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He lay on his back, unable to get up. He heard the car in the driveway, the steps on the porch, and the front door close, yet he did not move. With his eyes, he tracked a single wisp of cloud hanging in the midday sky as it drifted to his zenith and crossed the sun, providing him with a brief respite of shade. He could feel his exposed skin freckling, his once pale surface now a vibrant crimson, cracking cell by cell like the mud in a dry lake.

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