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Juno’s family would most likely be cool if they were to unearth her habit; they’re neither pious nor hypocritical, and anyway, they like her. Mom would want assurances of her health and safety. Frewin might recommend a counselor.

But addiction runs sweetest on the engine of shame.

Thus secrecy, careful systems, the constriction of her heart when someone’s been poking around her room. It’s only when she knows the house is asleep or empty that she can bring out her box, her relics and the little black hagiograph.

Veneration is ecstasy. Juno surrenders to glossolalia, pillow bunched hard against her mouth.