I spotted my car and crunched through the fall leaves toward it. I was a few strides away when I realized there was something lying on the ground by the driver’s side door. I stopped short and tried to see whatever it was from where I stood. Moving closer, I realized whatever it was looked bloody. I started to freak out a little. Like a spider I knew I’d have to kill, I tried to brace myself for something repulsive. Peering closer, I saw that it was a rat with red smeared on it. I came up alongside my car, searching for a stick but not finding one. Wishing I had something to push it out of the way, so that I could jump in my car and drive far far away, did not make a stick materialize. I nudged the lump with my shoe. It felt strange. Bending down, I saw that it wasn’t a real rat. It was rubber. Whatever was on it might have been blood, or just something that was supposed to look like blood. Around its torso was a piece of wire. Threaded on the wire was a plastic sunflower. Sunflowers were my favorite flower. There was no note. Nothing to indicate that this sick offering was meant for me, but I knew it was.
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