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Night Numbers are just her day job. Everybody wants a little bar code zero, and nothing less than steel will trap that void–but it’s unpleasant, if easy. She’s glad to send them off to the retailer, who’s far away, overseas.

She hangs up the big hammer and locks the forge doors, and she’s no sooner around the corner than the first of the kids is there.

“Miss Summersmith?” he asks. “I was wondering,” and holds up string and some crayons, a dime and white chalk.

She’s already smiling: unpocketing the little hammer, the one with a prism for a head.