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“They’re going to end up on the floor,” says one of the watchers dryly.

“Have a little faith.” Proserpina smiles. “Iala will want to mess up her face a little first, and this way they can’t use their fingernails.”

“So what are their sandwich board names? Messface McRichiegirl and the Scratcher?”

Proserpina realizes, with a motionless shock, that her interlocutor is a boy–around her age, long arms draped over the scaffolding, dark shirt and suspenders blended with the shadows of the large and dusty hall.

“You’re not supposed to be here,” she says.

“Neither are you,” he points out, correctly.