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________

“AEIOU,” Cheyenne rattles off, but a couple of those miss the mark and so the scaffold forms quickly.

“Come on,” says Butler, glaring at her. “Never guess U!”

“You go then.”

“RST. Shit. L. Shit! N? F!” Butler’s sprung a prompt sweat: the lucky guess there at the end saves him a little dignity, but they’re running out of chances.

“FAEOO,” mutters Cheyenne dourly. “Hmm. K?”

Never guess–” Butler starts, but it’s a jackpot: FAEOOK.

“We can do this,” says Cheyenne. “P? Oh no–”

Neck in the noose, breath shallow, their prisoner waits for the feet that will snap his neck.

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