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Lullabye

“You’re being melodramatic, as usual,” she mused, tracing a jagged line across the table top with the tip of her nail.

“You’re not listening,” Lucy spat, tears flowing down her face, the onion on the cutting board forgotten as she plunged the knife’s tip into the counter. “I just want you to shut up and listen for once, and not go hide in your books like you always do. Would it kill you to let yourself feel something?”

Summertime in Seattle. June, to be specific. Alice, awash in a sea of ink, words and snippets of words and letters jumbled like soup around her as she swims towards shore. Lucy watches her from a rock shaped like a tortoise and just about as slow moving as it inches across the sand towards another day.

“The problem, Lucy, is that I feel too much. Tell it to me again, when the summer is long gone and the rusts of autumn have turned to ice. For now, just stow it somewhere that the light can’t touch it. Stories need to age just like wine. This one’s not ready to be told yet.”

Lucy let out a sigh, tugging the blade from between the tiles, turning it over and over in her hands, the blade catching the sunlight.

“It will outlive…”

“Both of us!”

“Me. Every moment of every moment I dream of killing him again.”

This time, the blade sank into the halved onion with a sickening sound.

“I know.”

Alice folded her fingers around the hilt of the knife, over lapping Lucy’s.

“Tell me. Don’t leave anything out.”

So she did. Every. Single. Detail.

And afterwards, when she’d closed her eyes, Alice carefully pulled the covers over her, blanketing her, and the bunny that she still clung to after all these years, in warmth.

“Good night, love.”

“Don’t go, just this once. Please don’t go,” she whispered, but it was too late. Alice had already fled back into her books. With a sigh, she reached out and turned out the light, bathing the room in shadow… and somewhere a street light breathed its dying breath a million light years away.
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