May. 10th, 2014

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[personal profile] brian_campo
Truth be told, he wanted to know what it looked like.

In the days since blood fell from the sky – in an event that was scandalously under-reported for the sake of tourism dollars – the tiny town of Searchlight had done its best to clean up and look respectable. The sidewalks and streets had been hosed down, the buildings power washed, the cars scrubbed. It was a monumental task but people pitched in because the blood was drying flies. It also stank to high heaven.

But the outskirts, the dirt lots, and even the cemetery remained rust-red. It was like driving through an alien terrain. Brian made the trip around sunset when there was enough light to illuminate the area but not so much that he sweltered in his car. Air conditioning wasn’t powerful enough to combat that much direct sunlight. The thick, iron-sweet scent came through his air vents. He resisted the urge to cover his nose; it wouldn’t be any better when he got out of the car.

Brian parked in a neglected lot near a motel no longer in use.

He got out and shoved his keys into his pants pocket. Blood had collected and congealed in potholes around his feet, and the scrub grass was stained too. Brian squatted and pinked some of the sand, pink as coral, between his fingers. A warm wind blew his hair into his eyes so he looked up. As the sun slipped behind the hills, it lit up the ridge like liquid fire and then it was gone.

Dark would be quick and complete. There was no such thing as dark in Las Vegas, no real night to speak of. He remembered the desert with its inky sky and stars from his teenage years in his dad’s RV, which he parked wherever was cheap. The desert made Brian feel okay. A lot less frantic.

He left his door ajar and sat on the front seat, feet sticking out while he lit up a smoke.



May 2014

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