So Ready

“Listen, kid,” says the guy behind the counter, his arms a thousand colours, “I get why. I could get in serious trouble. How old are you?”

“Sixteen,” lies Veri. Someone told her that was good enough.

“Yeah, see. I’m only supposed to do adults.”

“I think,” says Veri, leaning on the counter, arms folded, “based on what I’ve lost, I qualify.”

Fifteen minutes later, she’s in the chair. Phil the artist has stencilled the pattern on her arm and administered a shot. She’s so ready.

“You ready?” he asks.

“So ready.”

He touches needle to skin, and she nearly screams.

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