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Lost Time


Rod Stewart

Nothing broke the twilight death except for the steel thunder upwind. And the smoker's cough flickering an amber glow from his crooked fag wagging over pockmarks and three day stubble. We were at the edge of nowhere, with upturned collars snubbing the icy northeaster. Loitering like two stunned crows on a rail line as any other in the county. No landmarks or signs for miles and miles in any compass direction. The beauty of our secret was absolutely nothing but wild brush and pungent swamp.

As kids we were bastards always up to no good. When the old man's gold watch and coins disappeared so did our leather backsides. We were whipped more than the crucified saviour. My crowfeet still twinge at that slaughter. Troy and I bear welt scars from that generation past. God's truth we didn't do the crime. No amount of blood splattered on the kitchen floor would get a confession. So we played their game. Troy lifted the old man's cowhide case and stuffed it with bait.

Dad was a big town rooster. His bark made neck hair petrify. So the deputy sent a silent tracker after us. Of course, we figured out the shadow stranger in a blink. Troy and I hopped the first loco outta hickville. When we reached desolation by our watch time, I chucked the stash out the train car window. You see, the engineer had his schedule down to the minute. And we knew that. The distance travelled at that speed in that time was the only way to find our secret drop spot.

The stool pigeon told the deputy about the stash tossed out into nowhere. And the deputy pig wanted the glory for himself. By recovering Dad's treasure, he'd be mayor after next election. So the deputy trekked out at dawn that day after silencing the tracker with a slug to the temple. His short sleeves didn't do him much good though when the freak snow squall hit before dusk. The search for the deputy's corpse, likely frozen from exposure, was called off after a couple of months.

Now Troy and I are standing here like vultures twenty years later. Laughing our guts out. At a rack of bleached bones, deputy stetson and a hole bitten sack dripping corroded coins with watch.

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