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A Delicate Machine
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Voices. Familiar, for whose wasn't, after years of classes and overheard bits of conversation at lunch and in the hallways; scattered pieces of other worlds that orbited far out of Cass's reach. Like peering into a dim gallery through a keyhole.

Still, vague familiarity that dragged vague memories of their wallflower youth along in its wake wasn't worth much. Neither voice was Clarice, and that was the beginning and the end of the list of voices that they would be actively happy to hear. They were too far away to make out any specifics, but neither girl sounded like they were about to murder one another. They didn't sound happy, either; but that wasn't exactly unexpected.

No reason to run away from them. No reason to go and say hello, either. 'Hi, I am very sad and I am looking for my friend.' 'Hi, me too.' 'Wow, same here. Also I am going to shoot you now if you don't mind.'

Maybe it'd be best if Cass just got what they came for and left to find somewhere they could exist for a while. They got to their feet, remembering just soon enough not to put any weight on their injured wrist. They stood up, walked up to the door, caught another glimpse of the corpse painting the wall with what had once been a consciousness. Lost their nerve. Sat back down again.
a tribute for the dead and dying

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The World's an Ugly Place, but I'm Still Afraid to Die · Art Therapy