When one of the sequins began to crawl across her bodice, Livi realized it was a beetle. Delicately she picked it off and sent it scuttling over the floorboards. The black sequined dress was a favorite; she loved the way it snaked and shimmered over her hips and flowed into a glistening pool. A fleet of evening gowns, an exuberance of satin and velvet, of Lurex sheaths and beaded boleros, swung on rails that ran the length of the attic, waiting to be inhabited. Livi would try them on in turn before the long cheval mirror, knowing that without her care they'd be speckled with dust and mould, nibbled by mice or moth grubs.
Cindy, this white girl from school, sneaks into Paradise from Haven. Well, there ain’t much sneaking to it, since the only thing that separates Haven from Paradise is a wide two-lane street and a patch of trees, but it feels like a long way off. I know; I’ve gone to Haven a few times to pick up somebody or drop off somebody who works there. After you cross the street and make it up the hill, it opens into Haven.