By the time I pulled into the farmyard, it was getting on toward ten in the morning so I expected to see people hustling around.
To my right, the farmhouse creaked quietly in the heat. Across from the house, the dusty orange grove squatted, mute, whitewashed trunks resting in shade cast by thick branches.
In front of me, the barn doors stood wide open. The arc light desert sun behind the barn cast the interior in deep, black shadow—a shadow that spread sharp-edged across the gravel dooryard out front. That old mottled-green International Harvester pickup sat off to one side, split windshield and the last remaining strips of radiator chrome baking in the summer heat.
I didn’t like that. The boy had parked it in the barn when I’d been out the day before. He’d put it away carefully, like hanging up an expensive tool after use.
A cold reality clutched at the pit of my stomach as I looked around. There was no livestock; the crops were withered and brown; the tractor was old and rusted; and the boy, the only other soul I had met here, was gone. I had nothing. My investment was worthless.
I cursed myself. I never should have signed up for the Myspace version of Farmville.
Opening: Dixon Hill.....Continuation: anon.