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The end of the world

He steps outside and realizes he forgot to fold this part.

The sky above him glints like sugar spilled on ink. There are trees here, sharp and twisted things, like nothing on earth. Where is he?

When is he?

How old is he?

How old was she when–

He grabs a branch; his hand comes away bloody, and he smears it across the pages. Names lift from it and float away (Zocco Zion Zinnia Zhenya) but they’re all wrong. What page was it on? Seventeen? Nineteen?

Maybe he shouldn’t ask.

Somewhere a snowskull drifts to earth, ELIOT melting from its brow.


Every four weeks, on the waning sliver, Keeley’s mother makes them pack up the whole carnival and drive to the most secluded spot around. Keeley’s mother is happiest if this requires actively trespassing. Then they set up and turn on and run the thing all night so that the ghosts can have their turn.

There aren’t any actual ghosts; Keeley’s mother just needs some weird justification for her monthly gin bender.

One time Keeley cut eyeholes in a sheet and wandered around hoping a ghost would kiss her, but instead Siam and Zion (the twins) did, and that was okay too.