originally published in Robo Book, by Bank Heavy Press July 2012

Full, brilliant moonlight drown fleeing shadows. Shane Dorset walked the rural highway, his boots clacked against cornfield walls; he kicked at the gravel, watching the stone bounce.

The walk had been long, over rough terrain of ungraded dirt until he’d made it to Route 777, and still Shane had miles to go. His life, all of it, boiled down to disappointment. Ma would not be pleased at the latest bit.

Annabel Rouse had said no.

Shane didn’t like no, didn’t like hearing it, didn’t like living it.

Headlamps chased blue beams of moon, and Shane thought, for a moment, of Annabel’s limp body on the sofa: pooled blood and a glassy, half-aware stare on her doll like face. He remembered her breath, the rise and fall of mountains.

Engine roar faded, and the full moon slipped in the sky.