Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Book List

The More Than Complete Hitchhikers Guide Adams, Douglas
^ The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe Adams, Douglas
^ The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Adams, Douglas
^ Life, the Universe, and Everything Adams, Douglas
^ So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish Adams, Douglas
^ Young Zaphod Plays it Safe Adams, Douglas
Catalyst Anderson, Laurie Halse
On a Pale Horse Anthony, Piers
Ogre, Ogre Anthony, Piers
The Summoning Armstrong, Kelley
The Awakening Armstrong, Kelley
The Reckoning Armstrong, Kelley
Thirteen Reasons Why Asher, Jay
Fairy Tale Balog, Cyn
The Looking Glass Wars Beddor, Frank
Audrey, Wait! Benway, Robin
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Brashares, Anne
The Second Summer of the Traveling Pants Brashares, Anne
Eighth Grade Bites Brewer, Heather
Queen of Babble Cabot, Meg
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There Carroll, Lewis
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Chbosky, Stephen
City of Ashes Clare, Cassandra
City of Bones Clare, Cassandra
City of Glass Clare, Cassandra
Clockwork Angel Clare, Cassandra
Gingerbread Cohn, Rachel
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares Cohn, Rachel & Levithan, David
Hunger Games Collins, Suzanne
Catching Fire Collins, Suzanne
Matched Condie, Ally
Sugar and Spice Conrad, Lauren
L.A. Candy Conrad, Lauren
The Wanderer Creech, Sharon
The Dark is Rising Cooper, Susan
Someone Like You Dessen, Sarah
That Summer Dessen, Sarah
Just Listen Dessen, Sarah
The Truth About Forever Dessen, Sarah
Lock and Key Dessen, Sarah
Along for the Ride Dessen, Sarah
The Boyfriend List E. Lockhart
The Boy Book E. Lockhart
Real Live Boyfriends E. Lockhart
The Treasure Map of Boys E. Lockhart
Once Upon a Marigold Ferris, Jean
Hush, Hush Fitzpatrick, Becca
Crescendo Fitzpatrick, Becca
Suicide Notes Ford, Michale Thomas
If I Stay Forman, Gayle
Inkheart Funke, Cornelia
Beautiful Creatures Garcia, Kami &Stohl, Margaret
Looking For Alaska Green, John
An Abundance of Katherines Green, John
Paper Towns Green, John
Will Grayson, Will Grasyon Green, John & Levithan, David
Dhampir (Noble Dead) Hendee, J.C.
The Everafter Huntley, Amy
13 Little Blue Envelopes Johnson, Maureen
Dear Prince Charming Kauffman, Donna
Heavy Metal and You Krovatin, Christopher
Boy Meets Boy Levithan, David
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Levithan, David
The Magician's Nephew Lewis, C. S.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Lewis, C. S.
Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie Lubar, Jason
Guitar Girl Manning, Sara
Wicked Lovely Marr, Melissa
The Girl I Wanted to Be McCandless, Sarah Grace
Wake McMann, Lisa
Fade McMann, Lisa
Gone McMann, Lisa
Twilight Meyer, Stephenie
New Moon Meyer, Stephenie
Eclipse Meyer, Stephenie
Breaking Dawn Meyer, Stephenie
The Host Meyer, Stephenie
TTYL Myracle, Lauren
Evermore Noel, Alyson
Blue Moon Noel, Alyson
Shadowland Noel, Alyson
Before I Fall Oliver, Lauren
The Angel Experiment Patterson, James
The Final Warning Patterson, James
Max Patterson, James
The Subtle Knife Pullman, Philip
The Amber Spyglass Pullman, Philip
The Golden Compass Pullman, Philip
Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas Rennison, Louise
On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God Rennison, Louise
Queen of the Damned Rice, Anne
An Aquaintance With Darkness Rinaldi, Anne
The Lightning Thief Riordan, Rick
The Titan's Curse Riordan, Rick
The Sea of Monsters Riordan, Rick
The Last of the Olympians Riordan, Rick
Quidditch Through the Ages Rowling, J.K.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Rowling, J.K.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Rowling, J.K.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Rowling, J.K.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Rowling, J.K.
Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix Rowling, J.K.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Rowling, J.K.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Rowling, J.K.
The Lovely Bones Sebold, Alice
Intertwined Showalter, Gena
The Night World Omnibus #1 Smith, L.J.
^ Secret Vampire Smith, L.J.
^ Daughters of Darkness Smith, L.J.
^ Spellbinder Smith, L.J.
The Night World Omnibus #2 Smith, L.J.
^ Dark Angel Smith, L.J.
^ The Chosen Smith, L.J.
^ Soulmate Smith, L.J.
The Night World Omnibus #3 Smith, L.J.
^ Huntress Smith, L.J.
^ Black Dawn Smith, L.J.
^ Witchlight Smith, L.J.
The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle Smith, L.J.
The Vampire Diaries: The Fury and Dark Reunion Smith, L.J.
The Secret Circle: The Initian and The Captive Part I Smith, L.J.
The Secret Circle: The Captive Part II and The Power Smith, L.J.
The Forbidden Game Ombinus Smith, L.J.
^ The Hunter Smith, L.J.
^ The Chase Smith, L.J.
^ The Kill Smith, L.J.
Dark Visions Omnibus Smith, L.J.
^ The Strange Power Smith, L.J.
^ The Possessed Smith, L.J.
^ The Passion Smith, L.J.
Fall For Anything Summers, Courtney
Shiver Stieffvater, Maggie
Linger Stieffvater, Maggie
Flipped Van Draanen, Wendelin
It Girl #1 Von Ziegesar, Cecily
Midnighters: #1 The Secret Hour Westerfeld, Scott
Peeps Westerfeld, Scott
The Last Days Westerfeld, Scott
A Certain Slant of Light Whitcomb, Laura
Elsewhere Zevin, Garbrielle

