Blazes (originally published in the Ocean State Review Volume 1: No. 1)

One evening just a few weeks ago, I noticed him fiddling with something on his back deck. Cleaning bird shit off the umbrella above his picnic table, maybe. He held a spray bottle in one hand and a sponge in the other. He stood on a chair, squirting and wiping. Then he'd give the umbrella a little twirl and hit another spot. That was his method. 

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