August 26

“It’s such a little favor,” I say, producing the long-barreled candle lighter from my pocket. “It’s really such a trivial thing.”
“And this trivial thing is?” she says.
“One sec,” I say. I set the coffee can on the ground and put the notebook in. “Could you stand over here for a second? The wind is making it hard to light this.” Lisa nods and obliges. I click the lighter two or three times before it finally catches, producing a tiny, flickering yellow flame. I lower it gently onto the notebook. Within a moment, the fire spreads through the pages, and it becomes a little blaze in the coffee can, in the snow. “And now, what I’d want from you.”
“Anything you desire, Fran,” Lisa says. “You’ve earned it.”
“I want you to turn around and put your hands on your head,” I say, grinning. Lisa’s face becomes a mask of confusion for just a moment, before she’s forcibly turned around by a rough pair of hands. The two big guys flanking Peter have her in handcuffs within seconds.
“I hope I’m not too late,” Peter says.
“What… what?” Lisa stammers. “That’s the notebook! I saw you burn it! I watched you… How?”
“Think about it in prison,” I growl. “You’re gonna have plenty of time to figure it out.”

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