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First Day

That bimbo.

I narrow my eyes at her but she pays no heed. Of course not. She’s too busy – glowing, gloating, gleaming. Bright eyes dance as she laughs, the sort of cutsy laugh girls who laugh like me hate and envy. And I do hate it. The way her hair falls back into place, in that gorgeous-messy tousled manner I cannot achieve. Messy just looks… messy on me.

There she is, charming the boys. My boys! And it’s as if I don’t exist! I stand to the side while they make googly eyes at her.

“Kennedy didn’t tell me she knew so many guys!” she says, her voice a delighted giggle, all coy and feminine. “Nor did she warn me you’re so cute!”

While she flutters her lashes, I fear for my breakfast. If I hurl, I plan to do it on her. Just aim and blow, right on her toes. Even more disgusting is how they eat it up, like they’re starving. And I know they’re not, because Aislian isn’t the first girl to flirt with them. Gross. I’m almost ashamed of them.

I don’t think it can get worse.

“Had I know, I may have dolled up a bit!”

And then it does. Now, I’m really certain I’m going to vomit. Annoyed, I grab Aislain’s arm. There’s no time to waste and I need to get rid of her as quickly as I possibly can. No way do I want to hang around and listen to her fish for compliments, while my boys assure her that her hair is perfect (because it is) and she looks amazing (because she does) and that there’s nothing wrong with her (she’s practically flawless). I hate when girls do that – look good and know it and fish for compliments. Appalling.

“We have to go to the office.” My teeth are gritted. I don’t want to be late to Bio because someone can’t stop flirting long enough to get her damn schedule.”

Aislain opens her mouth to say something, but I give her arm a jerk. I ignore the boys as I drag her away. Their heckling calls of “No fair, mother hen!” and “You’re so overbearing!” cause a lush of heat in my face, but all I offer them is the bird.

How dare they. I’m not the one who was making a fool of myself, now am I?

“Nice friends,” Aislian purrs once we are out of ear shot. “I didn’t expect that from you.”

I don’t say anything. Instead, I square my shoulders, as if this will block out her presence. Tiny though she is, this attempt fails. I continue to drag her through the congested halls. People part ways, like the sea, as I march through. A feeling of satisfaction fills me as Aislain stumbles over herself to keep up. Still, I mull over what she said, in that chirpy voice of innocence and hot anger boils in my stomach. What in the world had she meant? She didn’t expect me to have friends? To have nice friends? To have a group of guys with whom I’m friends? Is this her passive-aggressive manner of calling me ugly? Of expressing surprise that a girl like me could be friends with a group of males?

