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Cicada Days
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((Ben Fields continued from Sadness Augmentation ))

Ben wrestled with his copy of Macbeth, literally wrung his hands at it's spine in a chokehold that grasped for something that wasn't there. Fucking interrogation was about as effective as any other method for understanding this shit. Not that it was actually hard reading. Ben just wasn't sure what he was supposed to be seeing when he read between the lines. Logically he'd just pick something and run with it while he mined for quotes, but this was a group project. The bane of many a high schooler's once unmolested grade point average.

The trees laying siege to his castle held the form of wood pulp. Or something like that. Ben had never been the best with laying figurative language to pencil, and he let his thoughts implode with a disgustedly disappointed sigh.

He let his eyes wander some. They were in a room as nondescript as any other Ben had ever been in, he wasn't really intent on picking out the details. He was saving that for the reading.

The groups for the project had been picked by lots, because at some point Mrs. Webber had stopped trusting their collective maturity and responsibility as a class. Respectable, Ben could admire his English teachers' trying. Ben honestly would have lost hope the moment his kids had walked through the door, if he'd been in her shoes. Groups had coalesced, and Ben had ended up with Scarlett McAfee and Aiden Slattery. 'Beaks', he apparently preferred. Kinda sleazy name for a kinda sleazy guy. He was as of now off the shit list though, same with Scarlett. No grudges or misunderstandings yet. Hopefully everything stayed nice and professional.

“Either of you guys come up with a thesis?” Ben shamelessly anticipated some kind of shitty witticism from Beaks and some kind of vaguely awkward but legit suggestion from Scarlett. They'd been around each other long enough. But shit, where was the scruffy Bieber bowl? Of course Beaks was MIA. How long had it been since he'd asked for the bathroom now, five minutes? Not like he cared about what a dude got up to in the toilet. As long as their group partner wasn't ditching, and got back before sundown.

That left Scarlett, so Ben shifted a bit to properly consider her. Tee and jeans went from 'wrinkled' to 'differently oriented state of wrinkled'. His back was still supported by the side of the couch he had chosen to prop himself up against. He vaguely recalled meeting her in a grocery store before? Unimportant. He maintained casual eye contact, pupils ready to roll on out the moment a threshold of awkwardness was passed. It probably would be at some point. Some in Cochise were cooler than others for sure, but they were all goddamn dorks. Teenagers and all. Ben was also one of those, but only for so long.

“I was thinking maybe something about the natural order and how the hubris of Macbeth disrupts it.” Vaguely put, but strongly stated. “Seems like a subject up my alley. Of course I'm not the one making the call.” Ben only intended to be making final decisions if he needed to. No need to waste the energy otherwise. People would argue and chafe and in the end nobody would be happy anyways. Ben figured he was well learned in the mechanisms of adult compromise.
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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