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Kinder

Kinder knows perfectly well that the letter isn’t something she can lose; it’s stored well and safely in her inbox, and on whatever remote server collects all her email. But she printed it out to carry it in a pocket, and its sudden tangibility has made it fragile and rare to her.

It’s 2:43 am as she slumps home, an ache of exhaustion in her wrists, in her hips and lower back. Kinder’s alone in the crystal-cold air of something that’s not yet morning, but a touch of the letter in her pocket warms her. It’s a whisper; she’s a coal.

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