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Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
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((Florentina Luz continued from Repoussoir))

A lonely figure hunched in a room, melting into herself in shades of olives and greys and blacks. Grams of flakes that eroded to the touch, to the fingers. Sounds two parts treble and one part bass, forged from tin and bronze and plastic MP3. Tina's room smelled vaguely of heady work, sweat and rusty electronics. Her brow crumpled and tensed like a violin string, until it was her neck that was also partitioned, folding legnthways along the collarbone just taut enough to choke her.

She coughed, felt black particulates in the lungs.

Crisanto and Lily would both partake, perhaps Johnny, perhaps other names that existed only in syllables and vowels that Tina ignored. Two bags apiece, half a crop, point eight cents of profit to the gram. Grams that eroded to the touch, to the fingers, to the watchful gaze. Slow, so slow, molasses syrup through the fingers. It could be so sweet, in units of measurement that Tina couldn't translate. Numbers existed only on scales and with rulers, interposed over sweaty and oily thumbs and ring fingers.

"Chiquita, work time! Be sure to have a beautiful day with your friends!" Tina's spine briefly shattered, glass shards against the stiff salute of her chair back. Warm Spanish in a bass clef and fatherly tritones echoed up rickety stairs. A moment of reverberations fancifully dancing in ear. Then silence. She chewed on words that could fill the void left. The tinny slam of a door did so instead, and then the soft wheeze of an engine coming to life. Tina's fingers ceased to dance, tense even where they lay atop cells and pixels of her efforts. No words. No sounds. A taste, a flavor. It hurt, like needles crocheting patterns in the wet fibers of her throat. An aged taste. A bitter flavor.

Tina coughed, then drew up from her desk with a shy creak of her table. The sound didn't bother to carry past itself.

Her phone rung, a lonely ping of a sound, right when her fingers were hovering over another square figure. A carton, or a phone. With a bit of extra pressure on the neck where collar fused into spine she could investigate both. One read block-print Marlboro, crinkled and faded. One read a blank name in dim white, but a familiar timbre of typography.

'Hang out this week usual time on Fri w/ Jenny and Reed.'

Her finger hovered, trembled. It found the smooth-bore ridges of plastic casing, where numbers and letters neatly segregated along clear lines. One button, then the next. She only pressed one. Daniel's missive faded away. Tina could leave her response unsaid. Leave the phone inert, lonely figure in it's place, bereft of companion but empty space. She couldn't leave the cigarettes. She left her room. A lonely figure melting into an air that was hesitantly bitter with noxious car vapors.

Florentina 'Tina' Luz
Pregame Concluded

((Florentina Luz continued in Imprimatura))
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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Écorché · Beyond the Town Border