It’s been gray so long you’d be forgiven for forgetting the mountain was even there, but Quiana remembers: late spring days with the sun coming up over the storage facility and the espresso stands, and there it was, pink as an eyelid, weightless. It’s been months.
No grace this time, no elegance, no alibi; she jimmies open a window and slips into Solon’s apartment at three in the morning, stands for a second listening to the building settle, listening to him breathe, listening to the wet rush of cars passing by, the mournful far off cry of a freight train, the drizzle hitting the pavement. She flicks the knife open with her thumb.
There’s a smell that rises up from the pavement when the first rain of the season comes. Petrichor, the blood of the stones — it’s a chemical thing, the same compound that makes some vegetables taste like dirt, carrots, chard, beets. A red smell, dry.
Quiana wipes her hands off on her pants and slips back out of the silent apartment. Solon lies discarded in the dark, perfumed with new rain, open to the sky.