Next to dainty Aislain, I feel massive and gangly and I remember why I don’t like to be near girls like her for long.

The office is contained within glass walls. We can see straight in, to the secretaries behind the counter. Beyond them are doorways and two hallways at either end. A few students mingle in the office, talking with the three secretaries. I recognize one, Kensie Ollivieri, a senior dating the rather cute office aid. Every morning, she hangs around with him until the last minute. She cannot see my roll my eyes at her back, but Ms. Teller, the kinder of the secretaries, does. A secretive smile forms on her face and she waves me over.

“Kennedy Way!” she greets, her tone enthusiastic. “What brings you in today? You weren’t absent yesterday… Oh! It’s your sister, isn’t it?” Realization has dawned on her and she seems to peer around me.

At once, I thrust Aislain forward while Ms. Teller shuffles through papers and folders in front of her. Aislain stumbles against the counter, pressing her palms to the counter to hold herself up. I fight a smirk.

“Ah, yes, there we are,” says Ms. Teller as she pulls a manila folder towards her. “You are… Ay…slan…?” She purses her lips, struggling to form the right pronunciation.

Aislain pulls herself a whopping, erect 5’2” and lifts her chin. “Aiz-len,” she corrects. “Like maze. Aislain Ward, thank-you.”

This is my cue. I don’t bother to say good-bye to Aislain, though Ms. Teller calls one to me as I push through the door.


The Bimbo can deal. Ms. Teller will sign her a guide, preferably one of the geekier ones, and we’ll be rid of her. She’ll no longer be my problem. Then, I can wander through the halls and pretend I don’t know Aislain and everything will be normal again. This is fantastic. Everything is working out.

Simon joins me en route to my locker, falling into stride with me, and I feel a rush of gratitude that he was missing earlier. It’s stupid to feel possessive but he’s my oldest friend and I can’t bear to see him fall under that girl’s spell. Sharing was never my strong suit.

“What’s up, Grumpy Gus,” he greets.

I snort. “Good morning to you, too.”

A bag of donuts is in his hands like every morning. He withdraws a simple glazed ring and passes it to me. Beneath the waxed paper, it’s still warm, the glaze gooey to the touch. Perfect. Simon never fails me.

“Any reason you look particularly murderous today?” He leans against the locker beside mien, a chocolate long john already in his mouth as he peers over at me.

I say nothing and instead shrug as I open my locker, comforted by our routine. Even though I say nothing, Simon hovers, watching me as he chews on his donut. Though I feel my earlier annoyance melting in his presence, I find myself now feeling uncomfortable. While life-long best friends has its merits, it also has a few drawbacks, in the form of nothing being a secret.

It is impossible to switch anything in or out of my locker, so I devour my donut instead, standing in the open door of my locker. As I do this, Simon nudges me out of the way and pulls my Bio text book from the locker. My gratitude is merely me lifting my brows, surprised by this act of chivalry. He pays me no heed.

“Now you can’t say I never did anything for you,” he teases.

It’s not that chivalry isn’t Simon’s way. He opens doors for people, waves other cars through four-way stops during his turn, opts to carry the heavier of bags for his sister when they bring in groceries. And it’s not that I’ve never been on the receiving end. In fact, I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is that even prickled me, so I say nothing and just laugh at his joke. After all, I’m sure it’s what he expects.

And just like that, everything is good again. Aislain is at the very back of my mind, where she belongs, and Simon isn’t under her spell and soon the boys will forget. I’m counting on this. After all, most girls come and go. I wipe my sticky fingers on my jeans, then feign wiping them on Simon. He jerks away, bumps me with his hip and then slams my locker door closed in retaliation, and everything is right. We make our way to Biology together, a dark weight lifted.

Monday, October 11, 2010


A gentle breeze stirred through the limbs and the leaves rustled together, a soft whisper which stirred through her hair. It was absolutely perfect, she thought, and she adjusted herself on the limb which she sat on, her back against the tree trunk. Robin’s foot dangled just above and to the side as he lounged on a limb higher than she. With a wide smile on her face, she sighed, content.

