I was somewhere I had no business being, doing something that I shouldn’t, when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“Where shall we go tonight?” Euan caresses my cheek with the back of his hand then brushes a stray braid away from my face. He is propped on his elbow next to me in the classic post-coital pose. I suppose he thinks he looks suave, but he doesn’t. He just reminds me of a kid trying to pull off a look that’s too big for him.
Stomach is a damn hard taste to forget. Even before the bile claws its way up your throat, you can taste it—hot metal and candy aspirin. Then you can smell it, too. Sharp and noxious, the promise of chewed food and belly acid to come. I hate to even think about it, but memory’s a certain breed of sadist, and it knows what we dread the most.
It’s written in the lines of her face. The mottled flesh scrawled across her cheeks, the tangle of scar tissue weighing on her eyelid. Battle scars? A robbery gone wrong? In any case, she’s seen some shit. And the story’s not finished.
Clad only in oil-stained mechanic’s trousers and work boots, Dobrosky attacked the ground outside his single-story apartment. Two, three, four scoops before metal squealed on something hard. This was not in his plan. He dropped the shovel and let it clatter on the sidewalk.
Harlan Strundley could sling the bull back in high school like nobody’s business.