June 30

“How do you figure?” Nick asked. The four were walking towards the faded red utility shed that stood on the opposite end of the playground.
“The more people who Deacon bullies into voting his way, the more people we can convince to write something else on the vote,” Jeanne said. “Something like, ‘Deacon told me to vote like this.’”
“And they won’t get into trouble,” Nick said, “because it’ll be the truth. That’s amazing.”
“Right,” Gene said, “but that leaves what we’re going to write.”
“Well, I’m going to write like that,” Nick said.
“No, he means us,” Jeanne said. “Deacon hasn’t talked to Gene, Tegan, or me.”
“He probably won’t,” Tegan said. “He knows how we’re going to vote.”
“So who should we talk to?” Nick asked. “Besides Fran and her friends.”
“Everyone,” Gene said. “Especially the kids Deacon could really hurt. Like Tommy and Chuck, and…”
“And Rob,” Jeanne sighed. “Especially Rob.”

“That’s it?” Phillip asked, incredulous. “That’s all we’re going to do?”
“It’s missing something,” Katherine mused airily. “Like, oh, I don’t know. Common sense, for starters.”
“We don’t have much choice for the time being,” Chloe admitted. “It’s got a very slim chance of solving our problems permanently, but it is something we should look into before we close up shop.”

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