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Alder

The tower’s three stories, ten butts in diameter, which means–what, thinks Alder. Seventy-fiveish cigarettes a level? Seventy-five square, or hexagonal–whatever.

There’s enough carbon monoxide in this hallway to make passersby stumble. Unless that’s exhaustion: halfway through the reunion and they’re all lumped together to sleep, or sneaking off to not; she and Sid and Lacey smoke and stack.

What would five hundred kids who weren’t “gifted” do differently? Break more windows, she thinks. Maybe that’s why Alder and everyone are here: because even with the waste of their addictions, they have to build and build and build.

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