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South Carolina

“You don’t look like a dragon,” says Toynbee.

The pink thing coils and thrashes. “Leave China for Korea, lose a toe,” it snorts. “Farther and you lose your scales. This far–this ugly empty place–I’ve lost almost everything!”

Toynbee knows the dragon wants to be picked up. It’s covered in wet brown leaves; it has a pig’s nose. He keeps his hands in his pockets.

“You grant wishes?” he says.

“Of course,” it says quickly. “Many wishes. Dragon wishes!”

“You don’t,” sighs Toynbee.

“No,” says the dragon, “but FedEx me home and I’ll give you my next-to-last name.”