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Lanterns: Day Eighteen

The route wound through the streets, with throngs of pumpkin-controlled people blocking off some intersections to force the van to make turns. Abby knew they were being funneled to the center of Caliche, to City Hall, but whatever might be waiting for them there defied even her ability to anticipate the worst. 1,194 more words


Lanterns: Day Seventeen

Despite wishing for a distraction, Abby thought hard about what Fleur had said — and about those kids in her class — as they passed a few outlying houses on the short drive to get to the heart of Caliche. 1,206 more words


Lanterns: Day Sixteen

They stopped at the nurses’ station on the way out, and Abby raided Dove’s purse for cigarettes and the drug closet for ibuprofen (which she told Claude about, popping a couple in front of him) and a half-dozen hydrocodones (which she did not, slipping them into her shoe). 1,064 more words


Lanterns: Day Fifteen

Claude was unarmed, and Abby had left her trowel on the bed. The entryway to his room was too narrow, so they did the only thing they could do: falling back, quickly retreating into the wider space of the room itself. 1,190 more words


Lanterns: Day Fourteen

Claude sat on the edge of his bed, and Abby joined him after moving the suitcase to the floor.

“Say we do what you want,” she said. 1,158 more words


Lanterns: Day Thirteen

They took turns cleaning up in the little half-bath in the back of the group room. Both guys did a quick wash and now paced the rug. 1,731 more words


Lanterns: Day Twelve

Unfortunately, Abby’s war cry was so loud she didn’t hear Claude, back at the doorway, shouting for her to watch out.

She raised her trowel, ready to power-slam it into the big pumpkin, then deal with its creepy mini-mes with a few brief stomps. 1,063 more words