Fiction | July 24, 2018

The parking lot was light by six in the morning, but its streetlights still buzzed and flickered yellow in the gray-green dawn. House wrens flitted across the abandoned asphalt, little gray birds that had nested in the electric curl of the still-lit o’s and a’s, the crook of the G. The ditches hummed with crickets, frogs. In a few hours, Caleb knew, the parking lot would seem quiet again, full of everyday traffic: the occasional rattle of shopping carts bumping along the broken pavement, car doors opening and closing, the sounds of ordinary people doing ordinary things. It would seem quiet, but for the yellow police tape enclosing a broad empty space at the center of the lot, a space that still smelled of gasoline.

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