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 An Orchestra of Cicadas

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PostSubject: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:29 pm

Madison spoke to her mother for the first time since she arrived on Beata that day. Though she'd never admit it, not even to herself, she had been avoiding her mother for some time. Skype notifications would always pop up in the corner of her screen, and she'd just...leave. She'd shut her laptop. She'd walk away to the bathroom. She just didn't want to answer.

That day had been different, however. After a month's passing, after a dozen unanswered popups and two dozen angry faces outside her bedroom window each night, She decided to answer. It was arbitrary, she had only woken up moments before, her hair in disarray and her collar a wavy sweater line. Her vision was a blur, her mother's face was a cloud.

"Good heavens, dear, did you just wake up?"
"Yeah, sorry mo--"
"I've been up for 3 hours now! What is it, 11 over there!?"
"It's a Sunday, mo--"
"Why haven't you been answering my calls!? Jeez, if I couldn't sense your spirit, I would have thought you were dead!"
"Sorry, mom...--"
"You're lucky I'm not ordinary! If I were ordinary, I would come over there, I swear!"

Her heart fluttered at that prospect. In a way, she was already over there. The fear gave her clarity, of both mind and sight, something she didn't really want. Her mother's face became real to her. It was like a monster, and she minimized the tab to keep from seeing it.

"Are you seeing a boy!? Madison, you can tell me!"
"No, mom, I haven't come close to that..."
"Why? Have you not made friends? Sweetie, I told you you need to make friends!"
"I'm fine, mom, I've made friends." Underwhelmingly, but it could have been much worse.
"I should really visit you. Maybe we can have a mother-daughter bonding day! Oooh, maybe a hiking trip! Is there a graveyard around there? Oh, the stories those spirits could tell--!"
"You don't have to, mom..."
"Madison Abigail Morse, are you avoiding me? Did I do something wrong! I swear, I could say it's only been this month, but--"
"I should go, mom."
"Don't you hang up on me, young lady, I will send the spirits on y--"

Madison clicked the red button and shut her eyes hard. Damn, she may have panicked a little too much there. It took her a few moments to stop staring at the screen, stop staring at her mother's icon. She watched the green 'online' cue turn hollow. She closed her laptop and swung her feet to the floor.

The cicadas were active that morning. The buzz of the morning army hung over the courtyard like a fog outside her window, in the shady green glow of an August arboretum. It called to her; anything that glowed that brightly called to her. Madison dressed quickly, pulling sleeves over her shoulders and combing her hair vigorously. Daylight was something special. She decided not to waste it that morning. It was met with regret, however. With August came heat, and that day's sun was no exception. It took all her will to not step inside the air conditioning, back to where the light never faltered and everything was fine. She liked it there. However, with a baked breath, she walked into the courtyard, against that will of hers. It alive with people. Perhaps she should make friends. Perhaps she would.

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:48 pm

The azure August skies stretched endlessly above her, with only a few loose clouds dangling by the sun as though they were untightened screws that weren't fit properly by whoever handled the wrench. Morning seemed to be more humid than normal and was a bit hotter than she would've expected, but it was almost a sure sign that she would appreciate autumn more than ever. With sunlight filtering across every flower bed and patch of grass, it was lucky that she hadn't burned herself yet. At least the courtyard was as crowded as ever, if not more. If she had a choice, she would have preferred to go somewhere with a lot more shade and less people, but the open space and gardens always attracted her back - they had a sort of rare beauty in them that she didn't see in many plants, and she wanted to figure it out.

She never really blended into places with lots of trees and greenery with a serene atmosphere, though. Perhaps it was because she was an albino, but Nicola never minded that - as long as she kept herself covered, it wasn't much. Though, a little bit more darkness would be very well appreciated. Just a smidgen.

Sprawled on the grass under one of the outstretching branches that hung over her, Nicola was lying on her back as her hands stretched up and clutched her gigaminx, which she had been working on for days to try and solve tirelessly. Dark bags were under her eyes and the constant yawning could only tell how much she had left herself without rest, attempting to solve a puzzle that she couldn't quite piece together. What were the next steps? she asked herself, getting more and more frustrated that she couldn't figure out this problem. Turning the sides in a clumsy, but organized manner, her arms dropped to the ground, splayed out as she groaned in defeat. "Ah, this is harder than I thought. Maybe I should've taken that manual..."

Her blue eyes swept around, flickering under the brim of her cap as she watched the clouds move slowly across the bright blue sky above her. Shifting onto her knees, she stuffed the giant puzzle into her bags before closing her eyes, only to look up and see another girl walking, almost as though she were forcing herself to keep taking this path. What an uninteresting looking student... Lazily, Nicola plopped back onto the ground, the corners of her mouth twitching into a smile. Jumping to her feet, one hand holding her hat steady on her head, and taking one quick glance towards the blooming flowers and chattering birds in the oak trees, she stepped right into the girl's path.

"You know, I don't think you're giving an impression of being a 'fun' person to the other students." Her voice was playful and mostly teasing, bouncing around with a bubbly tone. "That, or you're just lonely."

