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Category Archives: Annamarie


Acid, Annamarie decides eventually, slipped into her first beer of the evening. Or peyote or something. She’s never tried any of them on purpose.

“Are you okay?”

The boy with floppy hair eyeing her, whose pink shirt has begun to pulse and race in her vision, may or may not be the one who dosed her. Not that it would avail him much–in fact, it’s almost unfair to let him so gravely misunderstand the situation. She tries to warn him, as obliquely as she can manage.

“Everyone I touch will die,” she says.

“Everything I touch,” says Remy agreeably, “explodes.”


Annamarie works that summer as the cashier at the self-checkout lane at the Winn-Dixie, where she stands at a counter and glances at receipts and politely points out forgotten twelve-packs of Coke on the bottom racks of shopping carts. She swipes her own Lunchables for her break next to the ice machine.

There’s a little TV at the stand and it flickers between cameras pointed out from under each laser scanner, so you can see what they’re trying to weigh as unlabeled produce. It shows faces, too, distorted and bulbous. Every one she sees could be her mother.


Cards are more popular, but really Remy prefers dice. It took him a long time to become a serious craps shooter, able to spin flat and even hit the wall without changing faces; he particularly enjoys the inevitable accusations of sharking, and the quick and sloppy fights that follow. Dicing requires physical skill in many arenas.

All you need for cards is a grin and some math.

The girl from the supermarket, says her license, is Annamarie. Remy replaces the wallet in her pocket with a queen of hearts in the billfold. He’s got a whole deck of those, but still.


“Why do you wear gloves?”

“My hands get cold,” says Annamarie.

He quirks an eyebrow. “In Mississippi? In July?”

“Why do you wear yours?” she counters. “They’re stupid.”

Remy’s wounded. “They’re for tricks,” he says, wiggling his fingers: ring and middle covered, index and pinky exposed. “Otherwise you have to wrinkle your cards to palm them easily.”

“Well, exactly. Might as well shout ‘something up my sleeve!'”

“So you’d keep your eyes on my hands, neh?”

“Damn straight.”

“Which one?” he asks, and spreads them apart, and when her eyes flick left his right hand plucks a quarter from her lips.


Annamarie’s brother tends to appear out of nowhere.

“Jesus, Kurt!” she says, and scrambles back over the top of the picnic table, away from Remy. Squirrels flee.

“Are you guys making out?” asks Kurt, dangling upside-down from the tree.

“Does it look like we’re making out?”

Kurt inverse-shrugs.

“That’s a neat trick, kid,” says Remy. “Why don’t you buy yourself an ice cream for it?” He flips Annamarie’s quarter.

Kurt catches it. “Ice cream costs, like, four bucks.”

“Then go do it for fifteen other people.”

Kurt makes an obscene gesture, though probably not the one you’re thinking of.


Cody plays football but he’s not the quarterback or anything: he’s PK and he’s got a little pothead chin scruff as a badge of outsider status. He is tall, though. And he drives a truck.

Cody wants to be a pilot if he can’t go pro (his left knee shunted him out of soccer). He can play that Plain White T’s song on his guitar but suspects he’ll have to learn a couple more before college. He’s in AP History and he likes the word “cuneiform.”

Cody always liked Annamarie, even when she used to knock him in the playground dirt.