wormwood, pt. 27

I might need to tangle myself with the degenerate plant of a strange little vine.

As Rosalind distracted herself with planning, Nicole opened a window and smoked the cigarette she'd stolen from the cop. The silence made her uneasy but there was a breeze and there was something refreshing about that--like even when the world's ending there are still nice things out there.

For Rosalind, "we" usually meant "me," and she was scribbling maps on whatever paper she had in her bag, lost in her own little world, so Nicole gave her some space. When she was ready she'd talk and they'd be off.

Someone tapped her on the shoulder. "You got any more of those?"

"Yeah, sure." Nicole tossed her a few packs from her bag. "Least I can do."

"Well, here." The woman handed her an unopened bottle of absinthe. "In case you ever have cause to celebrate something, I guess. I don't think I'll be needing it any time soon."

Nicole smiled and slipped it into her bag. "That'll be nice, eventually. How long have you been up? I didn't know anyone else was awake."

"Can't sleep without the noise of the city." The woman laughed. "I always said it felt like there was something wrong when it was quiet, and that's why I can't sleep without it."

"Funny how that works." They stood together in silence for a while, smoking and watching the darkened city's fitful sleep.

Behind them, Rosalind got to her feet. "Get your things together, Nicole. We're going on a road trip."

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