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Cicada Days
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i can feel something inside me say
[ *  *  *  * ]
The sun crept across her neck, flames held to the nape of her neck so that droplets of sweat trailed down her skin like wax from candle. Latanna knew as per the burn that it was high noon thereabouts. Of course, she checked her watch anyways to be sure. Seventeen seconds to noon, precisely.

She stepped out of the cruelty of the desert's gaze. Only then did she realize she'd forgotten to account for Olivia's legacy. Two...

She'd lost the time. Frustration boiled her blood like even insolent summer sun hadn't. Just for a moment, then the overly familiar lazy summer sluggishness abated and she was once more properly tracking time.

Six seconds of a formal afternoon hour.

She distinctly recalled that she hadn't gotten around to her conferences at any sort of usual time. Indeed, memory weighed like a cross strung to her back. Like blasphemy. Heaven forbid. She'd had the time, and that was the other thing she distinctly recalled. She'd been sat by herself window-side by herself, the sill had been digging into the slight broad of her back. Her muse had been distinctly... irrelevant. Irreverent, perhaps. Considering a song of God, one to be sung in choir, that had been her business at the moment. She hadn't exactly penciled in any sort of practice that day, had she? That rhetorical question had only the clearest, most succinct of answers.

The exact answer she had, for but a moment, failed to invoke upon herself when she considered inconsideration of her own time and duty.

Hannah hadn't sent an email, she hadn't in a while. But she was of course far from the alpha or omega or first or last or beginning or end of Latanna's engagements. To family, friends, acquaintances met or not even yet she had to maintain the lines of communication. Warped as they all did around tragedy in the making. Someday it would be but history made, and Latanna very much intended to live and thrive 'til those days when books were printed about the folly and excess of the worst of God's children in ignoring his Commandments and inflicting evil upon their bretheren.

So yes. She had to get about to the business of living.

Once more she lingered, and felt a certain disquiet for it. That emotion rooted with gnarled thorns into her throat, something to be swallowed with difficulty. She'd come to school as a courier, to negotiate the grades of her sister Rebekah, but a Freshman. Missing assignments due the seventh, not received by teachers lost on the sixth. In spirit, in mind... in body, Latanna didn't know for sure, she was merely middleman. Providing sheets of paper neatly stapled twice, packaged in a manila envelope. The front office of Cochise, built into the ancient carpeting of the East Wing. Latanna and a young adult woman whose face Latanna didn't recognize. Perhaps a temporary hire impressed into service when hands on deck were short. They'd both worn polite smiles. But it had been so quiet, even when they'd been talking.

The halls were cavernous when silent.

A name had slipped out while they'd been talking. Mr. Graham. Yes, she recalled all too well. Less than respectable dress, awkward glasses, youthful body. Immaculate smile.

She'd excused herself not a second too soon, of course. Rebekah's proper grades negotiated, assured.

Where was she now? A window, again, and this one consumed her fully. She was arrested by it's orbit, she couldn't help it. How unfortunate, truly. The Green Belt stretched out before her, familiarly ignoble as it always had been. Lit at times by the harsh blur of the desert sun, the cool charcoal smear of streetlights at night. The flickering of a thousand candles. Plus one left abandoned.

Latanna dismissed herself. From school, and from further thought.

She had less time with which to go about her day. She'd wasted it.
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... but we must pick ourselves up again... · V6 Meanwhile...