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Vignettes Regarding the Artwork of Brendon Kotes

LXXXIII: Present

“It wasn’t Casey’s Mustang. The cops found no evidence of blood or…anything. No evidence of it being cleaned. They went through both Casey’s mom’s house and dad’s and they were thorough. He’d been poor enough…”

Orion and Brendon lay against the bed, Brendon staring straight up at the ceiling and its dusty fan, Orion twisted onto his side, hand propping up his head. All attentive, likely stripping Brendon’s expressions into finely-tuned blocks of information to file away.

Brendon took another long breath before continuing. “He’d been poor enough that he didn’t have resources others did. Didn’t have the ability to hide what he’d done. But without any evidence of the crime, the case only had circumstantial evidence with Casey’s word against Dylan’s death.”

“And what was Casey’s word?”

“That a completely different car came driving up and crushed Dylan.”

“What kind of car?”

“That’s the thing.” Brendon turned his head toward Orion. “He claimed, at least to the police, that he didn’t know.”

“But you said Casey loved cars. Knew them.”

“Exactly,” whispered Brendon.

Orion dragged his gaze all over Brendon’s face, like he was searching for something more. Then he twisted and lay flat on the bed, the two of them staring up at the blank ceiling like answers might pop free from the white paint.

“You think it was the Le Mans,” stated Orion.

Orion’s voice shuddered in the air about them. Voicing a suspicion Brendon had never been able to consider, never been able to take seriously for fear of being crazy and nonsensical. Coming from Orion though, coming from a man so firm and grounded, brooking no nonsense, stating that a painted car had hopped its lane and crashed through Dylan Westerman’s garage to pin him against the wall before disappearing… Well, it felt real. It felt possible.

Brendon licked overly dry lips.

“Yes,” he whispered. “I know it was.”

It had, after all, been in the front seat of Casey’s Mustang, on its way to his mother’s house. And no one had bothered to check that painted fender.


Next Chapter Coming October 13th