Kristen Fox's house was astounding. Room after room dedicated to things like gift-wrapping, wine, trophies. Three floors and a basement. Unreal. She shrugged it off. "Wanna play Candyland?" and she dragged out the battered board with half the pieces missing.

Kristen was the most polite kid I ever babysat. She ate her vegetables, did her homework and went to bed before I told her to, only coming back downstairs to ask me if I needed anything. And it didn't seem as if the tradeoff was going to be her murdering anyone later in life, either; this is just who she is.

A few days ago Kristen waved me over during Homework, wanted to know why she had to read this crappy old book.Because the crappy old teacher likes it, I told her. I wish I got to pick the books for you guys to read, I know some good ones.

"No, you should write them! You should write some books for kids!"


"Okay? That's it? Like, you will?"

Yeah, I will.

She lit up like a dumb old cliche and I felt silly for feeling so flattered, but I was.

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