It’s a grey afternoon when Cedar gets off the bus in Lago, and it’s a grey afternoon, hours later, when she stumbles exhausted into the grimy hostel room she’s renting. It’s been raining the whole time, a thin, mean-spirited drizzle that soaks everything. Her room sweats, a greasy ooze that cuts channels through the black mold that fuzzes the walls. She’s had better rooms.
The sun never sets. The street lights never turn off. Abandoned cars are everywhere; she takes one and hacks her way around the city. Business is nonexistent. She drives for hours and never sees more than a couple people hurrying through the rain. Block after block is empty. Lights flicker in every window, but uneasily, automatically. They might be programmed.
The only life she sees is at the bus station. There’s a constant trickle of people in and out of Lago. They never stay long — the lively ones simply shuffle across to another bus and are gone. The others — the dead-eyed ones — drift out into the twilight streets and disappear. She rolls after them, engine purling, but they’re gone, so many forgotten memories.