Say What You Want, a ficlet of Clockwork Apoc for Thimbleful Thursday

to the Thimbleful Thursday prompt from 2 weeks back “For XYZ reasons;” 393 words

“So, she went right into the middle of a Blank zone. Just walked through it, like there weren’t Creatures still in the air and only the skies know what sort of trouble on the ground. Not to mention falling walls and all that standing water….” Grace shook her head. “Who knows what goes through the mind of someone like that?”

“We’re talking about Lisette, right?” Rose pursed her lips. “Who knows why she does anything? She’s the one that rode below an airship all the way across the Blank Plains. She’s the one that brought home an Other just to see what made it tick. She does what she wants, for x, y, and z reasons, and the rest of us just have to stay out of her way.”

“You just put up with here?” Grace had only been in the compound for a few months; she’d been a refuge from a lost town, Mortin, one of only three survivors. Rose tried to remember that when Grace got… difficult. Judgey. “It seems like she’s putting the whole compound at risk.”

Rose took a breath. Remember what happened to Mortin. Remember the bodies. Remember the Blanks. “The thing about Lisette is… yes, she does her own things, for her own reasons, reasons that are best not asked about and not worth speculating on. And when the compound was attacked by a wave of Blanks last year, it was Lisette – Lisette, on her own – that saved us.”

“But you let her just wander into Blank zones. What if she came back blanked out? What if she contracted some disease?” Grace leaned forward. “What if she let the Blanks in?”

“Lisette is not going to do something like that.” Although Rose was beginning to see a picture of how Mortin had fallen. “Lisette does what she does, for Lisette’s reasons – but she protects the compound. She’s never failed to protect the compound.”

“But what if she’s wrong? What if, worse, what if she’s doing something wrong? You can’t just let people wander around for mysterious reasons, and not expect them to turn on the compound! You can’t!” Grace’s voice was getting louder and louder, shriller and shriller.

Rose kept her voice low and quiet. “Lisette has her reasons for doing what she does. And we have our reasons for letting her.”

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