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:59 pm

What was today? Saturday? Sunday? D'angelo had to check his phone in order to find out. "Sunday?....Damn." He said in a very saddened tone. The weekend had flown by so quick. Tomorrow was Monday. The worse day of the week. He let out a sigh while scratching the side of his head. What to do. What to do. Thinking to himself as he paced around his dorm. Typically he would just go to the gym and just work out, but today was a lazy sorta Sunday. He walked over to the window and examined the weather outside. It was definitely a sunny August afternoon. A smile came across his face as he admired how nice the weather was. "Hmmm...I bet the courtyard is lively right now." Why wouldn't it be? The weather would only make such a serene place even more attractive.

After a few minutes of getting ready and dressed, D'angelo walked out of the Autumn dorm and headed in the direction of the courtyard. The August heat pressed up against his cheeks the moment he walked out. He didn't mind the heat. If he had to choose, he would choose the heat over the cold any day. When he entered the courtyard, it was as he expected it to be. Somewhat crowded and very much alive. Casually strolling through the cemented pathway. It would be hard to not notice him. He was so tall he could practically see over the whole courtyard. He scanned the courtyard, looking at the various people that were there. Not paying attention to what was in front of him. He was caught off guard as he stumbled over a random rock.

Extending his arms until he felt something he could grab on. "Phew" Letting out a sigh of relief that he didn't just almost eat it. That would have been embarrassing. D'angelo looked up at what he had grabbed onto for support. His face turned a slight red when he realized he had grabbed onto the back of a girl's shoulders. He quickly let go and was fast to apologize. I'm Sorry! I wasn't watching where I was going." hoping it wasn't awkward. Although he could understand if it turned out to be. It would have been a bit strange if someone taller than him had out his hands on his shoulders. The girl in front of him had dark hair and green eyes. What an interesting combination he thought to himself. There was also a light skinned girl wearing a hat in front of them.

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:03 pm

Fun? She had been walking through the courtyard, and was already caught off guard by some bombastic girl criticizing her. Man, what an awful start to her day. "How do you know that...?" She backed up in surprise, only to feel the weight of something, of someone else, a boy practically falling over her. Despite his apology and acceptance of the blame, she whipped around and shook her head, "No no, I'm sorry, um..." She should have expected this from such a crowded courtyard. Beata students weren't very withdrawn.

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:20 pm

"Just a hunch - I was kind of joking, by the way," Nicola replied, a mischievous grin stretching across her lips. No, she was stating the blatant truth and was being stupidly straightforward. Bringing a hand up to readjust the bill of her cap, the other on her hip as she took a step back, she had expected to just see the dark-haired girl, only to see some really tall boy had grabbed onto her shoulder and awkwardly blabbering some apology. Her eyebrows taut in interest and slight confusion, before she regarded the two with a wider smile. It was kind of hard to get a conversation with just one person, wasn't it? Oh well - the more, the merrier they always say. Apparently. "Are you that uncomfortable around other people?" It was a given that there would be some introverts and more reserved students at the school, though it didn't mean she necessarily liked them.

Admittedly, she wasn't that great at approaching other people either and often put them off with direct statements that others probably didn't expect. Though she didn't find this duo the most dynamic in the bunch, it would do. Anything to distract her from trying to solve that stupid gigaminx right now. Suppressing a yawn, she added on, "What brings you guys to the courtyard, anyway?"

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:53 pm

Sorry? Why was she apologizing? It was clearly my fault. D'angelo looked at her with a confused look on his face.  Was she okay? She had somewhat of a panic type tone in her voice as she apologized. His attention would then be focused on the other girl as she spoke. So that must be why she acted like that. Beata sure had its share of reserved occupants. "Come on now, give her a break. I'm sure I just threw her off guard is all." He replied to the other girl while giving off a light smile. He had assumed that the two did not know each other.

"The courtyard is at it's best when the weather is like this. I thought I'd just take a stroll through here. What about you, Miss?"  D'angelo threw his arms behind his head. The sun instantly heating his hands as they just rested there. "I'm D'angelo by the way. What are your names?"

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:26 pm

"No, just around you." She said it very matter-of-factly, almost too proud, a hands-on-hips stance away from being cartoonish. It was a lie of course, she was awful around people, but people always delivered 'sick burns,' and they couldn't be so hard. It definitely sounded clever in her head.

At least the boy was nice. "I'm Madison," she told him. "I'm new." She wasn't, though, she'd been there for over a month. Why did she say that? She almost spat out an addition; "Erm, kinda."

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:43 pm

Nicola shrugged - it was the most she could do. Most people were quick to point out that she made them uncomfortable, but it's not like she did it on purpose. It was just something that was part of her nature: stating the obvious... or at least, what she thought was as transparent as glass. Oh well, mental reminder to not plainly point out the giant neon signs written across a person's forehead. "That hurt more than necessary," she replied with a scoff, crossing her arms in mock anger. Not the kind of comeback she was expecting from someone who was supposed to be reserved, but it wasn't the biggest surprise in the world.

