He looked at the pain and he set himself apart from it. He saw it, examined it, identified it, corralled it. He isolated it. He challenged it. You against me? Dream on, pal. He built borders for it. Then walls. He built walls and forced the pain behind them and then he moved the walls inward, compressing the pain, crushing it, boxing it in, limiting it, beating it.

The dawn came up entirely gold, with no hint of pink or purple. The sky was a rinsed blue, like an old shirt washed a thousand times.

They strolled together to a different slot and unlocked a black Chevy Tahoe. Little brother to the Suburban, but still a giant vehicle.

Searching the Deep Web is technically elegant, but being in it can be unpleasant. It has a bit of everything, but ultimately it’s a three-legged stool. A third of it is a vast criminal marketplace, where everything is for sale, from your credit card number to murder. There are auction sites where hit men compete for jobs. Lowest bid wins. There are sites where you can specify how your wife should die, and there are contractors who will give you a custom quote.

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