The Bulls at San Luis

The price tag on the Night Owl Infrared Specs was steep, but the binoculars do the job. Amplify starlight. Invert darkness. Organize the desert into Cye’s X-ray.

A green-tinted figure roams into Cye’s lens. “Uno.” He sees another. He starts the math. “Two.”

This is Cye’s second run in a month. He’s nicknamed the rendezvous El Cementerio because several large, wind-chiseled boulders have eroded into the shape of headstones. Rumor has it, beneath every other rock near the border is a grave. Out here, along the line, Cye believes it.

He counts nine men a half mile away. They’re kicking up a hell of a dust cloud, and they’re late but on target. Cye flips a lever under his dash. A strobe attached to his front grill begins to pulse. His Suburban becomes a beacon. When the group spots him, they turn.

In the three years he’s been running illegals, Cye’s seen his share. When he’s not playing hide-and-seek with Bronco-patrolling border cops, he’s watching missile-heavy jets lay fume trails across the sky. Even when his passengers avoid the bombs, the sunlight inflicts its varying punishments. Heat exhaustion, dehydration, hyperthermia, or some combination of.

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