Gertie never liked Harriet’s boyfriend. He combed his hair into a ponytail and rarely bared his teeth. Maybe it was the loose way he buckled his pants. Maybe it was his hugs—long, excruciating embraces that crumpled women in his arms. Gertie resolved to be kind, until the day he surprised her after work. His face was darker, his eyebrows bushier, his hands mottled with scars. I feel like we can’t connect, he said, brushing one paw along her palm. The moon gleamed. Gertie called security. That night, she eyed the waxing moon, waiting for that long and plaintive howl.
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