They stabbed Lovesmith against a sidewalk tree outside the Grocery Outlet, next to where the taco truck with the dancing skeleton parked during the day. He put his hands on the knife and slid down the trunk, eyes wide and confused, and settled in where the roots had cracked the sidewalk.

He passed out almost immediately, but it took him over an hour to actually die, a lonely unconscious hour between three and four. He deserved better—it would be hard to deserve worse than dying alone in a grocery store parking lot between a CVS and a liquor store without a lot more money than Lovesmith had.

He didn’t know why they stabbed him; he didn’t know who they were. Someone just needed to die underneath that tree, and he’d drawn the short straw. No one ever said life owed him any explanations, he would have thought, if he’d been awake enough to have that thought; he might have been bitter about it.