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Ariadne's Thread

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Finn hadn't been gone three hours and Sean was glued to the doorway, pencil in hand and eyes on the line between corn and sky. Calamity creeped between his legs and Petey kept her station half-standing and half-sitting near the dining room table. All the articles she'd printed out were strewn on the table, alongside smudge photographs and half doodles of the exact curve of Finn's arms, done up in delicate graphite. For people that had been left behind so many times, the O'Sullivan boys sure never learned how to wait.

Petey didn't used to know either - always running through an entire box of bandaids covering the stings on her fingers. Bees don't really teach you patience, you just learn it as a natural consequence. But she wasn't really any better now, was she? Running after stupid boys who went chasing after mysterious black mares.

There's a rhyme, maybe a cause for it. Nothing happened in Bone Gap without a reason, twisted as the logic was. But Petey'd never really cared about that in the way others did - they'd never get the story right if they didn't want to. The caring would eat her alive if she wasn't careful. But of course Petey wasn't careful, had had any semblance of safety thrown out of her the moment she realized Finn was gone. The books never told you how stupid love made you. How it turned you to glass.

From the doorway, Sean made a quiet noise and Petey almost rocketed out of her seat. "The corn's moving. Something's coming."

The moon was bright, with a perfect view as all of Bone Gap turned towards the rustling stalks. Petey blinked and she was on the porch, leaning on Sean without touching him. It could be Finn. It could be someone else - another one of Charlie Valentine's chickens come to join the rest of Bone Gap in waiting at best, the dark figure that moved like a slice in the air, that took people as easy as claiming ownership, at worst.

Finn and Roza stumbled out of the field, hand in hand.