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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.


She had no pants clean so she wore the damn overalls, damn it, and everyone will think she actually wore a costume to school. A Farmer Tally costume.

“You need a straw hat,” chuckles Theo, behind her.

“Hrk,” says Tally.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you!” He pounds on her back. He’s wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

“Not dressed up,” Tally manages, “only losers dress up.” She couldn’t look stupider in front of him.

“You don’t like my costume?” he says soberly. An endless pause.

And he winks and it kills her, just kills her, the way Halloween kills October.