“I love to come here,” Antigone confessed, as though Robin had no idea. They all but shared a mind, after all. “And it smells so fantastic!”

Sweet strawberry, heightened by a sharp citrus, prickled her nose in a rather ticklish manner as she took in a deep breath. Many scents wafted – the earthy smells from the nutty trees, and the various fruity scents and floral blossoms. All mingled in the air but up here, in the citberry tree, the fusion of strawberry and citrus was strongest and her chest swelled and filled with it. If it was possible to bottle and stopper this scent, she gladly would have.

“We should move up here,” said Robin, leaning over his limb to grin down at Antigone. He wore a toothy smile, reminiscent of the days when he was eight. “We can pack up our belongings and come up here. Maybe put together a pull and levy systems to get the big things up, like blankets and pillows.”

Antigone giggled, delightfully amused by his proposition, no matter how far-fetched it may be. It would be lovely, she mused, to fall asleep and wake every day to the sweet, tickling scent of the citberry tree. But it would so uncomfortable! Though she was perfectly content for now, she knew better than to think she could ever stay in the tree longer than a few hours. As if it sensed her thoughts, the pink leaves of the tree brushed across her cheek – a gentle, faintly tickling gesture to remind her how much she loved it up here.

“If only we could,” Antigone finally said, craning her head to catch a glimpse of Robin. He’d settled back against the trunk, one leg stretched out before him, the other propped up, arms folded simply in his lap. Robin’s sense of balance was far more developed than hers and she envied this about him. Adorned in dresses or heavy skirts, she could never simply rest the way he did and even if it wasn’t for such, she could sit perfectly still and yet feel as if she was about to lean off to one side or the other. Back pressed firm against the trunk, her fingers dug into the soft bark on either side of her to cling to the limb on which she rested. “Unfortunately, Robin, I dare point out we are not birds and thus, we nest in homes. Safe from the elements and in comfortable beds.”

Robin snorted. It wasn’t a derisive noise but one induced by humor. A scuffling above her alerted her attention to him and she watched with bated breath as he moved around, positioning himself forward on his belly, arms and legs dangling. Wide eyes watched for any sign of slippage, and when she realized he was stable, she released her breath and reached up towards his hand and slipped her fingers between his, entangled at the finger tips. A content sigh washed over her lips – this, she thought to herself, was simplistic perfection: the most tantalizing scent in the world, the best view in the kingdom, and one of her best friends in the universe.

Their following silence was comfortable. Above her, Robin’s rhythmic breathing stirred leaves together as the gentle breeze wove in through the branches and twigs. Loose tendrils of her hair danced around her face and she didn’t bother to bat them away but instead closed her eyes and listened. Birds sang in the distance and she wasn’t sure, but she thought she heard the faint chirping of a squirrel. Robin had a point, though. The location was perfect for sleep and, if it weren’t for the fear in the back of her mind, reminding her of falling to her doom, she could have easily dozed.

Fortunately, Robin broke the silence, and her sleepiness dissipated at once.

“Did you hear Bevony’s marriage has been scheduled?”

Antigone had not. Interest piqued, she looked upward at Robin’s sleepy face. His messy hair fell over the curve of his cheek and down the nape of his neck. He didn’t seem to mind, though, and paid it no heed as he swayed his arm, fingertips still gripping her own.

“Mmmhm. One month from now, yet another of our friends shall be wed.”

“But she is only fourteen!”

Antigone was aghast, despite the typical age range for marriage spanning from thirteen to sixteen. Often, once one was betrothed, hardly more than two years would pass before the two would be wed. The case, of course, exempted Robin and Antigone, both of whom had been betrothed since before their birth yet remained unwed at thirteen. Not that either of them complained, mind. As an unmarried girl, she was quite content to carry about with her lessons and running amuck through the Court with Robin and Ellie and Scooter. Once married, she’d not have such liberties and her job would to be stay home and cook and clean for her husband, and other horribly homey, horribly boring things she was not yet enticed by.

It wasn’t that she wished to never marry. That was Ellie, who refused the idea with contempt and disdain. She was proud to were pants like a man and to clop around in heavy boots. In fact, she climbed a tree much better than Antigone, whom had been taught by Robin while young. This was one of the reasons Antigone most loved Ellie. Ellie absolutely was her own person, spirited and liberated of any expectations of a “proper young lady”. In her own way, Antigone supposed, she, too, was. After all, soon, she and Ellie might be the remaining unwed females of their friends!

