Coeur d'Alene

He climbed out of the Chevy with a gun in his hand I recognized the weapon immediately it was the one his Dad brought back from the war. Climbed out of the car with this dazed look in his eyes and kinda stood there staring up at the house for a while he knew she was in there and he looked insane. Looked like an old dog, to tell you the truth, like some old dog been kicked in the ribs one time too often. Chevy's engine ticking over, cowbirds circling high up in the sky above. He stood there with that gun in his hand, didn't know what to do.

Her brothers stood together behind the screen door. Her mother screamed "GET DOWN!" and hid praying under the bed but she didn't she just stood there. Just stood there at the window upstairs. Stood there in the room where she grew up, where she hung posters on the wall, where she spent hours talking to her friends on the telephone, where she studied herself obsessed and uncomprehending in the mirror on the closet door. Room where she first let him in. She stood there with her white fingertips pressed up against the glass. Stood there staring down at him. Stood there still half asleep in her pajamas and she couldn't hardly breathe.

He saw her like she knew he would. His eyes stung, his heart kicked inside his chest hard, kicked inside one two three. He knew he was coming apart. He called out her name but the brothers inside just stared. Big country brothers one hand firm on the door. Now he was there he was lost, her mother still screaming from under the bed.

He blinked. Heard the screen door open and blinked again. He remembered the weight in his hand.
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