"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Cicada Days
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👀 (credit to Kotorikun)
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Olive was quiet, like desert nights, like studious and stuffy lectures Mrs. Webber side. Unreadable, like ancient texts, also like studious and stuffy lectures Mrs. Webber side. There was language to a friend's face but Irene wasn't sure she quite understood. Too many variables that couldn't all be neatly slotted into polynomials. Just some eyes, some lips, little bit of nose. Lots of colors. Hard to quantify, except with a 'cute'. 'Adorbs'. 'Squad goals'.

'Unsettling'.

Alan and Kaitlyn, suddenly, and now even Hannah's freaking heartbeat was somehow too loud. Less noise than implication, but Irene was probably reading that all wrong. Smelling at things that weren't there, like her hopes and dreams or whatever. Anyways, more friends! Alan and Kaitlyn were sorta like Tessa, weird yet somehow fascinating to listen to when they talked about things that didn't make sense. Irene would happily have curled up to any of them and played their lapdog if-... Wait wait, back up:

... Asha, other other Jerry, Tessa, Alan...

Yep, they had definitely been in her brain at some point and she definitely knew them.

Hannah's retort to Alan was like the end to a joke that Irene didn't quite understand. A punchline she didn't quite get. To the face. Sure there was a camera there that might or might have not been there when Irene might or might not have been on this beach before? But really, what did it matter that folks watched them? Folks watched Irene stream games all the time. Back home, and all. The compare and contrast didn't seem to congruently add up; again, studious and stuffy lectures. Like everything else it just seemed to be more info to be lost in the shuffle. Like faces and names and the blast of a gun collapsing both her ear drums

Bang bang went Hannah's heart. Went not Irene's gun.

"How?"

"What?" Incredulously. Irene recalled a time when she'd asked herself five 'w's and an 'h' and had a plan whose contents she could remember in vivid vagueness. "Where have you guys been, who have you guys seen?" She couldn't come up with a 'when', because time had no meaning save for the length of shadows cast by the sun. 'Why' was sometimes a vowel. Irene felt hands on her hips, hips on her gun, foot on her mouth. One of those things didn't belong, probably.
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Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... · The Cove