Everything, she thought, is an accident of where you are.

The desk drawer housed hundreds upon hundreds of cap erasers, stolen one by one from the supply closet when no one was looking. Matte and pink, they pointed upwards like small animals begging for direction. She had arranged them painstakingly into a map of the world, Africa looming large in the center and Japan hanging like a question mark. She wondered what it was like in Japan. She pictured bamboo reaching toward the sky, TV-inspired images of temples built like layer cakes.

STEALING HOME BY KAY BONTEMPO 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 78

Two bell peppers, Muenster cheese. Cauliflower, a pack of Newports, Tampax. Martinelli’s apple juice. Paper towels two-ply. English Breakfast tea. Boil-in-a-bag rice, paper clips, ramen noodles. Maybe some ice cream if there was money left over. America’s Choice vanilla, eaten straight from the carton. It wouldn’t be bad.

With an uncomfortable pop, he pulled out of her and lay beside her, breathing hard. It was 11.52pm. She wondered if the S…

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