People cheered as a swirl of pencils spiraled around the costumed woman on stage. The pencils spun, lined up in a row in mid-air, and then speared themselves into a watermelon set nearby on a small table. As the cheering died off, the woman stepped up to a podium. “Any questions?” she asked.

Several hands shot up in the crowd, and she pointed to a young man. “Can you control other things?” he asked.

She forced a smile. “No – just HB pencils.”

Another question – from a obese man with a beard. “What about 4H – those would hurt.”

“No, just HB. Any questions not about what I can control?”

Most of the hands lowered. A single hand waved near the back. The person was gloved, wore a fedora and stood in the shadows. Graphite Girl felt ill at ease. “Um… yes?” she asked, pointing to the individual. “In the back?”

“Are you still dating MathMan?” said a gravelly voice.

“Yes, I am.”

“Excellent,” came the reply. The coat and hat fell to the floor.

Graphite Girl gasped in horror. “Alien Zombie Alligator!”

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