Mike was heavy. Mike was sweaty. Mike was everything that he couldn't afford to be up here. Ward was by his side, trying to make sure he wouldn't collapse. There was only so much he could do. "You f*ckers know what happens if you don't keep the pace up!" Tristan called from about twenty feet behind. He was the worst instructor. 'Mike you gotta hurry the f*ck up' those words echoed inside of Ward, but in his fatigue it wasn't clear if he was saying them or if they were just loud, painful thoughts. Mike crashed. It wasn't a fall in any sort of conventional sense; it was a disaster. The 200 pound, 16 year old 'student' was broken. '"Mike." Ward couldn't yell as he rightfully should. In such a surreal pain, emphasis isn't always possible.
"Maybe you don't know after all!" Tristan walked up to Mike's fallen body "That's alright." Mike began to cry "No, no Mike it really is.... It's alright. We'll just show you what happens, and next time..." He looked up at Ward, who was still standing on the path "Well next time maybe you'll get this chubby ass going just a little faster, wontcha?" Tristan began to kneel on Mike's back, pinning him to the rocky trail. He picked up a a thick stick off the ground. With a smirk, and immense enjoyment, he began to penetrate Mike.
"Xela... Xela, Xela, Xela" Ward repeated her name as if she was a child, and he a condescending parent "You never learned... Really, much of anything at all!" It wasn't really clear if she could hear him or not. She had stopped crying but she wasn't looking his direction, and her breathing was very heavy. Ward grabbed her head and forced her to look at him. "Where did you go to school?"
"Arizona" she said. The words came like work, and there was even a speck of relief evident in her face when she was done with speaking that one word.
"I expected you to say 'I can't remember where I took my GED' but I guess that works too." Ward shook his head, and took a brief look at the ground inbetween them before looking back at her "Anyway, Xela. I know you've heard all my stories," He squeezed her head tighter "about Mike getting raped," he closed his grip harder, pressing against her bones and teeth "about Gaz getting frostbite" his grip was as tight as it was going to get "or about how I almost died getting out of this Hell" He punched her in the nose, it felt as if it broke.
Ward and Gaz were packing up for the night, moving quickly to make the 20 minutes Tristan allotted them. Gaz stopped. Ward continued packing mechanically, until he noticed that Gaz had stop. "What is it?" "I don't have my sleeping bag" They were both mortified. This form of wilderness therapy didn't allow for mistakes; and being without a sleeping bag, in December, in the Adirondacks, was a big one. They tried to find it, they failed. Eventually, the time had elapsed.
"Ward and Gaz... Times up. Get back to camp." Tristan was marching down the hill beside them.
"I don't have my sleeping bag." Gaz managed.
".....Ward and Gaz...." Tristan gave Gaz one of his usual condescending looks "Time is up. Get back to camp" Gaz was angered.
"I will freeze." He said defiantly. Tristan chuckled.
"Perhaps you will. That'd be a nice change of pace for a sandni**er like you though, wouldn't it?" Gaz charged at him, furious.
"My biggest regret, if I had to pick one, is not helping Gaz when he went one on one with Tristan," Ward was still sitting close to Xela, too close for her comfort "I mean when Mike got f*cked... I guess there wouldn't've been a point, really... I'd've gotten the jump on him but he'd still win. You hire some pretty big dudes to keep your patients from running away," Ward wanted to chuckle but couldn't "Anyway, Gaz was tough. I guess, partially, I thought he could kick the sh*t out of Tristan on his own... and he came close... But if I'd just helped him... Well maybe Tristan's heads wouldn't be littering the wilderness right now." Ward stood up and turned around, as if to take a walk. Now he chuckled "What am I saying? Of course they would be."
Gaz was told to sleep on a sheet of ice that night. In the morning, he had left. He had escaped their part of the Adirondacks to die in some part of his choosing, a cold way to go. Ward woke up, the only 'student' left.
"Guess he didn't like being called a sandni**er, huh?" Tristan was bruised up from the struggle, but he was still as sadistic as the day before. Ward had changed however. He was alone, in the most profound sense. There was nothing familiar to him, there was no one there he cared about, and nothing there he enjoyed. All of his worlds pleasures were in his mind only. He ran.
"Now, Xela... I know I keep talking and talking... You're probably wondering what I'm gonna do aren't you?" He was pacing, back and forth, stepping over his various other victims as he went. Now he was approaching Xela. "Well Xela, this is the way I see it. When I reported Tristan's abuses to you, what did you do?"
He stared at her, pressuring a reply.
"Nothing..." She said through her sobs.
"Close!" Ward actually smiled "You forced me to live with the pain forever, without vindication. So here's what I want you to do... Take a look around. Look at all the bodies I've brought back to my old camp site. Look at all the dead instructors. Look at the gore, Xela." She actually complied, fearing for her life.
"Good... Now look down at that pregnant belly of yours...." She did so, terror evident. "You're going to name that child Ward, after me. So that everyday, even in the things you love, you're reminded of pain." Ward cut the rope tying her to the tree, and began to walk back to the road. "Just like me."
Edited by Zugzwang, 04 August 2013 - 08:12 AM.