"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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"No I... didn't kill anyone. I couldn't do that. There's no way. There's no way..."

It was just words, wasn't it? Prettier voice than his even when it was busily fragmenting into fragile porcelain shards, but words no different than the words he'd spoken once. The lies and empty promises. But no. That wasn't it at all. Ben could see her in a way he couldn't really see himself. He could see the honesty. Raw, exposed, naked honesty. It was a truth, but it was an ugly one that weakly trailed down the sides of her face, running like blood from the eyes.

He believed her. Yeah. So that meant it was all the harder to look her way. He kept his eyes planted, but it was like running right against the face of the wind and rain and bullets. He had to hear it for himself as she said it. Slowly. Tortuously. A few syllables worth of fucking knives. The sort of knives that filleted clean to the bone, like preparing bloody fish and meat for a tableside dinner.

"..."

Ben silently watched her melt back into the concrete.

Was silence really all he had left?

The stasis of his life held on his next breath. That breath only took a moment, but he'd swear it was an eternity's worth of decay and crumble. Swear it on the damn grimy pocket-linty bent copper piece of was what was left of his own worth.

Penelope. He didn't remember that name. Maybe he'd never known her until this moment, or maybe his brain was already dead and the rest of his body was just marching to the dirge 'til it caught up.

His chest deflated, popped like a balloon. Something spewed out his throat in a trailing hiss.

"You're still alive." It wasn't really an assertion, or an exclamation. Not a comment, or an entreaty, or a question, or an answer, or any fucking thing really. He just said it.
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Haunted Reality · Solitary Confinement