Caught in the Balance

Free Fiction by BB Chapman. https://bbchapman.carrd.co/

Episode 1

A lone chest, visible by a single campfire, awaits a raid as five – the Sanguine – engage in the terrorizing of its camp residents. Secluded, in a wooded glade miles from any town or village, flawless and lawless, the Outlier gang are a fright to watch, intent on leaving no coin unturned.

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Episode 2

CW: Mention of Male Violence.

The archer catches her first, preventing her fall with strong arms and a permanently smug, heavy-lidded expression, and gauged his interest – as though appraising the expense of a weapon. He stands back, arms crossed, cool as he arrives at her value, and unguarded, he looks her over while she mirrors him.

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Episode 3

Issané wakes, sweet morning sunshine sticking tiny pins into her eyelids, a piercing shriek in her head telling her she is still alive. Undressed, save for a jacket, groggy and needing water, she says a small plea to herself while she comes round.

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Episode 4

Outrunning the guards yet again, a well known hiding place is within a young Reed’s sights as he laughs, and pelts towards it. Sliding under the usual dray with the busted wheel, a mousy blonde, too-skinny kid surprises him when he finds him already beneath it.

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Episode 5

CW: Mention of Gore.

Tristin, quiet throughout the conversation at the fire between Axel and Reed, eyed the girl as she sat alone. Watching her distracted from him by their subject matter, he sees her sitting on her hands, rhythmic in swinging her toe. Sees the pensive look she wore.

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Episode 6

CW: Mention of Violence.

Inside the dank, stinking cell, Kayn is flash, and putting on a display. After turning down countless others, the real estate not prime enough for him, he and Jed have chosen one with running water and fewer rats than all the others. Or rather, it was more as though Jed held very little sway in what was happening at this moment in time.

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Episode 7

CW: Mention of Self Harm Ideation.

His room dark as pitch but for a single candle flame, Kayn rakes a thumb knuckle hard over an eye socket, swallowing back the sob he denied himself. Numb, he will not spill any of the tears brimming his eyeline. He will not be heard.

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Episode 8

Staggered by the crisis unfolding in front of him, Jed is with Kayn on the floor of the forest, the last convulsions leaving his body, while Axel, Pacing, panicking, collects himself. “What do I do Axel? What’s happening to him? I don't know what to do...”

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Episode 9

It wasn't so much what Axel had said that stopped him in his tracks, although there was a hostile shade to his tone. It was more the look on his face. It was in the way he held onto Kayn's hand. Winced at the cut on his arm. Brushed the dirt from his cheek.

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Episode 10

“Hey. Hey, wake up. It's okay, it's okay. It's only me. Shit, look what he's done this time. Easy... Sit up. How the fuck are you still alive? Here, sit up. Drink this. Go on, it's alright, Reed made it. It tastes rank but it will help.

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