Maria Elena shivered as though someone had locked her into a meat freezer at a slaughterhouse. She turned and began to walk down the hill toward the city and her night job at the restaurant. For almost a mile, she had difficulty breathing. Her chest felt as though a tight rope had been bound all around, all the way down to her belly button. There was no room for her lungs to expand. Her rib cage, her entire upper body, was tight and immovable. The sun was beating down on her, but her hands and feet were cold as ice, as she trotted down the dry dirt path like a camel, methodically taking one step after another in the brutal desert sun.

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