dusted it off (cleanliness, again). Was she afraid of the threats? Of course. Had she ever shown fear towards threats? Maybe she should have. "Psh," She flipped through the book, making sure nothing was damaged. "Right."

If she was so dangerous, they would have locked her up already. "You are what's hilarious."
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:11 pm

She barely snorted at the first retort, but the second one made something in her temple twitch slightly. Irritating. This girl was irritating. And as Maria's tolerance was always held up by a single fraying nerve, perpetually threatening to snap, it didn't sit with her well.

And it didn't take long for that fragile strand to break. The whiplash was practically audible.

Stomping over, she slapped the book out of the other girl's hand, and, without even the slightest hesitation, socked her in the eye. "You believe me now? Huh!?" She demanded viciously, jabbing the other girl in her thin chest, "You wanna start something with me??" She'd finish it. Regardless of where it got her sent to.

Though at least if she got thrown into third ward, Franze would lose her precious mirror (and whatever other contraband she was hoarding). Maybe she wasn't a rat, but she wasn't above revenge, either.
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:49 pm

She should have expected what was coming next.  There was no excuse not to, she was clever.  

Immediately crying out, she slapped a palm to her eye.  "What the hell is wrong with you!?" she practically shrieked, fighting tears and failing.  Her lip quivered, and she started to sob, and dropped to sit on her bed, defeated.  

"You're insane..." She mumbled.  "I'm going to tell them.  You can't stay here...!"
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:14 am

At first, there was the immediate rush of satisfaction, the release of anger. But the other girl burst into tears (Was it entirely unexpected?), and Maria lowered her stance slightly, in spite of herself. A hint of doubt flashed in her eyes.

A very unsettling, recurring thought crossed her mind. It was the same one she sometimes had when she fought another woman. Usually when she mangled or killed a man. Always when she prayed. She wondered if Juarez had the same thought, when he looked at Maximilian, a man whom he surely must have known was not all that evil, and decided that he had to die.

Am I actually the villain here?

Stepping back, scowling, she spat, "Deal with it. You wanna keep your precious mirror? All your hoarded shit? Tell on me, I'll tell on you, too." Slinking back to her bed, she was going to lie down on it and glare at the ceiling for a while, but...she hesitated.

No matter what her paranoia might have liked her to think, this girl posed no obvious threat to her. She was just annoying as hell. Did that justify attacking her? And whereas she might have just stayed annoying and nothing else, she now also had a good reason to want to put Maria in third ward--and she didn't know if the threat of losing her personal belongings was enough to keep her quiet in the long run.

Gritting her teeth, she stiffly turned and went out the door, slamming it shut behind her. A few minutes passed, and she returned, with a small bag of ice stolen from the kitchens. Throwing it at the Austrian's bed, she stomped back over to her own and flopped down on it without a word. If she didn't know what to do with it, it wasn't Maria's problem; her conscience was clear.

Sort of.
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:56 am

She'd never been punched in the face before-- not even when she should have been. The only physical harm she'd ever gone through was inflicted on herself-- and it wasn't in the same way.

Like she hadn't anticipated getting socked in the face, she hadn't expected that odd kindness, afterwards. But she would never act grateful-- it seemed to be something beneath her, an emotion people had to show to her. So she just muttered a begrudged thank you, but didn't use the ice. She should've-- Maria didn't throw sissy punches,

"Fine--" she mumbled. "I won't say anything."

But from the way her roommate was acting... she wouldn't have to say anything to grate on her conscience.
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:34 am

Itakshir had a pocket full of photos and a mind full of questions. Not about the photos, he knew about those--some were beautiful, capturing the sheer capes and steely ocean of a lush volcanic island. But just as many were hopelessly dreary; gray snapshots of a post-communist far-eastern boondocks that were alternately frozen over entirely, or haunted by a mist thick enough to cut through. It was his home.

The questions were about hers and what she was about to teach him. Did she like reading? Why did people like to read, when it was so hard? And why did everyone seem to know how to but him? He could fathom no good answer to the last one, except maybe that it was because he was poor. 

But he felt like there was a different reason. He often did, about many things, and therein lied the heart of his main question: who was he? 

He introduced himself as Itakshir, but he had other names, too, that he used interchangeably. Other people only had one name. And on top of that, he vaguely knew: even Itakshir wasn't his 'real' name. There was another one, that he'd forgotten. A secret one. The people in this place told him that his mind had purposely forgotten it. It had buried that part of himself away, to "protect himself". He didn't know why, or what he had to protect himself from, but they were smarter than him so he assumed they were right.

And honestly, before coming here, he'd had no desire to root out his true identity. But when they started telling him these things, it had made him curious--curious even as to why he didn't want to know. Was it something like Urashima's box? Was he better off not opening it? But he felt like he needed to. Some significant part of himself was gone, and he needed to know.

He at least needed to know why.

He didn't know if Franzi could answer that. No one in here so far seemed able to. But she was friends with Pyotr Petrovich, and Itakshir knew that he knew. He couldn't say how he knew this; perhaps it was the vague notion that sometime back in history, the former capital of Russia would have known him, from his disputes with Japan over who had ownership of Itakshir's home. (Of course, it wasn't Itakshir himself.) Or maybe it was that when he was unfortunate enough to meet the Russian man's gaze, it felt uncomfortably like he could see right through his soul.

The islander touched the beads on one of his earrings automatically. He remembered that they were "worry beads", that you were supposed to touch them when anxious. So he did, and it had become a habit of his. They were magical beads, he thought: they were made from the ocean. Because they were just like it. When you looked at them from above, they were a beautiful, shimmering blue. But from below, you could see through to the sun: red and yellow fire. He loved the ocean, so he loved his earrings, but even beyond that, he knew they were a clue. His headband, too (which he wasn't wearing at the time; they were in the pocket of his summer fatigues, along with his photos--he didn't have a lot of clothes, so he often ended up wearing his non-dress uniforms around). He knew because no Russian or Japanese person wore either of these. He was not one of them.

So who was he, really? If he could read, could he find out? Books knew a lot of things, so maybe they could tell him. And maybe he could become closer to the beautiful Austrian girl, in the process. Smiling at the notion of this, he knocked on her door (he'd had to ask a passing orderly which one it was), and waited.
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PostSubject: Re: Most Livable, Most Dangerous [Maria/Private]   Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:56 pm

Unlike him, Franzi only had one name. But it was prolific, and had many names to many people. Maybe she would have benefitted from having a secret name. Especially when being known for the notoriousness of one name got her punched in the eye.

Startled at the knock at the door (the last thing she wanted was to go out after getting a black eye)she grumbled and took a look at herself through her reflective shard collage. Not good. Finally grabbing the bag of ice to cover her eye, she dragged herself to the door and took a deep breath before opening it. "What--"

It was that guy-- what was his name?-- Itakshir, that was it. Weird name, that's how she remembered it. "I don't know if it's a... good time..." Well he'd already have known that something was up with her eye. She cast a frustrated glance at Maria before closing the door on her room. "We can talk out here...I guess..."

She soon realized that everything she'd said to him was negative ever since she'd opened the door. She would only do that to people who already knew her. Which was almost everyone. "I'm really glad you decided to be here," She smiled, and slightly winced, gesturing to the icepack. "I just don't feel so... great."
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