"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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It was an easier job for two, and the vacuum was now where it was needed. Ben brought the beast to life, minimal finagling with the power cord needed. He really was getting good at this. In the distant future when all was said and done he'd probably be a great husband. As weird as it was to think about that kinda thing, but hey, graduation was coming up. As if he needed anymore proof that he was the man of the home, the adult come into his own maybe a sliver too soon. Doing what had to be done. Which in this case was steaming the broccoli. Couch cushions. The couch cushions. Ben vigorously moved the mouth of the vacuum over the tired fabric, nodded satisfied as each pass returned life to the pale and tired upholstery.

It was loud, sounded like they were trying to speak to each other in the middle of a tornado, but Ben tried to keep the convo going. If anyone was worth it, it was Lucilly.

"Honestly, I read ya there. Shit's good for keeping up with friends, I guess, but you can do that in school anyways. Maybe when we move out we'll end up using it a bit more? Maybe old habits die hard." Ben kept his ears on point, straining to pick out the gentle voice that carried his responses. Fortune that they saw each other in school indeed. Well, not really. They did have similar ambitions in some forms. Lucilly wanted to be a teacher, and that meant academic diligence. Diligence all around. "I mean, we might not even move far enough from home, who knows? Though I guess both of us are hoping for something more than Kingman's offerings of higher education." Read, total shit. Well, Ben didn't want to be putting words into Lucilly's mouth.

"Where do you think you're going?" Barring crazy exceptions most of the Cochise kids who were interested should have gotten their acceptances back by now. Or should have collapsed into wrecks of human beings, which Ben had witnessed more than one sobering example of. But 'Lucilly' and 'wreck of human being' didn't even remotely belong in the same sentence, except for the one where Lucilly did some form of divine miracle of charity on behalf of a wreck of a human being.
The Dies Before First Rolls Squad

The Nights
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Be Still · Before the Dance