It's dim, the first hint of dawn floating in with a single distant birdsong on the wind. It's calm--or it should be, soothing--or it would be, if he knew where he was, or how he got here, or who the person handcuffed to him is. He tugs gently at the cuffs to confirm that they're real.
Vance falls too. "What happened?" he asks, already trying to get up far enough to look behind them.
"I--" he tries, swallows. "There was, fuck."
"Then get up."
He curls in on himself instead.
He gets to his knees, looks for whatever it was.
There's nothing there.
There's--a, something, a pattern, a rhythm, in the gaps between the leaves, like something breathing, but that's just how trees are, there's nothing there. There's no sound that shouldn't be there, but there's something awful just inside his ears, there's no sound but he can hear it.
There's nothing to see but he can see it, or rather, can't see it where it isn't, and it's looking at him or at least it isn't looking anywhere else.
Okay, if August isn't going to get up then Vance will have to drag him. He's not sure if he can stand up with August fighting him about it so he'll have to crawl.
Mica is breathing hard, out and in and out, and whimpers slightly when Vance moves him.
"Write that down, write it - "
The handcuffs creak, yank Mica's arm away from him, and break.
Mica lies still, very still, and does not scream, he doesn't, he won't, he doesn't.
There's some flecks of blood on his arm and what's left of the cuffs, and a solid line pressed into his wrist where the cuff was pulled against it.
There's a finger in the dirt a few feet away. His sketchbook is a few feet away in another direction.
He makes himself breathe deep and even, and he crawls over to the sketchbook. He's quiet. He writes down everything he can remember, and he curls back up against a tree and tries to think.
"...Excuse me, did you bring me here?"
"That's my name. And this is a grove of eucalyptus, which is not where I was last I remember."
"You ju...st died, I f...elt you die, you--" He waves the hand with the cuff still attached.
Shrug. "Maybe I'm dreaming." And there's a plant over there that he can't identify from here so he'll just go take a look at it.
There is an entire finger on the ground, if he points that out will Vance listen to him?
"...Yeah, okay, that's a finger, you should call 911 or something."
"Ph...ones," he stutters out frustratedly.
"You don't have one?" Vance checks whether he has his.
Mica digs Vance's phone out of his bag and hands it to him.
"Out of battery, looks like. Well, what if we walk in a direction and look at the plants and maybe there'll be people eventually."
Why can't he talk. Why is he so fucking useless.
He shoves the sketchbook at Vance.
Vance reads the sketchbook.
"Okay, might as well keep going the direction we were going before, I guess. So we don't just go in circles."
He moves closer to Vance.