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     By the time I reach the second unit, I have myself convinced that my new partner’s bag will have rope for the tent and that his books will have answers about food and water. The gouges in the unit’s door give me pause. They are five parallel and bring snuffling sounds to my memory. Still, there is hope that they are only a surface disturbance until the breeze swings the door wide and slams it closed. Then I know that I am still alone and hang my head. It hurts me that I do not know the name of this lost teammate. I lay my hand to my heart and whisper the words of loss.

     At the door, I run my fingers over the grooves left by the clawed thief. They are deep and ragged in the metal. My finger catches, leaving behind a drop of my own blood an...

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Series Info