costarica

Backpacks full of the supplies they’d gone raiding for in the first place were dropped on the edge of the platform. Tired, shaken bodies were dumped on the floor of the car. No one made eye contact with anyone else. Freak and Poison flanked Delta, still hyperventilating behind her fingers. Dog hunched on the edge of a seat. Vitch curled up, ignored, in the far corner, wrapped in Sid’s blanket.

“Well, that went costarica,” Dog said finally, a quiet understatement spoken toward his toes.

“What are we going to do.” Delta’s voice was barely above a whisper, her inflection flat and hopeless.

Poison stirred restlessly before speaking up. “I vote for Dog.”

Delta dropped her hands from her face for the first time since the alley. “Huh?”

Poison shrugged. “I don’t wanna be in charge. I vote for Dog. You okay with that, D?”

“I guess.”

“And we know Freak’s okay with it, right?”

Freak looked up, worried but not quite comprehending. Delta put her hand on his arm. “You’re cool with Dog leading, right?”

“What about Sid?” Vitch asked. It came out too quietly; Poison glanced in his direction but ignored him. When he tried again, it was too loud, harsh. “He’s not dead!”

Everyone looked at him, startled. “Honey,” Delta began, but Poison cut her off.

“He got detained, Vitch. You fucking said it yourself, he’s gone. What the hell do you want us to do?”

“You’re just – like – ” He curled the blanket closer around himself, eyes wide with indignation. “We get home, and you’re just, like, I guess Dog’s in charge now, like, that’s it, nothing, he’s just dead now so we forget – ”

“Vitch,” Dog said, “it’s not like that and you know it.”

“Fuck off! You’re all fucking bitches!”

Delta wormed her way up to her feet and crossed the car, trying to put her arm around him, but he kicked at her and pulled away. She stood in the aisle and watched as he curled up on the floor, hiding beneath the blanket between the seats; her helpless glance back at the others met shrugs, and she walked back to rejoin their group.

Vitch sat, shuddering, not crying, and ignoring them even when he heard his name mentioned.

The blanket smelled like smoke and hair wax and Sid.

He was not crying.

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