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Something shook— a figure hidden in the high grass—

The man I'd spotted earlier reappeared. Fitted blue jeans. A tangle of long hair. Bolo tie. Mustache and aviators. He tapped his boot at the pavement and crushed the icy cone in his hand. As he cut through the crowd, he stared at a stray dog in a way I didn't like. He moved away from the carnival, and in my direction…


The stretch of road bleeding across the border split into tentacles, empty and orphan mouthed through its corridors. Ahead of me, the city: a labyrinth of piping, the naked eye coming at it in a haze.

When I heard something pop, I ducked and veered. A car alarm began chirping at the curb. Children scattered from the haphazard puzzle of low rises that had been boarded up. The man’s Yellow Land Rover climbed up the hill, and on the turn the glare from the lamp posts made a crooked shadow of my truck, a crooked shadow of me…


That car was nearly identical to a vehicle Id repossessed a few runs back. Something in the glove compartment I shouldn’t have seen. Now, its headlights gobbled me up in a grave of light. I couldnt be sure.

Driving— I looked down at the titanium gloves shielding my knuckles. Tugged left, then right, making sure they were snug. I didnt always wear them, but knew I needed them now…


The graphic lights on the spokes of the Niagara ferris wheel spun and traded colors as I shrunk away from the hills. I should already be dead by now, I thought. The last job left me with this hobble, and the clouds in my eyes are because of time. I might have a few good years left in me. Few being optimistic, good being relative.

Instead of following the road that led to my old neighborhood on Highland Avenue, I cut south, toward Buffalo. An unplanned visit to someone I thought I'd never see again.