It was a quarter to four when the dealer arrived in Carrier, Wyoming. High in the sky, the summer sun cooked concrete and metal while people and animals took refuge from its fire. Gone were the familiar sounds of Sunday afternoon, instead of footsteps echoing through heat streaked streets, there was only silence. There were no children laughing at playgrounds, no engines idling at stoplights, no notifications, church bells, or friendly chatter. The gentle sound of a cool summer breeze sewed a thread through the warm, dry silence extending down the lone highway.
The wind rushed through a gaping hole in the collapsed structure roaring like the mouth of hell. In the harsh sterile light emanating from a cellphone, Andrew couldn’t differentiate what was shredded nylon canvass and what was meat. Save for a few backpacks, blood-soaked clothes, and one torn sleeping bag, the tent was empty. Three people should have been inside.