The Choosing

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Libby decided on the bowl to the right.

She flinched inwardly as she slid the blade across the soft flesh of her inner hand. A thin, red line welled up and collected in the creases of her palm. Libby tipped her hand over the bowl and watched the blood drip into the ambiguous liquid.

The silence that followed as Libby took the first slot behind the right bowl was heavy. Heavy with the groups worst fears or fears of the unknown to be more accurate.

Alira continued, "Declan Peck." He choose the left bowl.

"Jesse Vanquez." He hesitated for a split second before choosing left. Libby noticed the look the two boys gave each other. A touch of berry-pink spread on Jesse's cheeksHuh. 

"Mellanie Waters." 

Libby scoffed as Mell trotted behind Jesse, her right hand clenched around a bloodying handkerchief.

"If you think those two are gonna look out for you," Noel called out with a smirk, "you're wrong darling. I think they're playing on a team of their very own."

Jesse flipped him the bird while looking off to the side, his cheeks redder than ever. Neither Jesse nor Declan denied the barely hidden implication.

Huh. Libby mused. Interesting.

"Quiet." Alira hissed, eyes narrowed, voice splintering like wood on a brazier. "Noel Evans. You're next."

Noel practically floated over to the bowls, shoulders back and head high. He paused and considered the two choices. He knew they would somehow play into the overall game. He had to choose wisely. He looked up at Libby, the lone wolf, then the three musketeers on the left. He was never one to go for the popular vote, the contrarian that he was.

He gave a low hiss which ended in a chuckle as he slid the blade across his palm. Then, making eye contact with Libby, let the blood drip into the right bowl.

"It's you and me kid." He whispered at Libby as he passed to stand behind her.

"Shut it pretty boy." Libby hissed back, stepping forward and leaving a substantial space between them. Noel just laughed and cleared the space with one step of his long legs.

"You think I'm pretty then?" Noel said into her ear conspiratorially. Libby ignored him. 

"Sarai Kyun." Alira called.

Sarai, everyone noticed, was the first person to stumble on her way to the bowls. She threw her arms out and regained her balance before hitting the ground. Her face turned red and she walked fast to the bowls. When she stood in the center, she looked from the right bowl to the slightly darker pink liquid in the left bowl--the orange flames rose higher as if to hasten her indecision.

Alira offered her the knife. Sarai breathed deeply and cut herself with a small whimper. She quickly stuck her hand over the left bowl.

Noel breathed a sigh of relief, only audible enough for Libby to hear, "thank God! she would have slowed us down." 

Libby looked back at him, "what do you mean? How do you know this will be a team challenge?"

Noel rolled his eyes and turned her forward again. "Please. It's a team challenge. And we do not need that little anime liability screwing us over. I mean look at her, she looks like she's about to throw her guts up over a little blood."

Libby glanced at Sarai and admittedly she looked a little green. Libby shrugged Noel hands off her shoulders roughly. "I can't tell if you're being racist, insensitive or just a plain asshole."

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