Sunday, July 19, 2009

Desperate Men

(First appeared in Quarterly West, University of Utah, No. 47, Autumn/Winter 1998-99, pg. 4; and is also in The Soup of Something Missing.)

Desperate Men

The strangers worked nineteen hours building a chimney on the roof, pausing only to wave at a curious neighbor or eat a sandwich lunch. It didn’t matter that the house already had a chimney, they built another beside it. No explanation was offered. All the while, the occupants of the house were held at gun-point at the kitchen table. Once the chimney was completed, the strangers tied up their victims and fled. Police found no clues and could only say it was the work of professionals. It was suspected this was the same gang that held a rural family captive for eleven days while they added a second-story extension to their house.

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