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by Candace Hartsuyker

Girls walk home after failed dates, pinching sandal straps between thumb and forefinger, like they are holding the body of a wriggling butterfly, delicate but not easily contained. Coral, malachite, teal. The girls graduate. Eager to leave the university behind, they smother the lips of boxes with packing tape. In abandoned apartments, the shoes lie crushed under bookshelves, wedged between walls and mattresses. The shoes leave behind voices: snarls and sighs and cries, the ghosts of girls that have been.

Candace Hartsuyker is a third-year fiction student at McNeese State University and reads for PANK. She has been published in BULL: Men’s Fiction, Foliate Oak and elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter @C_Hartsuyker.