“Moxie Bitters,” says Moxie Bitters.
“Misery Slant,” says Misery Slant.
They don’t bother shaking hands. They eye each other, Moxie up, Misery down: sometimes a book is written on its covers.
“You’re not worth bribing, are you, Miss Bitters?”
“I prefer Moxie,” says Moxie, “and no, Misery, I’m not.”
“Then we have a problem, Moxie,” says Misery. “And I prefer Miss Slant.”
“The lighthouse stays on,” says Moxie, and shakes her hair back. “That’s what a lighthouse does: welcome by warning, safety in departure.”
“The Platonic lighthouse, perhaps, yes. This particular lighthouse will go out,” says Misery.
“Maybe tomorrow. Not tonight.”