He knew. He knew the answer. But he’d be good god damned if he was about to call it out. “Who owns these unspeakable guts?” the other asked, now standing on a short stool in the hall.

Some of the other guests gathered in the doorways. Dams holding the question back, not letting it infect the other rooms. Drinks in their hands. Concern, maybe, in their eyes. He plunked at the piano’s keys. Refusing. The word crawling on his tongue. Between his teeth.

The idiot who ruined everything stepped down from the stool and carried it back to the kitchen.



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