I’d been clutching the top of a freight train for three days when I passed an abandoned grainery. Standing alone like that in a field, it reminded me of her and made my stomach growl. When the train reached the cover of evergreens, I grappled down the side of the freight car, my limbs an arachnid tangle sliding down the ballast.
I pried open a door at the base of the silo and needled my fingers into the wall, up to the top. I’ve never entered the adjoining warehouse, but the shared upper level opens into an airy abattoir. Rats had plundered the storage bins. Not a kernel was neglected but somehow the rats remained. Nights I could hear them fighting, a weaker one squealing as another ripped it open. They left bloody paw prints on my clothes.
Now that all the rats are gone, I go out at night to hunt. I put up racks to dry meat. For a while in the neighborhood there were cats and dogs. Somewhere down there, a child feels betrayed. Somewhere down there, a parent will soon be bereft.
Some nights I see searchlights. One day someone will see me, clinging to the side of my turret like a spider, looking for her. She can’t come back, but I can’t stop myself from looking. Strange how we consume what consumes us. I have her, now, in my bones. Her whorish heart beats to my rhythm. She’s a maddening thing, but I love her and she can’t get away anymore.