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Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
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"How does one describe one's friends with just words alone?"

Hell of a question. One Ben definitively couldn't answer. He could march though, and that he did. Fell into lockstep right behind Penelope, the crisp clap of his cleats half time to her double time. Syncopated sorta metronome to her verses. She spoke, brought some kinda life to the deafening silence. Girl had a lot to say, which was a refreshing change of pace. Ben wouldn't have exactly called it poetry, but he was listening about as attentively as he did back in English classes. As in, he wasn't so sure he was hearing what he needed to hear, but it at least sounded pretty good. Whatever that was worth.

" ... I think you... you know who... I'm... talking about..."

Shit. He hadn't meant to bring up...

"Yeah. I know." So it passed on that note. She needed a moment for calm, and Ben needed that same moment to berate himself for allowing her the opening. Conversation had become bladeplay, and his rotting fleshy globs worth of feet definitively struggled to maintain the footwork. Whatever. He was keeping up. It was good enough.

Good enough, like the way she described her friend. Ben knew that girl, vaguely enough, through the rantings of a certain asshole Darius Van Dyke. Hm. This was probably the most he'd ever heard about her in a single sitting and he was liking what he heard. 'Weeaboo'? Hell, why not right? Ben didn't even really know what that meant. Only negative in his book was along the lines of being the sort who pointed guns at...-

" ... Wait not like that...!" So on and so on.

Definitely an awkward, creepy insinuation. Maybe. Ben expected the familiar creeping feeling of vague, dissociate disgust but... nothing of the sort. Girls love girls, boys love boys. Ugly? Sure. But now that Ben thought about it... well, what was there to think about? That was the question. Who cared? Why had it ever mattered? Ben nodded slowly, patiently. To himself, as much as to Penelope. Maybe this was what being the bigger man was about. Maybe being unnatural and abnormal was a different sort of wrong, compared to the wrong of being a murderer and a thief.

Maybe he'd learned that lesson too late.

"I get you." Ben shrugged, as much Penelope's constant but fairly welcome shepherding of him would allow. "I've never been much for physical affection myself...-" and there were certainly a multitude of extant women to prove that very fact, on this very island perhaps... Hm. Morbid thought, that. "... But. You know." Yes, she certainly did. Once more Ben's charismatic speechmongering was absolutely victorious. "What I mean to say, nothing wrong with some hugging and-"

Shit. Almost said 'kissing', thereabouts.

"You know."

His brain was a wonderland, a la that generic fucker John Mayer track.

" ... Wording these kinds of things is... hard..."

"Yeah. I used to think words were simple. Times change, but I guess even if speakings no longer easy... If there are no words left to describe all this shit that's been dumped on us, well. We have to try." He nodded firmly. They'd left the pervasive smell of death behind, at least until they found it again. It was a step up, a foot in the right direction. "And if we have to ramble to convince others, that's what we have to do."

"But yeah, thanks for that. Your friend sounds like a class act. Mine, well. Not so much maybe, but some of them are worth looking for." ... By some thin margin, yeah. "I don't mean to rag on any of them, they're good people. Haven't shown... their names yet." Hardly the most effective euphemism, that. "Lucilly Peterson, Hazel Jung, Candice Banks, Nate Turner, Matt Moradi, Amanda Tan..." Fuck. He made it sound like a damn hitlist, rather than the names of people he still trusted. Too formal, too bullet point. Emphasis on bullet. Whatever. Move on. "Heck, give me Darius or Maxim, I'm not going to complain." Now that's a sentence he never thought he ever could have been held at gunpoint to say.

"Now that I fucking think about it I don't even know who all the people on this trip were."

He didn't know if there was any sort of conclusion to be drawn from that. Or rather, if there was one he wanted to say aloud. Yet of course, he'd allowed himself to say it.

"While it's still raining we should see if we can refill our water."
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Haunted Reality · Solitary Confinement