Lázara Maria Soto, 17, lives in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans. Her parents cook crystal meth in their bootleg lab, Candyland. Her brothers sell it to kids in the high school parking lot. She would love for her parents to live an honest life. She would love for her brothers to stop making fiends out of her friends. Out of fear and complacency, she does nothing to stop them—’til one day she overhears her brothers plotting to kill a fifteen-year-old if he fails to repay his drug debt before midnight at Candyland.

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“Mr. Hutchins . . .” Lázara stood before her boss. “I’ll cut right to the chase. Your boy . . .”—and then the words came tumbling out—“he’s been scoring drugs from my brothers. I overheard. He was supposed to pay them but he couldn’t get the money and they told him to bring it tomorrow, Friday, I guess that would be tonight—tonight at eleven. At Candyland. He won’t have it—”

“Wait a minute. Slow down—”

“He told them he’d bring it tonight. They were gonna give him a second chance. If he can’t get it, they’ll pop him. Dump him in the river. They mean it. I know my brothers.”

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