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  • Most people were gone. Not dead exactly but gone from the earth. I stood with my eyes tight shut, couldn't stand to watch it happen. A quiet voice told me it was over and I opened my eyes to see a man I thought was my enemy. I had to fight to relax and accept everything that had happened and I had to do it right then. I took a breath and let it out and became a different creature. He took my hand and we went to look for other people.

    We did not ask why this had happened. We had all known it was coming.

    In the car I was excited at the thought of seeing who was left. We drove past a window with movement behind it and I yelled, "People!" We stopped and went in and I fell into a stranger's arms laughing.

  • The man came in to buy candy, an obscene amount. I held the door for him and walked him to his car. He said he was a teacher, which I knew because he had the same kind of cuteness as Mr. Byrne.

  • The kids had gone elsewhere, maybe they were between classes. Everyone had left piles of books and cds they had ordered from Troll, lying in heaps beside their desks. I went through them, unashamed, finding out more about these kids I did not know. Some had bought baby books, which didn't make any sense, they were in 5th grade. One had bought things only having to do with death, or the Grateful Dead. I realized this was Ben from high school, and he always was morbid and sad. I didn't know how to fix him.

  • I put on knarphie's socks and they were still warm.

  • The monster grabbed the skeleton and took it under the mud for a moment. When they came back up the skeleton had a round valve in its forehead and a series of whistling holes where its mouth had been. Now it could see us and sing.

  • Explaining to Pete what I had dreamed so far.

  • Closing time and we were kicking out the last customers. Straightening the magazines a gigantic burly swaggering black man walked past me, talking to himself. Yeah. I just get so caught up in knitting, I lose track of the time. Beautiful handbags.

  • I asked Lauren Nix if she thought pie-flavored jellybeans were a good idea. My other option was actress-flavored. The Chinese man was cute and he wanted me to come to his house in the mountains. Would not quit pestering me to share a cigarette with him so I walked away. His ex-girlfriend sang me a song about "He has seen hundreds like you pass this way, you mean nothing" and she laughed and told me not to take offense, she only meant white people in general, but I knew she meant women, and I was worried.

  • The pizza place was interesting and so were all the customers; it defied probability. The boy who had taken me there was shy and kind of disappointed when other people joined us. I wasn't; I liked all of them. One beautiful girl wouldn't stop talking to me, which was ok, but she was obsessed with where we were, showing me every little detail of the kitchen. Sometimes they let me roll my own dough! She was thrilled, and I liked that. Eventually she went away but later she called me. Next time we'll go by ourselves. None of those other people to distract us. This made me nervous but I also liked the sound of it.