The hotel looked different and sounded different and tasted different and right now I couldn't appreciate a single one. Here had been so warm before, the moment I first stepped inside, with all of them around me. Even after Willow spoke, even after I got pulled away and shielded from the worst of things. This entire place was warm.
And now the only warmth I knew was me...the sticky, hot red that was still running down my arm, and catching in all the little crevices of my hands, and under the nails. When it got that far it was so hard to wash away. And now they were all going to know exactly where to look, and where the worst of things were. I flushed what little color I was able to, embarassed at my hysterics inside the cave. That they'd happened without my will or want was besides the point. Or maybe the point exactly, I wasn't sure. That place had gotten to me all over again, worked under my skin and now was running down the outsides of it. And every last one of them could see.
I absolutely refused to cry.
Everyone was still blinking. Still unsure and distracted. And being back in Pylea had reminded me of other things too. How to be a place and not be seen, how to disapear all together. And how to run. I did all of them, moving up the stairs with as much quiet as I'd ever mustered before, slipping into my room with something like a thankful sob.
Which was as close to crying as I was going to get.
I collapsed onto the bed, sitting there and still holding my arm. Knowing that the rest of the rooms couldn't be far behind. Sooner or later they'd find me. It was what they did.
I just hoped I was ready for that.
((open to anyone))