“God dammit!” she hisses, plucking the charcoal-black-up-until-thirty-seconds-ago piece of bread from the toaster. Around the corner, her father hacks and wheezes in the living room armchair, his aged morning chorus a time bomb for the rest of her day; she ignores the knife’s shaking in her hand, slathering butter and jam across another inoperably burnt five-grain face. Meanwhile the old man’s foot itches, has not stopped itching for five years, smothers his mind in nothing but bone-deep, insufferable itch — the foot, like hunger itself, lacking. They eat at the coffee table, their crunch-chew-crunch a screaming voice between them.



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