There’s someone dying on the side of the highway tonight because my daddy taught me how to walk quiet and how to use a peacemaker . . .
The light dripping out of the few remaining lit windows coagulated in the humidity. From the playground, Rachael watched as the houses went dark. The small bag at her feet didn’t move at all and shadows turned to wax against everything they touched. Unlit porches and the bricks buckled in the sidewalks like crowded teeth and the weatherworn all shined with night . . .
This happened at the Market Street garage . . .
Branches scratched at my face as I pushed through the brush, and a warm trail of blood crept down my cheek. Curses sounded from not too far behind me, as did the thuds of heavy boots running through the woods. The bay of a hunting dog echoed, twisting around the trunks. Bad news. Can’t hide from a good hunting dog. I ran, trying to navigate the roots and uneven ground of the damp forest, the satchel over my shoulder slamming into my back with every step. The warm smells of earth and blood clogged my nose. I considered dropping the bag, but only until I felt the weight of the pistol in my pocket . . .
“I want to let you both know, Mr. and Mrs. Evighet, that what happens in this office remains here, okay? You can say anything. Think of this as a sanctuary. Mrs. Evighet—may I call you Rebecca?”
“And Mr. Evighet, I’m a little unclear on your first—”
“THE YAWNING INFINITE IS MY PLAYGROUND, THE SEAS BUT A DROP IN THE FOREVER THAT IS—”
“Bob, you promised! . . .”
I sat on a railroad tie along the driveway, with my bad leg stretched out in front of me and the bike wheel across my lap. After deflating the tube, I worked the tool around and peeled the tire out of the rim. I kept having to stop to wipe the sweat from my eyes . . .