She was tempted to reconstruct the past, revisiting old wounds in hopes of finding salvation.

The dark grey trenchcoat fit snuggly. She readjusted the belt, pulling it more tightly, cinching her waist.  The slip she was wearing had seen better days.  Lace bottom in tatters, blue silk resisting the weight she had gained.

Her herringbone heals struck the pavement in a pace that fell between a timid saunter and anticipatory shuffling.

She would not cry.  She would not cry.

Homeless men gathered around an old metal trash can, filled with fire.  They beckoned for her to join, to warm her fingers, how she must be cold with no stockings.

She gazed into the flames, focusing on the embers. If only embers could embolden…

—————

The campfire burned brightly.  They had gone camping for their Honeymoon.  She didn’t like camping, she would have rather gone to a resort or a nice B & B, but she would have done anything for him, so camping it was.

They had just finished eating their dinner of salmon, grilled in tin foil. He said “I’ll be right back.”

And then he disappeared.

She shivered uncomfortably for the first half an hour, and then she grew concerned.  Taking a flashlight, she went out looking for him.  Called his name.  Grew afraid of bears.  Hid in the tent until sunrise.  Nothing.

She packed up as best she could, drove until she could find cell reception. One text came in.  An arrow.  A severed artery. Simply:

“I’m sorry.”

—————–

The homeless men start singing “Crackling Rosie.”  That’s her cue to exit.  She takes out the address, written on the back of a grocery receipt.  A poker game.  He should be there.  Is she nervous?  Of course.  But it can’t be avoided. She places the receipt back carefully, making sure not to disturb the snub-nosed gun wedged against her thigh.

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