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A Delicate Machine
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Unfortunately, Lili had taken Cass's question as an invitation to come closer and start up a conversation. While that was, of course, a perfectly reasonable thing for anyone to do, Cass was still silently cursing her for it. All that they could do now was try to escape notice, keep damage to a minimum, hope she got bored quickly and didn't look too closely at the sketchbook sitting on Cass's lap. They casually laid their hands to rest on top of it, hoping it'd cover up the image well enough without betraying the fact that they had something to hide.

The sudden anxiety had poisoned the dreamscape in Cass's head, and their picture of the park began to wither around them. The sun's gentle comfort became harsh and oppressive and curious glances turned to hateful glares; the soft, fuzzy edges formed from comfortable lethargy on the fringes sharpening into vivid knives to pierce the heart they once would have warmed. The scene they had loved was gone, and Cass would have no use for this sketch; now a worthless waste of paper best suited for kindling.

How could they have so selfishly disregarded the feelings of another human being, trampled all over their privacy simply because they had been the centerpiece of an elegant, romanticized thought? Cass had not even considered their possible discomfort, or even thought of asking for permission at all. How could they have failed so terribly at decency?

Still, pulling Lili into this shitty situation would only resolve in further hurt feelings all around. Best to deflect the issue until Cass could safely disengage themselves entirely, escape to the safety of home and shred Lili's image in peace.

"Yeah. It's nice," Cass said, and should have left it at that, retreating to the comfort of banal small talk until it was clear to Lili that they would never have anything interesting to say. Unfortunately, they still couldn't help but make a comment born from genuine emotion, "Your kite's beautiful, by the way."
a tribute for the dead and dying

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In C. · Liberty Park