Aleksandra Jacewicz”PUT TITLE HERE” Towns like Ukraine, Ohio are more common than you’d think, places where the veil between life and death is lifted and wherein you can understand why those who lived before believed in the fae. There are a few of them throughout the country, far between but they all have a few similarities. They’re all small towns, charming, so charming that once you go there you never want to leave. They get tourists, occasionally, just people passing through and looking for a place to spend the night or a hot meal or a purpose, but tourists must eventually leave. They do and they are never quite the same person they were. Amongst other, more notable things Ukraine, Ohio is where Clarisse Addington lived. Unlike most residents, she had moved there, could remember a time before Ukraine, although those memories seems to get more and more faded, and unlike most tourists she stayed. When she first found the town she was aimless and hiking all throughout the country. She would wake each morning and tell herself, “Tomorrow I will move on”, and then tomorrow turned to soon and soon turned to eventually and eventually turned to never. Only about a third of the people within Knew. Clarisse was lucky enough to be one of them. A chemistry major once told her, in a whisper so quiet that Clarisse could pretend she had heard nothing but the screams of the rising sun, that if you burned your hand on nitroglycerin then you would have the sight forever and ever. But that what you can see can see you too. Anyway, the boy had wild, wild eyes and uncombed hair so really, why should she believe him?Clarisse knew that names have power, that you should keep yours hidden, that you should carry salt and iron and that you should not go home with girls with slits for eyes or boys with hollow backs. She knew that anything given is always repaid, that They speak in half truths but not in lies. She knew that Jack, down the street from her was a changeling, that the reason he had a scar down his back is because to gain a conference with his mother, the woman of the child he had been switched with had burned him. She also knew that he was not burned nearly as much as he could have been and that after forcing the women to give her back her child, Mary would not give her back hers. She knew that Mary loved Jack as much as she did Jace. She knew that she should be kind to the crows but not too kind, that walking across the river will make you lose your scent and that if someone disappears it’s because they were taken. She doesn’t know how or why she knows these things. It had been a quite normal day for Clarice. There was soon to be the end of the millennium and she was planning to celebrate. Many were grieving for the end of the world but she did not believe. She was reminded of this dire prediction as she walked past the grocery store. Behind it there was a gathered mass. They were huddling and encouraging people to join. She smiled and walked faster but not fast enough. Quick as a shot a man slipped out of the withering mass and ran to her. “Hello. Here.” He shoved a pamphlet into her arms and ran back. She sighed and shoved in into her bookback. She’d already gotten these and they all said the same thing. “HUNGRY? HUNGRY? HUNGRY? ISOLATION!” on the front. They were blank on the inside and back. They made her uneasy. Not as uneasy some of the billboards around town but more of a slow creeping sensation. As if staring at the paper for too long would lead to something evil manifesting itself. She heard that there was a man down the street who’d stretched his luck ended up in the hospital with burnt out eyes. She didn’t know if this paper had anything to do with it, but she felt it within her.A little on edge, Clarice entered the 7/11 and breathed a sigh of relief. The 7/11 was never changing, always lighted with fluorescent lights and smelling faintly like coffee and occasionally like something more metallic but still mouth watering. This was a place where nothing bad could start, or happen or end. You could spend the whole day in here and not notice a difference. Unbidden, a word crept into her head. Liminality. Coming from Latin and meaning “a threshold”. She moved further, grabbing a icee(™) and also some more party essentials like hats, plastic cups and a goat for some fun ritual sacrifice. Honestly, Clarice is not a fan of some of the traditions here, like the sheer amount of secret societies and the previously mentioned ritual sacrifice and the ever present paranoia, but when in Rome. Clarice heads to the back of the line, wanting to grab her things as quickly as possible and go home. She walks and walks and walks and the line seems to loop around. She sees the one florist in town and then walks some more. Then she sees him again. “Hello, Jeff”. She gets a nod and continues walking. The third time she sees him, he lets her cut in line. Eventually, she gets out, smiling and thinking about how she’s going to have to nominate this 7/11 for the local productivity award. It had been an average day for Clarisse. She jerked awake out of some undefined nightmare and felt unsettled. Like something was wrong, as if some unknown law of the world was being violated by her being here, in this place and time. It must be the Chinese food she had last night. No matter, it was soon to be the beginning of a new millennium and she was planning to celebrate. There were many who were grieving for the end of the world but she did not believe. She was reminded of this while walking past the grocery store. A man broke off from the huddle and briskly walked toward her. Not able to stop herself, she ran and he did not get to her.