“If you don’t plan on buying nothing…”

Mare let the sentence trail off. Gaddy had been staring at the wall of candy for a few minutes.

Her clothes were a mess. It looked like she’d been rolling around in the dirt and grass all morning, stains streaking in all directions across her shirt and jeans. And when Mare got close enough, she could smell her, sweat and cigarettes and the inside of an IHOP, sugar sweetness under the earthiness of other people.

“Hello?” Gaddy hadn’t answered. She hadn’t even moved. She just stared at the wall of candy.

What she didn’t feel like doing today was dealing with a fuckup like Gaddy. She’d probably been our huffing paint or taking too many of her mother’s painkillers again, the typical stuff she’d been getting into since her father died. Poor kid. She used to be a good one, headed for something. But Will dies and leaves her with that piece of work he married, and the girl ends up like this. Wasted. Sad.

Mare moved in closer, a deeper whiff of Gaddy making her nose scrunch up in disapproval.

“Gaddy… you gotta get a move on, girl. I can’t have you doing this with customers coming in and out.”

“It’s in me.”

Gaddy’s voice was low, thin. Mare barely heard her.


“It’s in me. Probably in you, too. Waiting.”

“You shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing, girl. Pills or whatever you’re doing. You shouldn’t be doing it. Now, get out of here, or I’m gonna call –”

Gaddy’s head turned to look at her. Dried blood dribbled out of her nose and just down to the top of her lip. And her eyes. Gaddy’s eyes, hollower than usual, looking almost carved out.

“Too late. Gonna eat you from the inside, too.”

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