the smuggler’s bible

Edgar Barton

Edgar Barton gets released on a Tuesday afternoon and steps out of the county jail into air so hot and heavy and still the bugs won’t even crawl. It’s just sun beating down on brown grass. He looks left and right along the highway.

“You hope we might let you back in?” A thick finger prods hard against Edgar’s spine. “Technically speaking we can’t.”

“No. I guess not.”

“What then?”

“Your blacktop is gonna melt, Sherriff, if this heat keeps up much.”

“Yeah, it just might.” Rattling, keys and then a padlock against chain-link. “The blacktop and anything on it.”