The Places in Between

Four witnesses described it; they all used different words. Because they wanted it to be true, no one doubted.

He had passed through.

The Chronicle covered it the next day: “A Hero In Anarene”. The photograph showed the crossroads at the center of town. A whorl of dust worrying the air may have been evidence of his passing but the town has a premium on dust and dust is rarely still.

The mayor organized a parade, blue and red bunting and pretty girls dressed in uniforms emblazoned with an ‘S’. A marching band played the songs from the radio serials and a lawman made a speech. He spoke of debt and pride, and the fact that our jail cell has stood empty for eight months.

The next day the town was quiet again but for the first time people noticed the silence. The preacher told us that a speeding bullet does not only make an impression at the point of impact.

The next week a man climbed the belltower and shot Duane Jackson and his sweetheart dead. It was a cry for help of a kind.

But he never came back.

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