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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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((Raina Rose continued from Minus Something))

Same song, different verse. Kiziah's death was finally announced. Somebody else had killed three people. Raina tried not to focus on the dwindling numbers. Any number greater than zero was enough, right?

...Well, any number greater than one.

She had wanted to go to the library. Lots of books and wood still in good enough condition. Lots of kindling. Raina slipped off on her own among the shelves as Penelope and Johnny wandered. The place seemed empty, but the paranoid part of her noted that there were a lot of places to hide. Here and there, she pulled volumes off the shelves, pretending to examine the words. Some, any that felt damp or too moldy, she replaced. Others she slipped into her bag, creating a nest around the grenade.

The sudden noise of something falling and Penelope's voice pulled her out of her thoughts and she quickly moved down the aisle and around the corner. "What, what is- oh..."

Sam. Raina raised one hand to cover her lower face and try to block the smell. Sam... wasn't looking too good after almost a week.

Raina edged around him, not for any irrational fear that he might suddenly rise up and grab her, but because her meager breakfast might make an encore appearance if she got too close and the stench overwhelmed her.

With her free hand, the other still clasped tightly over her nose and mouth, Raina reached out and touched Penelope's shoulder.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Anemia · The Asylum Library