“Second one.”

“Oh, that was a big one. Some kind of beetle.”

They were guessing which bugs were splattering on the car’s windshield. They’d left the city that morning, moving from packed eight-lane expressways, to cluttered four-lane highways, and now, after stopping for lunch, drove alone, a single lane in each direction cutting a narrow swath through stony hills and pine forest.

“Will they like me?”

“Of course.”

“Are you sure?”

They drove past a sign saying that from this point, rivers drained north. The sun set quick, dropping behind the pointed tops of the trees.


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