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Runaway 1I skidded into the garage, panting, and finally came to a stop behind an old station wagon.
The boy under the hood poked his head out and stared at me. I stared back-- it would've been polite to say something, but that would take breathing.
"You don't go to this shop class." The boy pointed out, a little crease forming between his eyebrows. The crease deepened. "You don't go to this school."
"I-- Uh-- How do you know?" I floundered.
"You're wearing a uniform from the boys' academy." The rest of the boy emerged from his place half-inside the car engine. His bare arms were wiry and streaked with grease. "... And a beanie-- no, wait, a ski mask."
"I can explain that." I whipped it off. "Don't tell anyone I'm here."
"It's not even black." He scoffed. "It's green. And orange. Is that... is that a ninja turtle ski mask?"
"It was part of a Hallowe'en costume. I want to make it very clear that, aside from some minor truancy issues, I didn't break any laws."
"Right. That's why you were wearing
Luck Be a LadyHis eyes went wide and round. His hand gripped mine uncomfortably. "Darling, you never told me you could count cards. Think of all the years we've wasted!"
"You're going to have to let go of me." I said.
"I think I'm in love with you."
"No, you're in love with the idea of winning."
"I don't normally cheat,"
"Counting cards isn't cheating." I said primly, regaining my hand and settling back into my chair. "Casinos just frown on it. There's no rule against it, but you don't have to break a rule to get thrown out. Or dragged into a back room and... persuaded not to do it anymore."
"Hawaiian Gardens." He grabbed my other hand, holding it near his chest and stroking the back in an unsettling parody of romantic fervor. "You, me, and a boatload of cash. Think of it."
"I have all the money I really need for the foreseeable future.' I declined.
"So do it for the thrills."
"I'm not interested in thrills."
"You're not human. But that doesn't matter. I love you anyway. We'll work out a system, so
Bo.When Lindsay was born, Bo was there. Standing beside her mother, he was the first thing she ever saw. But he was not her father; her father stood on the other side.
Bo was there until the very moment she died.
The sun shone bright through the windows of her pink-laden room. She loved pink. And black.
“Because Bo is black,” she’d told her parents.
Her imaginary friend, they soon concluded.
“Bo is all black,” she described one night as her father tucked her in, “His skin and his hair and everything. He doesn’t talk a lot.”
Her father frowned.
“He sounds scary.”
“He’s not,” she insisted.
Bo sat on the bed and said nothing.
Her father kissed her good night and turned out the light.
“Why can’t Dad see you?” she asked.
“Are you real?”
“Are you real?” he replied.
“How do you know?”
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