1. Everyone loses the tips of their little fingers to the midwives’ knives. It’s the only way to tell who’s human and who’s not.
2. A light relentless rain soaks the neighborhood for weeks, slowly turning the yards to spongey mush and pushing the stormwater reservoirs to their limits.
3. She makes a living refurbishing the outside of long-distance haulers. Grinding down the worst of the battle scars and covering everything with a new ten-foot layer of protective ceramic.
4. It’s not quite an insult –the greeting dances along the knife’s edge of politeness– but it’s a dainty floral gauntlet he’s more than happy to pick it up.
5. “Forget,” says the sphinx, and her life turns to sand, years settling into the dunes at her feet as the memories fade.