My partner trails me up the hill, both of us weighed down with sacks of groceries, the plastic handles pressing into the flesh of our palms. We are halfway home when I see it: a blur of black fur skittering across the driveway and into the hedge. The thing is wounded — I can tell by her gait. I stop. I set down my grocery bags and peer into the hedge. Partner watches from the sidewalk, her hands in her pockets, her buzz cut hidden by a knitted hat with a ridiculous pompom. She tells me what to do. “Get as low as you can,” she shouts, but I am already crouching. I try to get even lower. Her body casts a long shadow that bends on the curb and spills onto the street.
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