I could see okay when I started stringing the lights along the porch eaves, but the dark kind of snuck up on me, the storm lowering while I was working, snuffing out the dusk, flakes big as nickels piling up on me and the ladder. By the end I was wire-tying the icicle lights more by feel than anything else. Mom would have killed me for taking the chance, but I was down on the porch, untangling the last string, only one more trip up the ladder, when I saw the truck idling down the block a ways, lights off.

It was impossible in the dark to tell, but I set the lights down and walked out across the yard, cutting the first tracks in the new snow. Once I got to the street and walked past the Chisholms’ house, I could see the tool rack, the dent in the fender.

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