“Maybe walking to town wasn’t such a great idea.”
We huddled in the shade of a half dead tree. Mark’s nose was lobster red. My tongue stuck to my lips. The heat was relentless. I’d not slept well. Mark had a hangover. What a perfect first day in New Mexico, eh?
We’d spent the morning making plans, what to buy, what we needed, where to set up the tent – that kind of thing. Oh, and ice, we needed ice. I’d suggested walking to Oliver.
It hadn’t seemed that far in the truck, going as slow and steady as we’d driven, I’d figured a few miles at most. Now though was a whole different perspective.
We passed the dead dog again. For some reason, we both walked up close and examined the body closely.
“A boy,” said Mark with authority. He poked the body with a stick of dried cactus. I’d kept back in case it stank. It didn’t. My curiosity drove me nearer. I noticed the tuxedo style of white chest and black body. White paws on three feet. Thick dense fur and a long scrawny tail, the dog was pretty odd looking I have to say. I nodded wisely.
“Yep, a boy.”
We carried on walking for another ten minutes before taking a break. The water bottle was empty by then. I noticed that Mark’s navy blue shirt had large wet rings under his armpits. Mark looked at me strangely when he noticed me staring. “I hear something.”
“Uh huh.” I rolled my eyes.
“No, seriously. I can hear a car or a truck or something. Come on.” He stepped back out into the full day sun. June at midday was not going to be my favorite time of year, I decided. I followed my boyfriend and we started walking once more. The thought of a beer at the tavern kept me going, sort of.