Objet des Rêves (4)

I close my eyes as the wallet thuds into my cupped palms. The leather, warm from being inside Chuck’s coat, feels disturbingly like skin. I only have a split second to notice it before that deep, always-humming part of my brain finds the thread spinning out from the wallet and follows it, yanking my psyche along for the ride.

Images explode behind my eyelids: a cabin on the lake, pine trees, a toddler in a striped shirt, a big 70s boat of a car, an elderly woman in a nightgown, soft pillows, crickets, darkness as deep as the ocean.

I snap back to the present, squinting in the morning sunlight. I flip the wallet open. The face staring up from the driver’s license looks an awful lot like the grimacing one in the pickup.

“What?” Chuck’s voice comes from behind my back, startling me.

“I don’t think he’s had this wallet long. It’s his, but it … ‘belongs’ to someone else. I don’t know who.” I flip it back shut. “Let me try the truck.”

“Don’t touch that!” Chuck snaps just as my hand closes over the bumper.

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