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CICADA Magazine is a YA lit/comics magazine fascinated with the lyric and strange and committed to work that speaks to teens' truths. We publish poetry, realistic and genre fic, essay, and comics by adults and teens. (We are also inordinately fond of Viking jokes.)

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    • "Oh my god. I mean, mood. Sans superpowers." Nick mimicked Harley's movements, dinner plate eyes watching Four inquisitively. "Whoa, shit, hi. What am I explaining? Because I'm gonna make it clear right the fuck now that if I'm explaining myself, in general, I have no sense of identity at all. So. No dice there, pal." Wiggling his phone, though, the screen rotated distressingly because the screen lock was off but fairly clearly on the screen was some emo bullshit. "Music? Bluetooth?"

       

      @conradbirdie

    • @drowntown

      "He was normal before all that, though! The whole origin story thing just, like-" He mimicked some kind of 90s daytime movie trailer voice, "Whoa, what a topsy-turvy mixup! Accidentally got superpowers that just kinda give me anxiety, and now my uncle and only father figure's fuckin' dead, dude! Better get into wrestling!" Still, he broke character to fumble for his own phone, patting down his pockets like that would help at all. "Fu-uck. I do, I'd love to give you some sweet music in return, but I think I left my phone back in the car. Shit, maybe- Hold on, come meet my kid." He craned his neck enough to peer into the living room. "Hey, Four? You mind hanging onto some music that's way out of both of our tastes, just until tomorrow?" With a whirr, Unit Four booted up again. "Only if the giver of strange, non-comfort-zone music explains themselves."

    • "You callin' Spiderman normal? Kid got bit by a radioactive arachnid??" Nick snorted, cocking his head as Harley got close. "Of course I have all four, what do you take me for? Free, too. Ripped 'em from YouTube. Add that to the list of unproved criminal activity, m'dude." Chuckling, he pulled out his old-ass first-gen Moto. "Takes up half the space on this thing. You got Bluetooth? We can share pirated spoils." Letting the 'emo completion' comment go with a shake of his head, Nick felt super gay in this Chili's tonight.

      @conradbirdie

      Edited by drowntown
      fuk
    • @drowntown

      "He'll be added to the 'in deep shit' list. But he's, like, a grown, super rich dude. Peter Parker and Mile Morales are normal, non-billionare kids in, like, a ton of their content. Batman can handle his own shit, I trust him." Another laugh as he leaned close enough to try and tell if Nick was joking. "And I take it you have all four? If not, I'll totally buy them for you. Uh- If they're cheap. No offence, but I'm valuing gas money over your emo completion right now, bud."

    • "Dude, y'know there was like, an entire series about Gotham cops trying to kill Batman? Vigilanteism is so illegal. Hey. I said unproved." Kind of a frown. "You mean four. Four albums, actually." You're making a reeeal great 'not an emo' case here, Nick.

      @conradbirdie

    • @drowntown @queenie_flower

      "Aw, fuck, is heroism illegal now? My main dude Spider-Man's gonna get in some deep shit. And apparently you, too? Did you beat up total assholes or something?" He got distracted by bumping back Nick enough to chuck his own bowl in the trash, so the full effect of how baffling Nick's attempt at a comeback was kinda surprised him. Enough that he burst out laughing before he even processed it. "I'm- I'm what? Y'all, listen up, I've gotta get my hair cut into some fuckin' Justin Beiber-y swoop and delete all my music in favor of, like, three MCR songs." He returned back to the counter, grabbing another one of his discarding candy bars and holding it out to June to toast. You know. With candy bars. L'chaim. 'Cause pretty much everyone in the group needed it. "I can add 'totally humble' to that list," he said with a grin.

      Edited by conradbirdie
      • Like 1
    • "Hey, I said unproved. Who says it's me? Well, a lot of people do, but who can prove it's me? Well, probably someone, but until that somebody frames me I have deniability. So. Unproved. Ha. Take that, your highness." Scraping the bottom of the paper-styrofoam hybrid bowl with his fork, Nick finished up his rice and stuck the fork in the sink and the bowl, after a little hunting, in the trash.

      @queenie_flower

    • June raised an eyebrow. “Wow. That’s... not a great comeback. To anything. You didn’t know what emo meant until five minutes ago. It’s a culture, Nick.” She dropped onto the floor and reached for one of Harley’s candy bars. “And I’ve got you both beaten in legal trouble, but I’ve technically got a clean record. Don’t bother looking me up. I want to hear that vilgilante stuff sometime though. Sounds like a riot.” She tossed her hair over her shoulder, flashing a smile at Harley, who certainly wasn’t a loser and was very much a good parent. “And I am a blessing, you’re right. Also a jock, a saint and a goddess, but who’s keeping track?”

    • "While I agree with those ethics, that sounds more illegal than unproved vigilante-ism." Cracking half a grin and mockingly hoarding his bowl out of ganking range, Nick set it back down after a half second of being facetious. "Uh. I don't actually think you're a loser, I think you're an....emo." Nailed it. Victory kimchi noshing.

    • @drowntown

      "It's not, like, super illegal!" Harley did quiet down then, trying to make sure Unit Four wouldn't boot back up and get upset Harley was talking about them behind their back. "I have a case for the ethics side of things, anyway, where just 'cause I promised to sell them a functioning AI doesn't mean I have to sell away a straight up sentient kid. Just trying to raise Four right, dude." That didn't stop his from snorting and stealing half a bite from Nick's bowl. "You do suck at comebacks though, like- Pretty sure that was a compliment, through and through. Take two? Something more like, 'I don't actually think you're a loser, I think you're a-' Insert insult here?"

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