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Wild Awake

Wild Awake

Titel: Wild Awake
Autoren: Hilary T. Smith
chapter one
    It’s the first day of summer , and I know three things: One, I am happy. Two, I am stoned. Three, if Lukas Malcywyck’s T-shirt was any redder I would lean over and bite it like an apple.
    Lukas and I are sitting in his basement, which is my favorite place in the entire world. Last summer, we covered the walls and ceiling with carpet remnants we found behind the Flooring World on South Granville and strung up yellow Christmas lights to replace the nasty fluorescents. Now, it’s our band room. Lukas’s drum kit is set up in one corner, and there’s a stand for my synth.
    Except at the moment, I’m holding the synth in my lap and making laser noises while Lukas sits beside me on the blue couch. His arms, sculpted from hours of drumming and daily man-yoga, are draped over the cushions, and his eyes are bright with strategy.
    “We need a new band name,” he says.
    “What’s wrong with Snake Eats Kitten?”
    “Too jokey,” says Lukas. “I was thinking Sonic Drift.”
    I twist the knobs on my synth, then stab a key. It makes a sound like a xylophone crossed with an atomic bomb. I plunk out a xylobomb version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
    Lukas cringes. “Do you have to do that?”
    I ignore him and keep playing.
    “Sonic Drift sounds like music for dead people,” I say. “It’s too—” I fish around for the word, a task rendered more difficult by the fact that my brain keeps getting distracted by the soft electric twinkle of the Christmas lights on the walls. “Too conceptual,” I finish with a scholarly twirl of my hand. “It’s like something you’d read in a textbook.”
    Lukas sits up. “Exactly. It’s abstract. It sounds like the name of a serious band.”
    “It sounds like the name of a pretentious band. Snake Eats Kitten is accessible. You were there Saturday night—people loved it.”
    “People thought it was funny . There’s a difference.”
    I lean over to put my synth on the floor. There’s a box of old books next to the couch marked DONATE . I pull it over. “Is your mom giving these away?”
    I paw through them and pull out one called The Adolescent Depression Workbook . Lukas’s mom is a social worker, and their house is crammed with stuff like this. The book’s cover shows a goth girl sitting against a brick wall, her kohl-rimmed eyes gazing out from beneath the edge of her tattered black hood. She’s holding—absurdly—a graphing calculator. Like she ran a few equations, found out the world is more effed than you can possibly imagine, and is just chilling by this brick wall, waiting for the zombies to arrive. I open it up and flip through the pages. “Okay, Lukas, I’m going to test your level of adolescent depression.”
    “Come on, Kiri.”
    “I thought you wanted something deep. This’ll help us dig into our psyches.” I give Lukas my best psychiatrist look. “In the past fourteen days, have you felt worthless?”
    “Can you be serious for one second?” says Lukas. “We need a better name before the semifinals.”
    He tries to snatch the book away from me, but I pull it out of his reach.
    “This is serious. Don’t you want to find out if you’re depressed?”
    Lukas lunges across the couch and tries to wrestle the book out of my hands. With his body that close I can smell the lavender laundry detergent on his T-shirt, the eco-friendly stuff his mom buys. I take a big sniff while he pries my fingers off the book. Lovely.
    “Lukas, Kiri, dinner’s ready,” calls Lukas’s mom from upstairs.
    At the word dinner , I relinquish my hold on the book and Lukas tosses it to the floor. Goth Girl lands facedown on the carpet. Sorry, Goth Girl. Good luck with the zombies.
    “I still say Sonic Drift,” Lukas says as we tromp upstairs.
    “All right, Sonny Bono. Take a chill pill.”
    Upstairs, Lukas’s mom is taking some kind of scalloped-potato thing out of the oven. The edges of the sliced potatoes are golden brown and swimming in cream. Petra Malcywyck sees me and waves.
    “Kiri, piekna , would you grab me that oven mitt?”
    I get it for her, and she lifts the casserole dish out of the oven and sets it on top of the stove. Lukas disappears into his room to change. He claims that drumming makes him sweaty, although I’ve never seen nor smelled nor tasted anything resembling sweat on Lukas’s perfect body.
    “How is your summer, Kiri? How are you surviving in that house all by yourself?”
    Mrs. Malcywyck—Petra—is Polish and a

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