In the season between fall and winter, Harley and Dunfee hunted deer. They went back into the woods where they had a shack. There they drank beer, talked dirty and shot deer if any happened to wander by the front porch. They were reputable hunters.

This year Harley had gone round to pick up Dunfee. Dunfee had taken up with the Contas girl and now was trying to get shed of her so he could leave. Harley waited in the truck. His face was knotted with burn scars from the time when he had smashed a road flare with a brick. It had exploded and the sulfur burned off half his face. He had grown up in a house without any mirrors. His father had removed them all while Harley’s head was still wrapped in bandages. He often wore a baseball cap with the bill skewed low over half his face. Sometimes he wore sunglasses and kept his collar turned up.

Harley owned his truck. It didn’t track down the road in the direction it was pointed. It always headed for the ditch. Its frame had twisted and buckled up between the box and the cab. This made the headlights bank down toward the road at night and everything you put in the back rolled out. One time Dunfee and Harley were in Brattleboro, Vermont, trying to drink their way through town. By two in the morning they were still in the same bar they began in, so they decided to give up. Harley drove, and Dunfee stretched out in the back. He wanted to look up at the sky as it rushed above him. When Harley hit the gas pedal in front of the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant, Dunfee started sliding and finally dropped out of the truck on the bridge that spans the river. He lay there between Vermont and New Hampshire, the stars above him caught in the green steel girders arching over his head.


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