weedShe was good at trimming. Fastidious.

He paid her $879 in cash. On time.

But he was getting weird.

He wanted her truck.

He went into Yreka for coffee every morning. Forty minutes away on the winding road. He was a creature of habit, even when all cranked up.

He chopped up a couple of OxyContin pills on the kitchen counter before leaving. He dropped the keys to her truck. She slid them into her bra, a quick flick as if adjusting a strap, and she held them safe next to her heart.

If he backed up his car, she was free.

Jane Ciabattari is the author of short story collections Stealing the Fire and California Tales, a founder of [Flash Fiction Collective], VP/Online, National Book Critics Circle; The Story Prize board.

Photo credit: Jason Tabarias

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