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Nightjar

Her sister, at five, speaks with the confidence and diction of a princess. “I told them,” she says, standing in the doorway.

“Who?” says Nightjar, feeling stupid. “What?”

“That you’d gone missing,” she says. “I would have confessed earlier, but I was waiting for Gnomon to leave.”

“So you’re a tattletale,” spits Nightjar.

“I saved you, sister. They wouldn’t have noticed you were gone.”

Nightjar slams the door. Confusion, anger, grief, chagrin: when she lets herself speak it’s a crack of thunder, and a crack in the dam.

POE, she whispers in her terrible new voice, and the ghost is there.

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