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Chicago

Chicago spins around.

Tossing a dead man’s key from hand to hand, True contemplates tactics. He’s startled her; an advantage against a typical foe, but perhaps not the wisest choice when facing, say, a wolverine. She’s automatically half-crouched, and he knows she’s thinking about weapons first, speech second.

True knew Chicago’s mother: she used to teach his Sunday School class. He attended Sunday School, and Chicago didn’t. It’s never struck him until now how odd that is.

They really would look alike, he finds himself thinking. Those eyes, those freckles.

The curl of her lip.

The fall of her hair.

Chicago

Grainy film, but it has to be, trying to freeze motion in indoor lighting when a flash would give you away. Chicago flaps them dry under red Christmas lights. There are six keys to the darkroom; a dead man has one of them, and she’s got the other five.

Two prints: the beaker halfway up its bounce, intact. The beaker at its peak, exploding. She almost expected to see a bullet piercing it. Instead it’s the cap of a pen.

“Do you believe in ghosts?” she asks herself.

“Yeah,” says True, behind her. Chicago chomps her tongue to kill a yelp.

Chicago

With the exception of Photography and French, Chicago doesn’t do well with grades. She approaches homework as a seasonal accessory, to be used as a prop for the Innocent Sophomore guise, and she skips any given class two days out of five.

Her teachers rarely object to the latter, though. They keep passing her, or at least passing her off: nobody wants her twice.

She doesn’t do many afterschool activities either. She remembers why every time she walks down the third floor corridor, where True has somehow talked the Fellowship of Christian Athletes into protesting, via flier, the suffrage of women.

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