The inside of the van smelled of vinegar. Josh couldn’t decide whether it was piss or sweat, so he went with the non-urinary descriptor. It was night, and as the vehicle sped past the intermittent streetlights bright squares flashed along the interior, illuminating a collection of tools, several rolls of black plastic sheeting, and what might have been a section of arm or leg. It first looked like a bicep and elbow, then in the next flash it looked like a calf and part of a knee. Flash, arm. Flash, leg. Josh was no student of anatomy, but he recognized mangled flesh and that was as far as he wished to investigate. He found himself pressing his back tighter against the opposite side of the van, and he would’ve had to open the sliding door and leap out onto the highway to get further from the disturbing knurl of meat.

“What’s the matter, son?” Carl asked from the driver’s seat, the silhouette of his shaven skull a black blob against the windshield. “I told you this was gonna be a messy job.”

2014.12.12 – 2023.07.14

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