“I do not understand why you are so shocked,” murmured Robin, a grin in his voice. “After all, will that not be you and I soon enough?”

The girl scoffed.

“Why ought we rush it? We have so long ahead of us, haven’t we? Years and years and years. And already, we share our free minutes with each other. How different will it be after?”

A wicked grin on Robin’s face told Antigone what he wasn’t saying and a flush colored her cheeks a faint pink. Freeing her fingers from his, she swatted at his hands and he laughed, her favorite rumbly laugh. Nevertheless, warmth spread throughout her, a sort of current in her belly. They would have a future together. There was no reason to rush towards that just yet! Antigone was more than content to remain a child.

“What if something should happen to either of us? Before, I mean,” inquired Robin.

A chill doused Antigone and she froze, eyes on the boy above her. The look on his face was so serious – as it often was when Robin set his mind to thinking deeply – and it also rather terrified her. Whatever was going through his mind, she had no desire of knowing, because the way his brows knit and his lower lip jutted out told her his mind had run away.

Re-clasping their fingers, she gave them a squeeze and offered Robin a reassuring smile.

“Do not even think that way,” she scolded him, her stern voice gentle. “No harm shall come to either of us. Or Ellie, either! It shall be us three forever, I can promise you that.”

A wan smile tugged on the boy’s lip. “Oh, drat. Smelly Ellie shall be here forever?” The groan in his voice was fake and Antigone knew it. “But that is not a promise you can make and readily keep, Antigone. We are not in control of ourselves or our futures or what happens to us.”

“No, we are not. But our futures have been decided so far! I shall marry one of my best friends in the world! And we will be happy together and spend a long life with each other. Is that not what you think of when you ponder the future?”

Without warning, Robin swung down onto Antigone’s limb, prompting a shrill cry from her. He seemed unphased by it and lowered himself into a sitting position and straddled the limb precariously.

“That is the only future I will imagine,” he promised her, jaw set as his intense gaze met hers.

Then, before Antigone could react, he leaned forward, pressed his lips against her forehead and swung down from the limb. Playful laughter followed him and he called over his shoulder “Hurry up, slowpoke!”

Drabble Prompts

The REAL rules of Drabbles states that you write 100-words drabble based on the prompts given. This is why I call my longer pieces “one-shots” or “ficlets” - because they’re much longer than a conventional drabble. I’m thinking of doing a series of drabbles, as well, though. I’ll post them here and if any of you guys want to use them, feel free to.

(I totally stole some of these off of my friend Ama, hehehe! <3)

1. Complications | 2. Collapse | 3. Indifference | 4. Union | 5. Forgive |
6. Tingle | 7. Lottery |8. Memory | 9. Dream | 10. Touch | 11. Rain |
12. Snow | 13. Cave | 14. Tears | 15. Anger | 16. Love |17. Hate |
18. Funeral | 19. Child | 20. Beginnings | 21. Middle | 22. Ending |
23. Holiday | 24. Cooking |25. Sandbox | 26. Hello | 27. Goodbye |
28. Crackers | 29. Panda | 30. Tingle | 31. Skinny dipping | 32. Square |
33. Sunrise | 34. Sunset | 35. Broken | 36. Fixed | 37. Disease | 38. Read |
39. Treasure | 40. New Years | 41. Birthday | 42. Puddle | 43. Midnight |
44. Starry Sky | 45. Annoy | 46. Hope |47. Missing | 48. Hungry | 49. Queen |
50. King | 51. Heart | 52. Diamond | 53. Joker | 54. Water | 55. Flower |
56. Agony | 57. Birth | 58. Forever | 59. Bride | 60. Sometimes | 61. Sparkle |
62. School | 63. Beach | 64. Truth | 67. Lie | 68. Chocolate |
69. Quintessential | 70. Masquerade | 71. Awkward | 72. Insomnia | 73. Friends | 74. Enemies | 75. Lovers | 76. Stranger | 77. Good | 78. Bad | 79. Ugly
| 80. Beautiful | 81. Disenchanted | 82. Finally | 83. Spring | 84. Winter
| 85. Summer | 86. Autumn | 87. One Year | 88. Pickle | 89. Wind |
90. Danger | 91. Safety | 92. Lightning | 93. Lost | 94. Found | 95. Rebirth |
96. Writer’s Choice | 97. Writer’s Choice | 98. Writer’s Choice |
99. Writer’s Choice | 100. Writer’s Choice

Monday, October 4, 2010


“I don’t bake,” is how Crickette responded, her voice flat, brows furled.

