Wendy looked like her father and Priscella looked like her mother and Cecily would have welcomed the paled skin and lightened eye on the face of her descendants, if she hadn’t hated Buddy as much. In the heart of Apartheid, Cecily fell pregnant with a married man’s child and lost her job as a teacher. She aged like a sharp and bitter whiskey, spending the rest of her working life in the dusty backrooms of alcoholic apothecaries. She made sure the book stayed square. Wendy, who wore abandonment wounds from both parents wound up wise and hurt. Priscella bore the brunt of her bloodline’s crimes, all of which go back at least three centuries and would require more words than I have. Three holes to the heart. Wendy hustles heaven to save Priscella’s life. I make the deals needed to ensure it all adds up. She loaned liquor from her mother’s boss and crowds dance halls with drunken droves of newly-freed black people who pay the price for the newborn’s open heart surgery.


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