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A story by my old friend Wayne Mooney

Thistle fires her shotgun at the Lavender Woman. No recoil. No muzzle flare. Stupid! She presses against a pillar, feels bullets strike it. Mint crouches in the narrow gap behind Lincoln’s marble throne, watching. “Need shells,” Thistle signs to her. She spells it out one-handed, her gun clenched in the other. What the girl throws her is too big and pale pink. She frowns, but Mint gestures insistently. She brings the conch to her ear.

Impossibly, she can hear the ocean. And something else…

She knows what she has to do. She drops her gun.

It doesn’t make a sound.