All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Author Name: Stacy Willingham
- Book Genre: Fiction
- ISBN #
- Edition Language: English
- Date of Publication: January 10, 2023
- File Name: PDF / EPUB
- PDF / EPUB File Size: 2 MB
“Isabelle, you’re on in five.”
My pupils are drilling into a spot in the carpet. A spot with no
significance, really, other than the fact that my eyes seem to like it here. My
surroundings grow fuzzy as the spot—my spot—gets sharper, clearer. Like
I wish I could always have tunnel vision: the ability to selectively focus
on one single thing at a time. Turn everything else into static. White noise.
There’s a hand in front of my face now, waving. Fingers clicking. It
makes me blink.
“Earth to Isabelle.”
“Sorry,” I say, shaking my head, as if the motion could somehow clear
the fog like windshield wipers swiping at rain. I blink a few more times
before trying to find the spot again, but it’s gone now. I know it’s gone. It’s
melted back into the carpet, into oblivion, the way I wish I could. “Sorry,
yeah. On in five.”
I lift my arm and take a sip of my Styrofoam cup of coffee—strong,
black, squeaky when my chapped lips stick to the rim. I used to savor the
taste of that daily morning cup. I lived for the smell of it wafting through
my kitchen; the warmth of a mug pushed against my fingers, cold and stiff
from standing on the back porch, watching the sun come up with morning
dew beading on my skin.
But it wasn’t the coffee I needed, I know that now. It was the routine,
the familiarity. Comfort-in-a-cup, like those dehydrated noodles you splash
faucet water onto before popping them into the microwave and calling it a
meal. But I don’t care about that anymore: comfort, routine. Comfort is a
luxury I can no longer afford, and routine … well. I haven’t had that in a
long time, either.
Now I just need the caffeine. I need to stay awake.
“On in two.”
I look up at the man standing before me, clipboard resting against his
hip. I nod, down the rest of the coffee, and savor the bitter pinch in my jaw.
It tastes like shit, but I don’t care. It’s doing its job. I dig my hand into my
purse and pull out a bottle of eye drops—redness relief—and squirt three
beads of liquid into each eye with expert precision. I guess this is my
routine now. Then I stand up, run my hands over the front of my pants, and
slap my palms against my thighs, signaling that I’m ready.
“If you’ll follow me.”
I hold out my arm, gesturing for the man to lead the way. And then I
follow. I follow him out the door and through a dim hallway, the fluorescent
lights buzzing in my ear like an electric chair humming to life. I follow him
through another door, the gentle roar of applause erupting as soon as it
opens and we step inside. I walk past him, to the edge of the stage, and
stand behind a black curtain, the audience just barely obscured from view.
This is a big one. The biggest I’ve done.
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