She’d seen Mama’s blood before. On her hand cloth and in the sink, flecks so tiny they didn’t add up to anything, no more than a teardrop’s worth, and she told herself this time was no different. Even a little blood looks like a lot when it’s coming out of someone you love. Aunt Nan said that back when her tiresome daughter Arlene got regular nosebleeds; Sally remembered it because it seemed sensible and practical and Nan often wasn’t. She was given to the silliest stories and told the same ones over and over—giants stomping through the woods, wolves walking on two legs, cannibal hillbillies, talking snakes, ghost widows wailing on rooftops—like Sally and her older sister Fanny hadn’t heard them all a hundred times before, like they would ever believe them.
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