“Excuse me.”
We should match.
My cape hit a woman’s mini skirt as I balanced myself on my right foot, baring down and feeling the shock through my knee; a sudden current of flame. Twenty five blocks in and in closed toed black velvet knee highs to boot. Letting a little ssssts escape my mouth,I stood up straight so as not to aggravate my thigh any more, draw attention, centering my torso and with grace (and because I didn’t want to touch anyone), I paused. I faced the women and then pulled my  left heel straight out of the crack.
“Excuse me,” I said again to the Barbie in all pink sequins.
Not jealous but dazed, amazed at her attention to detail; her hair pulled back, tense. I remember what that felt like as a kid; so tight the creases of your forehead hurt. Maybe she’s a mermaid. She had a turquoise shell at the top of her head, pinned. Neat. Blowing her cigarette my way. Her nails long, clear with just the tips colored silver and sparkling. Blue eyes. She winked at me. I nodded, dizzy for the moment and back in time.
We should match.
“Excuse me,” I repeated, turning to the rest of the crowd.
“Excuse me,” I barrelled
“Excuse me.”
Politeness was the indelible torch I carried. Way was made and things broke at the green light. The crowd was just out front of the building for a smoke. The clacking of my  heels became louder as I moved away from the speakers, the crowd, a blaring of a horn somewhere behind me. Some blue eyes. My knees on fire.
We should all match.
“We should all match,” I say out loud.
I picked up the edge of my cape and tossed it over my shoulder so it hit him as I passed. Underneath my hood, I smile but I don’t turn around and I don’t reach out.  Thirty blocks in and counting. Heels clacking. Knees on fire: resolute and willful.

I could hear their caroling before I even arrived, at least ten feet from the door; the chorus of guffaws and low fi. That’s how I found them.  Walking up to the door with nothing in my hand save the same red and white straw I’d been gnawing on for days, covered in my saliva, anyone who touched it would be dead. My key around my neck attached to one gold chain.
“Hi there.”
A group of two men and one woman turned towards me. The men were both pirates, I supposed. They had patches on their eyes and the woman looked like an angel in all white with wings and a little white halo, gold star streamers dangling down.
“Hi there,” the man nearest me said leaning on the railing. Holding a beer can in his hand, he gestured to blue cooler at the top of the stoop. “Want one?”“No, thank you.”
“We have other party favors,” his companion interjected.

They were  both wearing black and white striped shirts and black palazzo plants and a red kerchief so they matched. Leaning on opposite railings, they looked similar. Both had sandy brown hair though one was a little taller than the other. I could only see the one on the right’s name tag: Samson. She was on the ground, leaning on the bottom part closest to the window. From my periphery, I could see her arms were crossed and her hair was long and dark. I could also see a little orange pumpkin light glowing from inside.
“Oh yeah?”I kept my focus on Sansom.
A tingle went through my right arm as she eyed me up and down but didn’t say anything. I didn’t look at her once.
“Would you like to come in and see?” the taller man  on the left said. The one who offered me the beer.
“Yes,” I smiled real big showing my fangs. “I would love that.”

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