"Trust no one!"
The letters are three feet high, painted hastily in gaudy yellow and without too much effort to write in a straight line. The word "one" trails off, so the "e" is actually half a foot below the exclamation point.
Her fingers itch to find paint and fix it. She thinks about breaking into a hardware store, getting bright red paint, the color of fire engines and her
mother's 1965 Ford Mustang.
She thinks then of red ketchup and yellow mustard mixing on the bun of a McDonald's hamburger.
This is her mind now. Taking skittish leaps of fancy.
It has to, because otherwise she would dwell on the rotting body below the words, paintbrush still held tightly, gaudy yellow paint dried on the swollen flesh of the hand. She would see the bullet hole and how the eyes are surrounded by the horrible red rings that give away the murderer's identification.
"Grays. Here. Somewhere. A week ago, possibly less," someone says.
Not someone. Jeffrey.
Her mind snaps to attention, slapped into submission by his calm, matter-of-fact intonation.
"Trust no one," she whispers. Her hand reaches out, as if to touch the words on the wall. She is a good fifteen, twenty feet from it and can only caress the air.
"Do you think...who is this?"
"I don't know. I doubt it's anyone who knows. I mean, knew. Them."
A loud bang, close by.
The thoughts stopped for her. They were just beginning for him.