She rolled her eyes, glancing at D'Angelo. "Sure, sure. Let's go with that." Honestly, that's probably what happened. With an exasperated sigh, Nicola added on, "Nicola, I'm part of the Summer house. Kind of new." It was just listing off random facts that were simple and quick from her head; anything that basically didn't need an explanation.

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:05 pm

D'angelo gave a slight chuckle to what the darker haired girl had said to the other. It wasn't exactly a great comeback, but it was amusing enough to him. She was cute for a socially awkward person. He knew very well that she was uncomfortable around other people. A sneaky grin came across his face as she said her name.  "You know what Madison? You're pretty cute." He said with a charismatic time in his voice. His eyes looking directly into hers. D'angelo wasn't trying to hit on the newly met person. He just wanted to mess with her and see how she would react to his compliment.

He reverted his attention back to Nicola. "I guess we're all somewhat new to Beata. I've only been here for about a month and a half. Just out of curiosity, what brings you two here? What are your gifts or whatever you refer to them as?" Letting out a yawn shortly after he said that. Using one of his hands to fan himself. The other still lying on top oh his head. It was still overwhelming to him that everyone here had a special gift.

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:49 am

"R-r-really?" Madison couldn't help the red that came to her face, and she laughed a little. "No I'm not, stop it." As soon as he offered a change of subject, she took it in a heartbeat. "Well, it may sound weird, but I...see...things in darkness, I guess, anything, really, and, um, sometimes they try to kill me, so..." She slowly realized that this may have been awkward and macabre. But hey, he did ask for it! If she was going to make friends, they had to know about her infliction. "I don't go out at night. I'm like some kind of reverse werewolf..."

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:11 pm

"In other words, hallucinations that become a reality, right?" Nicola muttered, a tiny smile on her face as she thought about it more. Almost hit home - almost. "At least you aren't dealing with actual demons. The power to kill them, steal their power, and make contracts attracts them to try and revenge-kill." The endless possibilities of gifts always made her wonder how they first started with only the four basic elements, to branch off into so many different powers that may not even have a thing to do with those fundamentals. What, did the originals just keep fucking each other and let their children do the same? Would be nice to know what higher power decided to bless them with those wonderful abilities. Slowly, she turned her blue eyes to D'Angelo, asking in a bored tone, "Do you have a power that has the potential to kill you, too? Or are you more on the ordinary side with a kinesis ability?"

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:26 pm

D'angelo let out a small laugh as she had turned red and denied being cute. "Fine, fine. I'll stop right there." He listened to her describe her weird gift. Seeing things in darkness? Try to kill her? Talk about a dark gift. Perhaps gift wasn't even the right word for that. He understood it more clearly as Nicola summarized it up. "That sounds horrible. How do you do it? Coop yourself up with a bunch of lights during the night?" It reminds him of a movie he had seen. Where the person constantly had to have light or else she would be attacked by the darkness. He looked at Madison with concerned.

When Nicola began talking about her gift, it sounded pretty badass. It was like some demon slaying shit. "That sounds pretty cool to me. Nicola, part time demon slayer huh?" the thought of the younger girl in front of him going around killing demons was a bit hard to believe. "and no, my gift can't kill me. It's teleportation. Pretty bland compared to yours."

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:08 pm

"I'd kill for teleportation." Madison looked up at the cicada-filled leaves, up to the sky with a frown. "Well, not really, I'm not one to...kill...things, not like I ever had the chance, or..." She laughed it off. So what do these demons look like? Are they scary?"

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:45 pm

Nicola only shrugged, "I murder demons, but I haven't really had to with angels floating around the school." It was great not having to be in combat so often, but the thrill of battle was always something she enjoyed when she needed to get her adrenaline running. Though, living such a carefree life was wonderful as well and she didn't have to really care about whether she was in danger or not. "Teleportation isn't that bad - being able to move anywhere you want without having to lift a finger sounds so much easier than walking or waiting in line," she started, casting her glance towards Madison. Were the cicadas being that annoying, at the moment? There did seem to be a lot of them... "Never really thought that the demons I've killed were horrifying or anything. They vary in appearance just like people."

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PostSubject: Re: An Orchestra of Cicadas   Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:32 pm

D'angelo watched as Madison frowned at the sight of the cicadas. There was quite a few of them. Okay, maybe more than a few. A disgusted look came upon him as he saw one take flight from a nearby bush. There wasn't anything more that he hated than bugs. Spiders were no problem. But insects with six legs bothered him. Especially ones that fly and were pretty big in size. "noisy little bastards, don't you think so?" he asked Madison. He then turned back to Nicola. "Well when I use it for little things like that I think that's being lazy. It's very convenient when you need to be somewhere in a hurry. Although there are limits to where I can and cannot teleport. For example, let's say I wanted to go to, I don't know let's say Russia. I wouldn't be able to because I have never been there and I cannot physically see it." There were other limits but that was one that commonly was asked about.

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