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Maddy stretches a recipe. Kent fiddles with his father’s old turntable while Destiny sells her aunt’s LPs.

H.G. talks to his cat a lot; Eola writes stories on paper airplanes. Adamkin collects playing cards from the gutter. Landrey does her homework in Sharpie and it bleeds through six looseleaf pages. Annabelle loans her a Bic #2.

Theo died, two years ago, of “complications.” Tally sits in his old desk.

What if there’s exactly one person in the world for you?

What if you’re not the one for them?

Jeremiah scuffs his soles in time to the beat of his iPod heart.


Alone in a strange bed, Eola makes men out of Kleenex to protect her from invaders. Some of them she puts on the nightstand and the footboard; others she gives Kleenex parachutes and tosses toward the periphery.

The Kleenex men cut silk and secure the LZ with Q-Tip rifles. The dust is cohering into hunched and leaning shapes, boiling at the edges, burning blue eyes in the corners and under the chair. The Kleenex men draw together, sweating.

The boiling dust monsters don’t understand their hunger. They advance with open arms, needing more, needing anything, needing not to be alone.