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“There’s no way he’ll move to Maryland,” says Fletcher, tending to a midrange turkey. “Not now.”

“What, Soundflowers made him a better offer?”

“Personal reasons. Good ones. That better, girl?” Fletcher zips the turkey shut and shoos it off the table; it flaps through a pack of trehuahuas, scattering them, changing the timbre of the yard outside.

“Then what do we do? Craigslist it again?” Absalom chews his lip. “Nobody wants into startups anymore.”

“Pull stakes,” says Fletcher. “Go west.”

A bass cow ambles into the barn, hide thumping, chewing cud. The rafters rattle. Absalom feels like the sky is falling.