At the height of dawn the sky was still dark. Inside the old-fashioned family house, a young woman ran for her life down the hall. She stained her favorite blue pajamas with orange juce as she jumped over the table. Her roommates, a brunette named Sylvie; a blonde goth named Courtney; and a pink-haired girl whose name is unspecified, all lay dead on the floor with thousands of holes inside their bodies and eye sockets empty of eyeballs. Our young heroine, Dabby Montague, stopped at the doorway of the kitchen. When she heard that buzz, that loud song, she looked to her left and saw the magicicada on the wall. She dashed into the kitchen and ran to the exit door, shaking the knob, she panicked where she stood!

“Who the hell locks a damn door?” she wondered.

“Well, you have to if you are living with three young women in the country right by a college that is say…a five minute walk away.”

Her body quickly turned, she stood defensively as the young man smiled at her from the table. “The cicada-shifter” was the title he earned because he was one. Legs crossed, mug in hand, he took a large gulp of the day-old coffee. He wore her dead brother’s motorcycle jacket. He wore his hair like him, too. Clean-cut, shaven on the sides, a little ruffed up.

“You’re Julius Xanthar’s son!” she said.

“Really? and how do you know that?”

“My teacher, he-he-he-he told me—told us—my friends, the class,”

The young man stood up and with a low sigh he said, “my children—or babies as my mother called ‘em—could really use a meal. They only have two weeks to live so I would appreciate it if you’d strip down and let us harvest your skin, blood, bones and marrow.”

Dabby backtraced her steps to the living room as he came closer, “and maybe your eyes, too. They seem to enjoy those.”

“No!”

She reached for her sister’s lantern and smashed it on the floor. She escaped through the patio as the flames erupted in a fantastical show.

Hold on, they’re buzzing loudly again!

We sympathize for you,” they keep saying it…

“Shut up!”

“I may be able to make it to the college but they’ll be in close proximity.” she said.

Her heart thumped, they waited. She took the plunge off the steps and ran in the direction of the college. Without moment’s rest the cicadas took off from the tree and pursued her. She jumped over the wooden fence and wished she had taken Track and Field like her sister Debbie suggested but nooooooo she took Wrestling and was too girly-girl to last long. She made it halfway across the bridge before feeling overwhelmingly tired but she pushed herself, she had to! That’s why gluttony is a sin! But she wasn’t fat; she never took the time to workout. She wished to hell she did. She pushed herself hard. The college was just a few more steps away. She stumbled but kept herself on her feet. One little cicada latched itself onto her leg and bit down with it’s proboscis. She ignored the pain and ran to the parking lot. Immediately she started shouting for help as her speed worsened. A few lights came on, she shouted again and finally a door opened, the main door. A teacher, one she knew well, Mr. Trutsch (tru (as in trust)-ch-st), peeked his head out and saw her collapse.

“Dabby?”

He ran to her and saw the swarm of cicadas disappear into small black dots that decreased as they flew away.

 

*  *  *

 

Daytime brought relief. Daytime also brought sadness as everyperson had to awaken to learn of who was dead. They all wished for a pause in events, a pause to never experience tomorrow’s events as today. They wished to never know that Sylvie, Courtney and the unspecified girl died last night. The students in the Physiology class were all bummed and contemplating if they were next. At that house with the cicada tree, CSI people took pictures of the blood spatter and the girl’s bodies. They archived their things and took suspicious items such as knives and panties for later analysis at the crime lab. Dabby sat in Mr. Trustch’s office, she was concealed in a blanket and did not remove it until police came to take her. Students watched, but the students in Physiology class had clamored out of the room to get a better view. She walked away with them, the blanket still wrapped around her. They neared the doorway that lead to salvation.

“Hello, Dabby.”

She turned her head and stared the cicada in the face.

He looked unscathed and was directing his smile at her.

“It’s him!” she pointed with a shaky hand, “Julius…”

When the outside doors opened the cicadas swooped in by the millions. Multi-colored Cicadas took over every inch of the school. They passed her by in a sweeping storm. Everything went so fast: the screams, the agony and the feeling of being the only one left. The only one left.

 

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