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Page 4

Rebecca Fraser

“And this is what brought Adam to Floor today, ladies and gentlemen.” Bannerman’s voice becomes weighted with emotion. “Just look at that darling girl. Who wouldn’t chance everything for a precious daughter like that?”

I stare at the screen. Cassidy’s face fills it. First as a dimple-chub baby, then as a toddler, the earliest of the tumors already bulging from her fine-haired skull, then covered in tubes and drips, smiling bravely from a hospital bed. The montage moves to Rose and me, the distressed parents, faces creased with sorrow and desperation.

Bannerman shakes his head as it plays out, like he actually gives a damn. “And the only treatment available costs the sort of money Adam can only dream of, unless of course he wins—”

“Floor!” the audience roars. The house lights blaze and the obstacle course, rearranged from the last contestant, is revealed in full. God, the jumps are so wide, the obstacles so impossibly angled. A seasoned acrobat would have trouble navigating the course without falling. No wonder only six contestants had made it to the end in Floor’s five-year history.

“Let’s play!” Bannerman thunders, and a stiletto-heeled girl rolls a huge chocolate wheel onto the stage. The wheel is marked with different words, black on a red background. Four gold words are distributed among them: Marshmallow. Grass. Jelly. Foam. I silently pray for the wheel to land on one of them.

Page 4

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