It was easy to miss something that had been dumped in the greenbelt. Those thin patches spread between the backs of houses and the ends of the roads, thick with ferns, trees and the bramble of winter. The deer often made trails through the salal, but since the other side of those woods were known to be just the next street over, there was really no reason to ever walk through there. If it had been summer, the smell would have hit the whole neighborhood and caused a bit of curiosity. But it could have also just been assumed to be a raccoon or possum or one of Ray’s bins stuffed with fish carcasses or bait. Luckily, with the constant, cold rain, no one would be out exploring. Everyone would only be outside long enough to get from their houses to their cars or drag the garbage to the curb.
The rain had completely drown the smell of decay, at least in the air. In his head, he knew she was there. He was just waiting for her to come to him in some other form. He was so certain that she wanted to come back. Even though he knew she didn’t belong here. Even though he knew no one would ever come looking for her here. No one even knew he existed, really. His neighbors knew of him briefly, but they really didn’t know him at all. They only knew what he told them in passing, on his way to the mailboxes. He said he had a mother up north, where he spent most weekends. He said he worked at the base because people would be less likely to ask too many questions. And none of the neighbors would have seen her riding shotgun. She never sat shotgun, she only laid in the backseat.