“I miss him,” says Kettle, teeth closed. “I just do and waking up is like putting my hand on a stove, every time.”
“I know,” says Ship. “We’re going to see the blues man.”
He leads her down around the light well until it bottoms out in mud. There are crickets and frogs here; it’s comfortably dim.
The blues man hangs davincied, hooks in his wrists and ankles. “Knife’s on the stump,” he murmurs.
Kettle trembles on her first cut; by her sixth she’s steady. She drops the knife, shuddering. The bleeding blues man breathes deep. Together, they begin to heal.