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"Wow," Martha said "Where’d you get all this stuff?"

"You forget that Mother is a spa whore Day spas and salons are practically her hobby She’s been sending ot to Level Four So Merry Christmas, my dears Be beautiful Who’s next?"

"Gee, I feel like mine’s a lump of coal compared to Bebe’s beauty bounty," Cassie said

"Oh please, this was nothing," Bebe said "Just my mother’s sloppy seconds What do you have for us, as it seems Santa has forsaken us this year?"

"Christiant Hershey bar We all started drooling

"Cass, how did you score that?" V asked

"My folks brought it for o"

"In Septeood Chocolate lasts forever, don’t it?"

"Even antique chocolate would do," I said "But how could you hang on to a Hershey Bar for three o"

"I wanted to save it…for so," Bebe said

"Can we eat it now?" Martha begged

"Do pigs like dirt?" Cassie asked

"God, I’ve no idea," Bebe adirls" Cassie peeled off the brorapper, and ere instantly intoxicated by the soodness

"Now this is bliss," V said, biting into a piece "Okay, Martha, you’re next"

"Mine is sort of silly I didn’t really knohat to give"

"Martha darling, your self-deprecation is getting old"


"Bebeabout it," I said "I’ood I didn’t have charcoals or anything I had to use pencil But here" Martha pulled four postcard-sized pieces of cardboard out of her pocket They were drawings of each of us, really good drawings that irls we once were Except in Martha’s rendition, ere superheroes She dreith a uitar like a weapon She’d conjured Bebe like an old thirties ic wand in her hand She’dover the world, with one high-heeled boot about to s that looked not unlike Red Rock Cassie had bulgingbricks We all had capes, and on the bottom of each card Martha had written, "Sisters in Sanity: Superhero Series"

"Because you guys are--you’re likefor a second, and we all got a little ," Bebe said "Who knew you were such an artist?"

"These are great," Cassie said

"Really?" Martha asked, her eyes shining

"Let’s raise our chocolate to Martha," V said

"Thanks, Martha" I gave her a hug

"You three outdid yourselves And now I’ a little silly I’m afraid my present will be a little anticliift from you You’re the reason we’re all here," I reift"

V’s eyebrows arched up "Wrong, Brit We’re all here because of one another We’re in this together"

"Noho’s full of false ood advice, teaches us how to get around, and makes this place bearable!"