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Carolling

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Johnny's hands are a raw, brilliant red. Cold. Trembling. Baby uncurls his stiff fingers one by one and then presses a cup of tea into the cushion of his palm. They hold it together, huddling over the warm, waxy polystyrene. The tea smells like burning plastic.

There are only a few more coins in the hat than when Johnny started singing on their corner of the street this afternoon. Not enough to pay for a night in a shelter.

Baby still whispers everything's fine as Johnny rests his head on his shoulder and doesn't flinch when Baby holds him closer.