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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Corina Hitchcock

"Don't you think you've had enough?"

Brian was on his third box of gourmet jellybeans.

He poured them out of the box and into his sweaty open palm in a flood of bright synthetic colours, then tossed them two by two into his gaping mouth like animals being loaded onto Noah's arc.

"Fuck No!" he replied, as he closely examined each individual bean nestled in his hand.

"Eating these things is an art form. There are so many possibilities, new combinations and flavors to explore and savor."

He crammed a strawberry-kiwi concoction into his mouth, chewing slowly and deliberately. I could see his tongue moving around, extracting and dissecting each flavor like a wine taster.

"For example," he continued. "Have you ever tried a 'marsh-melon cola float'?"

I wrinkled my nose at the thought. "No...".

"It's a combination of marshmallow, watermelon, and cherry cola. It's quite tasty."

There was a small trickle of bright greenish saliva escaping the right side of his mouth. I tried not to look. "Sounds interesting."

Brian tossed aside the empty box of jellybeans and tore into another one like a lion.

The track marks on his arms had long faded but to me, this new addiction of his was almost as alarming. I took one last look at him before leaving the room. His mouth bulged, encircled by a muddy rainbow of candy colours. His eyes were glazed and shiny like the icing on a cake. He grinned insanely and I saw that his tongue had turned purple.

Corina is Canadian. She lives and writes (among other activities) in Toronto. She is fond of bacon, and writes/web-designs for a Canadian magazine to ensure that it is on the table. She has a website at the following address: http://www.wheresyourheadat.com, which she fondly refers to as being 'both innane and blathering.' We are glad she is here.