And Then, There Was Just Us


I looked up from the boxes in the trunk of the car. The sound of footsteps crushing dried leaves came from around the tall, vine-covered wall surrounding the yard. My hand moved to the cold iron barrel of the air rifle by my side and I glanced anxiously at the ten-year-old boy I hardly knew, standing near the door to the house behind me. He looked as nervous as I was, both hands pressing a scarf to his mouth as if he were trying to suffocate himself. I turned back to the gate –or what was left of it– just as the figure shuffled into view. 

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