I disregarded this, waving my hand as if to wave away such a nonsensical comment. “Everybody bakes,” I informed her, before I twirled away. My lunch break was up and for the past few days, I’d been late back to work after lunch. Needless to say, my boss was becoming less and less lenient about it. “I’ll see you after work!” I called to her in the sing-song voice I knew grated her nerves. As I pushed through the door, my last glance at her included a teasing Chance, laughing and jibing something I couldn’t hear.

Satisfied, I hummed and swung my arms as I crossed the street. The more I worked here, the more I had come to not only appreciate but to really love downtown. It felt like its own town in itself, with the old apartment buildings and the newer apartments and the cafes and the pizzeria and all the fantastic shops and the old buildings and the modern styled buildings and the people. Groups of people trickled down the sidewalk, sidestepping each other as one came in the way of another. Apparently, people came from all over the area – who would have thought it? Not surprisingly, today was gorgeous and therefore, the district bustled with people. Before I went back to Pomegranates, I watched two boys chase each other, weaving around light poles and groups of people, through little families, and I laughed to myself, reminded of a distant memory, of a distant friend existent only within my mind anymore.

I was more than okay with the busy, though. I know for a lot of people, it’s a big deal, because there’s less time for gossip and dancing to the same pop hits repeated over and over on the radio, but I didn’t mind. The more smoothies I made, the closer to home I was. Also helping was probably the fact that I continuously reminded myself that every minute counted towards a larger paycheck. Money is very motivating in itself.

By the time I’d mixed the last of the strawberry banana smoothies, I was the first to untie my apron, beating Mariette Miller to the punch clock for once. Either something was wrong with her brain or I was really on the ball for the day, because Mariette Miller made a point to making it to the punch clock first every shift she worked. But Mariette didn’t have a Crickette buddy more than willing to escape if she didn’t hurry, either.

Purse in hand, I darted across the street, out in front of traffic, shouting and more than likely unheard apology as I leapt over the curb and onto the sidewalk. An old lady with a bulging paper bag side-stepped me and I swung open the door to PWNd, a triumphant grin in place as my eyes found Crickette who was still behind the counter, talking quietly with Chance. When she looked up and spotted me, she sighed heavily, and I laughed.

“How did you get out so fast?” she groaned as Chance parted with her to greet a customer.

I merely grinned, the sort of cat-who-got-the-canary grin and sidled over toward the counter where she stood. “Guess I’m just really excited about cookies,” I told her.

I knew Crickette well enough to know baking cookies wasn’t exactly the sort of pastime she was regular at with Drima and Theo. I also knew well enough Drima was the sort who would refuse to bake cookies and Theo had never considered it. And while maybe Crickette was right and she didn’t bake, that could easily be remedied. Fear of doing something simply because you didn’t do said something was kind of silly, I rationalized, and I wouldn’t let her cop out with such an excuse. Baking itself wasn’t really fun without somebody else and I picked Crickette. She needed to get out and do more things, anyway.

Resigned, Crickette punched out and cast one last withering look towards Chance. He merely offered her a rueful grin and a thumbs up as he followed us out of the chilly store, into the heat of the street. Goosebumps rose on my skin and I ran my hands up and down my arms to attempt to warm them away. Once I was satisfied, I reached for Crickette’s wrist and enclosed it with my own fingers, giving her a tug.

“Tell your little friend good-bye, Beetle Bug, we’re on a mission!” I instructed, before I started across the street, dragging a flailing Crickette behind me.

She protested, squeaked, and stumbled her way with me, while Chance’s voice called after us. “Have fun, Lady Bird! Don’t be too mean, Karma!”

I laughed to myself.

Mean. Hah.