Gazing down the almost empty highway toward town he swept a hand
over his lips and jawline a second time and squinted his eyes. Coming down
the road in the growing twilight was a pickup truck. A Dodge pickup truck.
As it approached he thought about throwing up a thumb and hitching a
ride. Maybe it was headed for Amarillo. Maybe it was time to take the
sheriff’s advice. Maybe it was time to leave Ballard for good.
Funny how shit happens. How half-baked plans get tossed out the
The brown Dodge slowed and swerved toward him. For a moment he
was bathed in low beams before the pickup slid to a stop a couple of feet in
front of him. Standing there, Lenny watched the passenger side front door
window slide down. In the semi-light he had to step closer to see who was
sitting behind the wheel.
A voice he recognized. Even after all these long years away.
“Hello, Miguel. Good to see you.”
Miguel Luiz Sanchez. His mother’s sister’s oldest son. Same age as he
was. The oldest of four boys and three sisters. But that was twenty years
ago. He had no idea who was alive today. Who was dead.
“Come on,” Miguel grunted, waving a hand for Lenny to open the door
and get in.
“Where are we going?” he asked.
“Been in town for two weeks, cuz. Getting drunk and getting into fights.
The whole family knows you’re back in town. Time to clean up. Dry out.
Time to go home.”
Time to go home. Like a hammer blow right between his eyes. Time to
go home. Home? Here in Ballard? After all these years? After what
happened in the past?