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In September the writing staff quits in protest, again, so Mitch has to get out the spade and headlamp.

Cool, moist nights are best. Mitch gets down on his knees in some jeans he’s been needing to filthy up and puts his shoulder into overturning landscaper detritus. The writers beneath writhe and squeal in protest of the hour, pale and eyeless; Mitch takes care not to cut any in digging them out.

“Coffee,” gurgles one, as Mitch crumbles the dirt.

“Whiskey,” gasps another.

“Are you going to eat us?” asks the girl one.

“Nope,” says Mitch, trying to find the hook.