Viola had always been a worrywart. That was the word her mother’s friends reserved for her growing up. “She’s just a worrywart, she’ll come out of it as she gets older.” “Oh, my Jessica is always asking me questions about the sky falling and me and Paul getting divorced. Isn’t it cute how they focus in on the big picture every once in a while?” But even when she was a tiny girl, Viola’s thoughts always tended toward the macabre and extreme. Rather than be concerned about her momma and poppa divorcing, she worried about her pop getting a railroad spike through his head like Phineas Gage and turning into a surly, short man who didn’t love her, kind of like Dominica’s father. Instead of worrying that her mother would stop being so pretty when she got older, she kept herself up at night replaying graphic scenarios where her mother was trapped inside a giant honeycomb and molested by a strain of rapist bees engineered by the government for biological warfare. She was fairly convinced that her brother Tito had a internal clock that was going to stop at age 19, and her sister Marta was going to be patient zero for an especially virulent form of flesh-eating bacteria that would eventually bring about the end of mankind. Her siblings didn’t like or believe these stories, and eventually Viola stopped sharing them.
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