The Cigarette

Win­ter morn­ing light had bro­ken clear and cold, so ear­ly that night’s shad­ows were still about and a wispy moon hung in the sky. A small col­lec­tion of street food ven­dors had already parked their hand carts by the col­lege gates, and by this time there was usu­al­ly a crowd of girls in jeans and padded coats hud­dled there, refugees from cafe­te­ria food, scoff­ing thin stuffed pan­cakes or dish­es of steam­ing noo­dles. But today the road was clear of its sui­ci­dal clut­ter of elec­tric bikes and bus­es, and death defy­ing pedes­tri­ans. The girls were still in bed. It was New Year’s morn­ing, and a hol­i­day.

con­tin­ue read­ing

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