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Cicada Days
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i can feel something inside me say
[ *  *  *  * ]
Lily appeared. Briefly found herself the victim of wool's sordid love affair with the splinter-riddled frame of her window. Freed herself. Tina always felt heartened when Lily rallied against things, minuscule or grandiose. Showed them what a girl of her deceptive stature could do. Her cousin was something to look at. The silhouette seemed to warble. Divinity's paintbrush had probably trembled a bit when sketching her form. A watercolor result that was delicate, tender, where the lines blurred and melded. Tina didn't smile much nowadays. She could manage a little one for Lily, every time without fail. Flashing a few misty-yellow teeth with a plaintive curl of the lip.

Lily straightened herself out with insistence. Spoke. Tina considered. Nodded.

"Yep."

Going meant the car, back in the little cube of garage that was dad's sanctum within the home. Fifty strict paces back to the door, and then fishing for the car keys where they could reliably be found. Arms reach of the front door, a small table of skinny metal legs that curled like vines. Atop the table a small bowl, half goldfish aquarium, stacked to the gills with iridescent marbles that vaguely glimmered when shone upon by the sole light left on, the kitchen's florescents. A neatly made bed for discs and platters of change and keys.

"Watch the door." The only other thing Tina said before they were on the road. Dad's four door, the car the family got to use when he had no off-duty access to his beat car. It was a boxy and unwieldy beast. Flat top half eroded away into a collage of bare metal skin and flaking paint. All the doors tended to shift unpredictably, accelerate into faces and elbows without prompting.

The car itself also tended to struggle. Roads in the desert had a rich topography. Shocks on the car had a rich history. It was a poor man's roller-coaster. Seats a bit less padded and more uncomfortable. The desert rolled by in thirds. The car window occasionally captured gnarled trees and rusty rocks in freeze frames. The windshield melted into a vista of sharply floodlight-lit asphalt and the distant cries of stars. Tina's hand sat with practiced unease on the battered leather grip of the steering wheel, occasionally budging an inch. Speech came within minutes, riding the tail of engine-hum silence.

"What have you been up to?" Tina genuinely didn't know. She'd been at Daniel's a few times too many the last month, straight between her mind-numbing classes and the whitewashed, sun-bleached home the Dawsons called real estate. Hadn't been keeping up so well with the rest of the family. That fact was rather unfortunate. She sounded hesitant, her normally easy drawl a bit withdrawn, like it always seemed nowadays.
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Repoussoir · Memories from the Past