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Cicada Nights
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((It hurt.))

She'd been lurching and stumbling her way down the slopes, she'd heard gunshots. From a distance but right in her own head as if the barrel of the gun had been gently kissed to her eardrum and the gunpowder of the bullets had been dripping out of the lobes of her own head. Burning, dull and persistent, set ache to her temples. A crushing sort of sensation. Rachael could see the world in ferociously violent colors, in strange buzzsaw lines painting themselves in the ethereally visceral space between her own optical nerve and the remainder of existence.

All the colors reminded her of blood.

You know that the mist of fresh sun-kissed morning dew beads, like the way blood beads when it begins to dribble from a long bare and elderly wound. That's how the heroine can tell when the battle is over, when she begins to see those gorgeous silken strands of those runny tears cried by the dead, each open and weeping wound a testament to the horrors of war, the horrors of what she has wrought.

Rachael shifted, her knees half padded by the hem of her skirt, half digging into sharp grasses. The air was cool and crisp and the sun was hiding itself from her shadow. She didn't know where she was or why she was here.


The single word from unfamiliar lips was louder than the earsplitting bullet that followed.

Rachael rolled forward, her latest aborted attempt at a calming breath becoming a heaving stitch in her lungs and a screech that murdered banshees. A mechanical springing bounced and bounded away from her ear, still too close by miles and light years. Rachael's desperate lunging carried her somewhere, anywhere that wasn't the fresh-dug and waiting grave for herself and all she'd ever cherished, but it couldn't carry her far enough and she plowed, by her injured shoulder, into the bag that had been seated by her, angled away from the gunshot's source. The bag toppled over, it lashed out by shrouding her in a tangled mess worth of sweater, her Turin.

Rachael was desperately rolling,
flailing, she didn't know at what, but she desperately threw claws and fists
and she just had to get away somehow. In her moment of violent thrashing her fabric death mask was tugged away just enough so that she could see the silhouette of her attacker standing over her. She froze, roadkill in the headlights.

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Victim, Victim, Honey You're My Fifth One · Coastal Woods (DANGER ZONE)
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