an excerpt from the novel-in-progress/story collection Jupiter Creek
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23
The streetlamps of Jupiter Creek cast cold white globes of light into the night. They were strategically placed, so the artificial light showcased the public walkways and driveways of the homes with their curated floral displays. They excluded the back alleys or back yards where garbage was kept; only what was meant for public viewing was worthy of illumination. At night in Jupiter Creek, only moonlight could reveal what man would not, and late that night, there was no moon.
A sleek Jaguar drove along Galaxy Lane and into the back alley, unnoticed by anyone. It could have been dark blue, grey, or black, but road grime obscured its true character and dimmed its headlights. Slowing, it nosed into the gravel parking space behind the Yellow House and purred to a halt. Its eyes winked out, and darkness returned.
The driver’s door swung open, and a tall man unfolded onto the gravel, heels crunching. He reached high and stretched, his vertebrae cracking in a run of sharp clicks. He turned, unzipped his fly, and let loose an acrid stream of piss that hissed into the gravel. The human stink kept the coyotes away. Relieved, he walked to the car trunk, popped it open to retrieve a duffel bag and a briefcase, then walked to the back door and let himself in by feel and memory.
Edward Watson had returned to Jupiter Creek.