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Episode 13 Part 7

By:  Lenady

Wet. Everything was wet.

 

Her clothes, her hair, the pillow she clutched to her head that was much heavier than it should have been. It was all soaked. She knew that before she even opened her eyes. The wind blowing through the room hit her wet skin like so many needles.

There was a clatter as Tilly sat up just a little, pulling her head away from the water filling the tub. Sanrook hadn’t pulled the drain before Tilly had jumped in, or afterwards for that matter.

The room was dark, but the soft glow from the communicator still lit up the area closer to the floor, though the light was now dimmer, as a few pieces of drywall slightly covered it.

 

“I believe the term ‘drywall’ is a misnomer” Tilly heard Sanrook say. She nodded. Sanrook sounded alright. Good. That was good.

 

She sat up a little straighter, moving slightly to the right when she felt her head push against the spurting pipe that ran to the showerhead. Sanrook was sitting, looking about, on the other side of the tub, one foot hanging out, dripping water onto the already soaked floor. A small cut stretched across her cheek, purple appearing black in the dark.

 

The siren still wailed outside (if she could call it outside now; there wasn’t much remaining of the walls) but otherwise the world was surprisingly quiet, save for a creaking, and the soft whistling howl the wind was making.

 

“What do you think are the odds? We go into a town, and boom, tornado. Its like, cruel and usual meteorology” Sanrook said.  Tilly hummed in response.

 

Then, without warning, Sanrook moved suddenly, foot brought back in and hands braced on either side of the tub, shoulders hunching in a readying position. Tilly, remembering that bare foot hanging outside of the tub a few second prior, found her hand shooting outwards to land on Sanrook’s shoulder, pushing her downward before she could stand.

 

“There’s glass,” she heard herself say, and she stood up, hitting her shoulder on the pipe along the way. The room spun, just a little, and Tilly dropped the pillow as her hand reached out to grab the side of the tub. She blinked away the swimming sensation and stepped out, glass crunching beneath her sneakers, then reached down towards the blue glow of the communicator, shaking the water off of it as she stepped gingerly through the towels and wood littering the floor.

 

One of Sanrook’s shoes was in plain sight, sitting propped against a still-mostly-standing wall. The other took a minute, and a bit of clearing, to find. Sanrook said something while Tilly was clearing away a few ceiling tiles, but she wasn’t certain what. It must not have mattered too much because when Tilly turned around, the shoes in hand, Sanrook just sat looking at her for a minute before flinging her feet over the side of the tub once again and tugging on the sneakers.

 

Tilly turned towards the door, noting that it was still firmly shut, despite the holes and gaps in the walls surrounding it. A pile of towels were also seemingly untouched, scratchy off-white material sitting on a metal shelf, unfazed by the previous events. Tilly stared at it a minute before reaching up and pulling one down, laying it across her shoulders.

 

She turned back around to find the door open, Sanrook standing just outside it looking back at her.

 

“Quick, you better go tell that tornado to come back, it may have missed a spot” Sanrook said, walking forward into what had been the hotel room, but what now looked very much like a pile of rubble. Tilly nodded again and stepped over a television set (not theirs, she noticed; this one was boxier) and a purple duffle bag. Her foot came down awkwardly on something slick and she, rather distantly, felt herself falling forward. And then, she realized, she was still standing, and Sanrook had turned back around and was holding onto her shoulder.

 

Tilly smiled and took another step, looking intently down at the ground. She told herself it was just to avoid stumbling and not because of the mattress she had seen just past Sanrook, pierced with large jagged shards.

 

And then, she wasn’t certain how, they were at the corner down from the hotel. Tilly looked back and blinked, wondering how exactly they could have gotten that far without her noticing.

 

She turned back to look at Sanrook, who was staring down at the communicator (just when had she passed that to her?), and noticed that, compared to the pile of debris they had just climbed out of, the rest of the area looked relatively unscathed. There was damage of course, but not the hell she had expected.

 

“You really know how to pick them San,” she said gesturing back towards the building.

 

“Pride myself on that,” Sanrook replied, still looking down at the communicator. “Hey, could have been much worse. Some cuts and bruises, we’re good. And I’m pretty sure this qualifies us for a rain check.”

 

Tilly stared at Sanrook for a second, waiting for the smirk, that toothy grin Sanrook flashed when she knew she had said something funny or awful or something in between, but it never came. Tilly looked around again, looking out into the night.

 

“The tower’s gone,” Tilly heard herself say.

 

Sanrook looked up at that, her expression unreadable, her head tilted to the right. “What towers?”

 

Tilly gestured out to the right, past the fountain. And when was there a fountain on that street? Tilly blinked.

 

Nothing was right.

 

The street was all mixed up, lined with unfamiliar buildings, straight where it should have curved just to the left. There were funny looking trees standing around, and the great big yellow bush with the thorns that she wasn’t supposed to touch was missing. The store where they bought the funny orange candy was gone and a large red building stood in its place. And where was the painting on the corner of the sidewalk that Momma-

 

Tilly suddenly felt the world lurch.

 

“Hey.”

 

Tilly looked up (when had she sat down?) at Sanrook. She blinked and swallowed, trying to will away the nausea that was hitting her like a brick. Rain was falling steadily into her eyes and over her nose and she didn’t know how long it had been coming down, but something told her that it had been for a while, maybe the whole time, but she didn’t know. That bothered her. She looked back down and pulled the towel off her shoulders and laid it over her head. The rain was cold. She was cold.

 

Sanrook said something, she wasn’t sure what, before walking away, back towards the building.

 

She sat there for a while vaguely feeling the rain come down and the wind lick at her bare fingers. The sirens were gone now, but new ones had taken their place, distant and echoing and moving. It was the only sound she was aware of, save for her own breaths until-

 

“Are you alright?”

 

She turned to look at the figure that had sat down beside her. Not Sanrook. Bigger. Familiar. She breathed in sharply. Brown eyes and black nose and short rough hair running down across his cheeks and chin- a face with a name that flickered across her mind, jumping in and out, through and past recognition until finally something in her reached and caught hold.

 

“C-"

 

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