The tiny electric spark had barely enough energy to ignite a speck of dust, and that speck’s pitiful flame was only large enough to ignite the two specks nearest it. The walls of the grain silo burst outward, and all the windows on this side of town cracked at once, leaving gaping holes that immediately let in the dry night air. A dog began to bark.

A hundred yards away a twisted pair of wires ran up under a truck’s battered hood, and inside the cab the young woman let her hand drop from the ignition. She opened the door, jumped down to the ground, and walked slowly away beside the tracks.

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