Happy Birthday?

In the House of Morris, birthdays are seen as opportunities. Franklin Morris knows this. He is prepared.

In the kitchen, the cake is already lit, and his family (those surviving) ring the room, backs to the walls. He slides into his chair, sure that he can see the mirrors, that an uncle or sibling isn’t behind him.

“Blow out your candles, my big boy,” says his mother, with terrifying good cheer.

Franklin’s too smart for that ploy. But, then, maybe it isn’t a ploy at all. His cousin Charlotte shifts her weight.

Then he smells it. The candlesmoke. Of course.

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