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Antessa

The local’s working surprisingly well, but Antessa’s still sweating. “That’s normal,” says the burn artist, nametagged Knarl. “Your blood’s going to carry some heat…”

Knarl’s working the torch gently back and forth along her forearm, while another artist works on Wright. Wright grins at her, scared and excited.

“Okay!” Knarl flips up his shield. “Ready? Move your right arms across and grip.”

Wright and Antessa do and do. Antessa feels queasy at the touch of his slick, blistered skin, but she holds it. Wright holds her eyes, unsteady, still grinning.

“Now,” says Knarl, “ease off,” and they leave their fingerprints behind.

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