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“Nobody ever did that,” says Agnes. “It’s an urban legend.”

“Are you sure?” says Fantine. “If the ashes were fine enough–”

“You don’t snort something that smells wrong by accident! Because when you start to snort, you put your nose near it!

“Cocaine dulls your sense of smell,” says Diego. “Also how are you so knowledgeable about snorting?”

“I’m knowledgeable about basic critical thinking skills,” says Agnes, “but only in comparison to present company.”

“Look, there’s only one way to resolve this.”

So they break into the crematorium. It doesn’t resolve anything, but Fantine’s coat smells like fire for a year.


“Agnes is going to the library to pretend to study,” Agnes tells her phone. It processes this, and then, as she’s walking through the RFID sentinels, purrs something new from the feed.

“No phones, please,” says the librarian in the wheelchair, like Agnes needs the extra guilt. She covertly wakes it again (muted) once she’s around the corner.

Hector is in the library, her phone says, because there’s too much drama in his room.

Agnes peeks down through the lightwell to confirm this. “Oh no, phone!” she whispers. “That means Jason–”

Amelia and Jason ended their relationship, it hiccups.

“:(,” Agnes sighs.


And it’s so easy to feel badass with the headphones on, with the bass up. Agnes rocks her wrists to keep from dancing.

“I’m not afraid of the dark!” she exulted to Diego, earlier.


“I got my black belt, D,” she said. “My black belt.

He laughed. “You’re that much better than you were last week?”

“I gotta go. The police want me to register my hands.”

Agnes bops the shadows between streetlights, looking down all the alleys. This new and easy confidence. Sneaker Pimps and her hoodie.

You want some of this, she thinks.

Are you talking to me!


“Are you okay?”

Kai and Ayane are waiting by the door, concerned. Kai pretty clearly has to go: she’s trying to not to hop from foot to foot. “Yeah!” says Jason, muffled. “Sorry, just a minute!”

“What else can you say to that?” mutters Chyler over a euchre hand.

Agnes cracks a grin, and Hector cracks up. It’s lost on Chyler.

“Like you can just go ‘No, actually,'” she says, in a Jasonesque baritone. “‘Having some difficulty. Think you could come on in and help?'”

Hector’s off his chair, and Agnes covers her eyes. Chyler barely notices. Her hand really sucks.


“Eighteen days,” says August firmly. “To the minute.”

“Lord, honey, a year,” drawls Willie. “Or better yet, don’t.”

“Ooh, the same thing happened with me!” exclaims Laura. “And then that Friday, Ben… um, went into a coma.”

“A fortnight!” says Jason happily. “Actually I just wanted to say ‘fortnight.'”

“I don’t know,” says Hector, “A couple days?”

“Two weeks,” says Ayane. “Four weeks. No, two weeks.”

“It’s cool,” says Diego sagely. “Seriously, babe, I don’t mind. What was the question?”

“Five days,” says Agnes.

“A month,” says Tom.

“Just ask him, Chyler,” groans Emily, “honestly, can we talk about something else?”