There was a woman painting tiny letters on the road.

The past weeks had been insane: spores from the sk; people, animals, even plants acting weird. Sen, who'd been hoping there was still something left at the store, was hurrying, a wet bandanna tied over her face. She stopped dead anyway.

The woman was masked, gloved, & painting. They weren't Roman letters. Sen didn't know what they were.


The woman held up a finger. Chanting softly-not English-she stood, stretched~


stepped over the line of letters, stopped.

Behind her, a flickering wall-the color of the paint, shiny blue-rose upwards.

"That'll help the air.” She bowed. “I'm CJ. What're you doing this far west?"

Going for food, Sen didn't say. CJ's eyes, improbably, matched the paint.

"I-Falling in love."

With the mask, Sen couldn’t tell CJ’s expression, but her eyes squished up like a smile.

"Magic does that. Come on, I'll get you someplace safe... and maybe show you a bit more.”

The previous brought to you by 10/25th's poll.

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