I was just trying to boxtroll that asshole into quitting, like I’d gotten the two guys before him to do. I swear I wasn’t trying to get him all dead and shit. It wasn’t my box that did it. But I guess all drone-related crimes fall under federal jurisdiction, and when a civvie octocopter box put a bullet in Jonathan Sandelson’s front left tire and sent him careening into the ocean and the afterlife, the feds assumed it was me.
She is standing ankle-deep in the river, looking down, her mouth open. Mebuyen notices, as she draws closer, that the child’s calves are skinny, her cheeks chubby, and her SpongeBob Squarepants sando has a bullet-sized hole above her ribs.
The lenguas don’t go into her shop unless they have to; it’s too loud there. A riot of cinnamon, splashed with lavender, bursts of olive oil and bacon fat, lemon cutting across almond and chiles anchos and dates stewed with ginger—and all of it against the background of burning sugar. Imagine walking through a word salad, disembodied voices screeching stray tense markers while others whisper gerunds and datives, and occasionally croon an eerie accidental sentence.
You studied Franklin, and you studied Greely, and came to the same consensus: Expeditions that disunite die in the snow. You and Jamey, you decided, would always aim together. You would not, could not, fail.
Things had been different since Pamela swallowed the cactus. The sex was certainly more creative. Lydia would crack her open now, stroke the moist, water-bearing seams that made up her insides, moving with exquisite care. Pamela would wear gloves.
As she kicked her way towards the surface, her fingers and toes lengthened, a thin membrane webbing together in between them, and thin slits opened up into gills on either side of her torso. Her ribs ached, body working overtime to suck in water through her shirt.
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