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The Spice Festival is Too Hot

Like her sisters and their boyfriends, Delmarya (Deli) wanted to fully experience summer in the city of San Myshuno. She wanted to attend the festivals, order from the various food stalls, and have interesting conversations with locals in the street, so when Dawn and Dysis went to check out the Spice District for a festival, Deli went with them.

When they arrived, Dysis called her boyfriend, Rashad, trying to figure out where he was. He said he’d be here, so why was he at her house? Antonio and Dawn only had eyes for each other.

The setting was surprisingly romantic for a city block. The sky was a warm mix of rust orange and plum: pretty, but the orange horizon meant that the sun had not yet set and for Deli that was a problem.

Sunlight hurt, but she could tolerate it for a few minutes, so tolerate it for a few minutes she did… But actual sunset was still more than an hour away, so she excused herself from the group, saying that she’d catch up with them later. Deli sat in the Waterside Warble, a vacant karaoke bar, and just waited.

Meanwhile, Dysis, Antonio, and Dawn, were participating in a contest to see if they could stomach the world’s spiciest bowl of curry. Only Dysis managed to down it like a pro. The rest set their mouths aflame for nothing.

Feeling impatient, Deli reemerged when the sun was lower in the sky. It had yet to set, but sitting alone in an empty bar was not fun, so she tried her luck.

Nope. It was too soon. It hurt too much.

Luckily, her sisters were paying attention and decided that they should abandon the spice festival. While they had been willing to burn their mouths for a supposedly fun food challenge, Deli was apparently willing to risk charring her flesh for an hour outside in the sun (which was too much).

The group traveled to an art gallery with some lame art exhibits, but viewing the lame exhibits was better than the activity they’d just left.

As for Deli, she was disappointed by how difficult hanging out outside was for her. Her sisters did it naturally, without thought. Yet she had to risk death or meticulously plan (prepping nasty cocktails of garlic and plasma fruit that would temporarily protect her from getting burnt). Sometimes, though, even with planning she still had to accept that she would be hurt at least a little.

So why not just quit being a vampire? She’d never been that keen on it. But—it’s what she’d always been; it’s who she was and even though she was terrified to embrace that part of her identity more fully, she definitely wasn’t ready to abandon it. When in high school, Deli had told herself that she’d sort this out when she graduated from college.

Graduation was tomorrow. She hadn’t sorted it out, not completely, but she felt that she needed to embrace more of her vampire identity so that she could bear the sun even if that meant having an undead aura about her, no longer being able to tolerate human food at all, being terrorized by nightmares or worse

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