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datatime: 2022-09-29 02:37:48 Author:hdQUhhmJ

Well, look, I have to get back. I just wanted to tell you we'll be practicing a couple more hours. You can drive home if you want to-I'll catch a ride with Terry. Zach pressed his key ring into Trevor's hand. Not just the keys to his car, Trevor realized, but to most everything this boy possessed in the world.

It really tore up my story, then put the pieces back together and instantaneously moved them 1000 miles to SB's mailbox.

It can only do a few things, and is trying to communicate with me any way it can.

I wonder, said Trevor, staring at his hands. "I really do wonder."

You're so cool, he said. "See you soon."

Zach thought about it, shook his head, started to say something else but stopped. Trevor didn't press him. Zach picked up the coffee cup and inhaled deeply of its aroma, then actually took the tiniest possible sip. Trevor saw a shiver run up Zach's spine, watched his throat work and his dark-fringed lashes flutter as the homeopathic dose of caffeine took effect. He leafed through the notebook and found Trevor's drawings. "Won't the lines on these pages show up when you reproduce them?"

What? Being a rock star?

What? Being a rock star?

You're so cool, he said. "See you soon."

Trevor started to close the notebook so as not to kill Zach's buzz, but Zach saw the list. "Can I read that?"

No problem. But be careful out there, okay? Before sliding back out of the booth, Zach leaned over and planted a warm, none-too-hasty kiss on Trevor's mouth.

It can do whatever it wants, and is playing a game with me.

He stared at the list, wondering whether he was wrong to ascribe conscious, willful qualities to an "it" he was afraid to name. What if the house or what was left there had no consciousness, no ability to premeditate its actions? What if the events happening to them were like forces of nature, like a recording he and Zach had somehow gotten trapped in? Trevor thought that might be even worse.

It can only do a few things, and is trying to communicate with me any way it can.

It can do whatever it wants, and is playing a game with me.

Well, look, I have to get back. I just wanted to tell you we'll be practicing a couple more hours. You can drive home if you want to-I'll catch a ride with Terry. Zach pressed his key ring into Trevor's hand. Not just the keys to his car, Trevor realized, but to most everything this boy possessed in the world.

Trevor shrugged. "Yeah."

What? Being a rock star?

In fact, no one had seen it but a neatly dressed, pallid old man sitting in a sunny booth by the door nursing his own cup of coffee. The waitresses called him Mr. Henry. He was a lifelong resident of Missing Mile, and until a few years ago he had lived chastely with his younger sister who taught Bible school. They attended Baptist church services every Wednesday and Sunday. Neither had ever married. Since his sister's massive stroke, which had mercifully killed her on the floor of her own tidy kitchen instead of leaving her to linger in some sterile ward, Mr. Henry had only been waiting to die too and be buried in his own small rectangle of earth beside her.

Trevor watched him leave, then stared at the key ring as if its worn metal could tell him tales of Zach, then glanced around the diner wondering who had seen them kiss.

Well, look, I have to get back. I just wanted to tell you we'll be practicing a couple more hours. You can drive home if you want to-I'll catch a ride with Terry. Zach pressed his key ring into Trevor's hand. Not just the keys to his car, Trevor realized, but to most everything this boy possessed in the world.

It can do whatever it wants, and is playing a game with me.

What? Being a rock star?

I am completely insane and the mail is a hell of a lot faster than we think.

Oh. Zach turned those shining jade-colored eyes on Trevor, regarded him for a long moment. "When? This morning?"

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