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They are decompressing with a beer when Sam says


Fermin is back, looking very anxious.

“The morgue” he says.

Sam and Rategan sit in the back of the green Toyota, slumped, beer on their breath, no food in them, both wearing shades, dreading what’s coming.

The morgue is a low concrete bunker. Outside, Goats chew the uncut grass. Rategan records ambience.

The boss has left so they slip the guard a few dollars.

There on a concrete slab lie the two bodies.
Joaquin the Cruz Verde contact has taken one right in the forehead.His dead hands are still bound behind him.

His younger brother has half his skull blown away, the thick hair exploded away from the shot, and his arm is frozen in a gesture intended to stop the bullet that ended his life.Along the boy’s arm, right where the bullet flew, a half-moon cavity wound.
That’s what you do to try and protect yourself, Rategan thought.

Of course you would do that.It’s a perfect half moon, slightly torn on the inner side.

Rategan, on automatic, appalled for a millisecond at himself, slowly gets out his Pentax camera and takes a shot.

He also records the morgue ambience: to be mixed behind a script he shall write and record later.

He records the ambient sound of two dead bodies on a cement slab in a Central American morgue.

He has seen the dead before and he would see dead bodies again but he will never forget these two.Joaquin’s teenage brother and the way he lies in death.The pathetic, instinctual self-defence of that arm.And is it because they had told the press about a massacre that may not have even happened?

This is the moment Rategan chooses sides in the Salvadorean war.

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