"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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Viewing Single Post From: Sfumato
Cicada Days
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👀 (credit to Kotorikun)
[ *  *  *  * ]
Daniel breathed out. Finally, after a few seconds eternity.

Daniel watched Cris. It was hard to find words to describe the things etched in excruciating detail into his cousin's face. Something above and beyond the mundane of day to day. It wasn't indignation, or regret, or fury. It was something beyond. Something Daniel could perhaps never relate to, something he belatedly realized.

"I guess not, huh." Daniel wasn't sure what else where was to say.

It was all about Tina. Which was just so inherently contrary to who she'd been as a person. She had been the background. The ambiance. The warmth of the room when Daniel had been home sick, or stressing out over homework he didn't understand. Fuck, Tina and his brains combined were maybe a tenth grader at best. He'd hand in barely adequate papers. Always had, always will. Same with her. Somehow that was all alright. Maybe not with everyone else, but for him and her. It had been all they had ever needed.

But was that true? When the sun kissed the end of another stagnant Kingman day was it those lazy moments of life that really mattered?

Daniel felt something like a frisson down his spine. Cold, cruel, bitter. Something that didn't quite belong, worming it's way through his pulpy innards. It inched through him, squirmed in time to the beat Cris set against the chair he was warming with artificial warmth.

Recognition.

Cris had been there for Tina. Somehow. Someway, not in the ways Daniel hadn't been there. He was there now, even when she was already dead and gone. And Daniel had already left her be. Cris would have carried the corpse to the grave and dug it with his own hands. Daniel had just callously, fucking pointlessly, pulled up a picture of what was left on his screen. Like some shitty curiosity or novelty. They had been the men in her life, really. Mr. Luz, Cris Luz... Daniel Dawson. One of those things was not like the other. One of those things had never really belonged.

Really, how did one bury the dead? Daniel had never attended a funeral before. Daniel's dad had never been there, but he'd never even been 'dead' either. Never even in the abstract had he ever sketched anything with death in it. He'd only ever sketched life. Hope. Continuance.

And, of course, Tina.

What was there left to draw now?

Daniel, for once, understood.

"Hey." His voice was still vague cheer. Hollow cheer. Weak, listless, but hey. Didn't actually change a fucking thing about it. "Thanks for dropping by, man. Think we've established I'm fine now, right? Ben could give you some food or something for the road."

Daniel had, once again, stopped looking at Cris. There was nothing left in this room for a man like Cris.
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Sfumato · V6 Meanwhile...