An opening in the woods on the side of the road. He knew it well. Perhaps he owed the bartender his thanks: the abrupt ending to his lonely adventure toward numbness afforded him the opportunity to take a literal walk down memory lane. How long had it been since he’d gone down this path?
Even the mice silenced themselves in seeming respect for the visitor now walking through their territory. In the stillness and the quiet. In the unsettling stillness and the oppressive silence. A voice punctured the darkness.
“I heard you came to town.”
Suddenly she was beside, matching his pace step for step. “I thought I might find you here.”
A deep sigh. “How long have you been following me?”
“Not following. Just waiting. What happened to your face?”
“The sidewalk got in my way. What are you doing here?”
“I told you, waiting for you, baby. Where are you staying?”
“Twin Oaks. But don’t get any ideas, I’m leaving right after the funeral.”
“Come on, let me come back with you… and then I’ll go to the funeral with you in the morning. People might talk if they see you there alone, Richard.”
“People might talk if they see you at your own funeral, Jess.”
She grabbed his hand. “Are you gonna let me come back to your motel or not?”
[word count: 224]
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