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Cicada Days
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i can feel something inside me say
[ *  *  *  * ]
((Ben Fields continued from Romeo and Juliet))

She wasn't a babysitter, per say. Ben liked to phrase it along the lines of 'voluntary house help'. Heaven knew the Fields home needed that from time to time. Mom was going to be pulling overtime for the third night in a row. Baseball season was in full swing, and this had been the first practice free day in maybe a week. Go Coyotes. The windows were getting grimy. The downstairs toilet had a broken handle. Lana's room was no longer describable by words or decency. Ben was getting tired of ramen on the table, even with the whole 'crack an egg into it before serving' trick.

Lucilly (Ben prayed to god she hadn't been bullied young for that doozy of a name) Peterson coming over didn't magically resolve any of those problems, she wasn't the most competent housekeeper. But at least Ben would have a comrade down in the trenches with him, gently distracting him with kind words as he gingerly scrubbed and panted at a mildew-y grout. She was legitimately one of the nicest humans ever birthed on this unworthy Earth, really. Always seemed to have time for others, to the point where Ben sometimes had to wonder if she even had hobbies, or ate, or slept. Laundry list of stuff to do aside Ben had run out to the store and grabbed a couple of sweet things he knew the eldest Peterson girl loved. Maybe it would distract them from the things she'd promised she'd help with, but if Ben was going to be an irresponsible man he'd at least be doing it with a girl and a plateful of pastries alongside him.

Lana was, with no small amount of fussing, assigned to prevent the further collapse of society that was her room. Ben could still hear the frequent oaths from upstairs as he half hung off the stair banister, attacking the varnish with funky smelling rag. Ben had his shirt, a stained white work tee that was probably a size too tight, yanked over his nose to ward off the dizziness from the chemical crap in the air. Hopefully he'd finish the stairs before Lucilly's knock at the door.
The Dies Before First Rolls Squad

The Nights
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Be Still · Before the Dance