A Certain Way of Alone

Carrie Callaghan

The cats, naturally, were the first ones to discover the body. They congregated outside the side entrance to Mr. Browne’s garage as the door swung open and closed in the sharp winter wind. The three felines sat at the door, beyond the range of its squeaky flailing but within view of the garage’s interior, and they groomed and preened themselves with detached languor. I called to them, knowing Mr. Browne hated it when the cats meandered into his yard. “If I see any more prints on my goddamn windshield, god help me, I’ll start putting that antifreeze out, you hear?” He would yell that or something like it to me from across his brown yard as I climbed my front steps or got the mail from my battered mailbox. I might call back a hollow apology, but usually I just nodded.

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