She only went back to Dinah’s the next night because she knew Aster wasn’t supposed to be working, so of course Aster was standing directly in front of her before the door could even close.
The earpiece fit so snugly into Vinnie’s ear canal you couldn’t see it. At least, he hadn’t been able to see it no matter how he moved his head around in front of the mirror. Of course, there was still something jammed in his ear. It was like he had a particularly big piece of wax stuck and it was making his hearing lopsided.
Birdie had spent the night pacing in front of her bed, tossing this way and then immediately getting uncomfortable and turning back the other, pacing some more, being mad at Wendy, and then being mad at herself, staring out the window at the stars like some kind of sad movie heroine, and finally falling into broken, unsatisfying sleep as she gripped a pillow to her chest. All the while June slept a deeper sleep than he had since he had stumbled into town, not even waking when she had stubbed her toe while pacing.
Aster led them through the kitchen and to the back hall. At the end was a door Peggy had never been through before, and behind that was a flight of stairs Peggy didn’t even know existed. At the top was two doors, and Aster opened the one on the right.
The elevator doors open and I fucking leap out, holding up my gun and the badge I cut out of the back of a comic book and pasted onto a piece of cardboard. “Nobody move! I’m Dick Dangerly! I’m a private eye, and I’ve got some questions!”
Could this lovely old factory, so full of character and charm, really be the same squat, ugly thing Vinnie had walked into for the first time only weeks before? Back then it had loomed above him, like it might fall over and eat him. Today, covered in sunshine and floating in summer heat, it had become a welcoming gentle place, advertising good things. Gentle clouds drifted by above, and birds swooped around the roof. Yes, they were scrawing seagulls instead of chirping blue birds. Yes, one of them almost shit on him. But Vinnie still took them as a good omen.
Wendy flipped through the book. She remembered the pop-science books from when there had been bookstores. Always at the front of the store, on one of the tables people browsed through to kill time but never picked up from. Always colorful with a cutesy title. The books would be hardcover and big, but when you picked them up they seemed to be light as a soul, and the print inside would be huge. Summer or airport reading designed to make you look smarter to strangers.
Pacific City By the time Peggy got to Dinah’s, the men’s choir from the nearby college had finished their rehearsal and filled the place up. She slipped past tables of young dudes in polo shirts and various stages of figuring out their sexuality poring over the song list to get to the bar. On stage,Continue reading “Superstition: Pacific City”
The quiet, and the dark. It was what he needed. He felt his way up the stairs of the abandoned factory, back into the room where he had met everyone only hours ago. Leaving the light off, he made his way to the table using only the lights coming in through the dirty window. He sank into his chair, his head still swimming and his feet like lead. The watch on his wrist said it was ten thirty, and he stared at it trying to figure out how a wrist watch was lying to him.
There were three ways to survive the Blues, and they were not equal. The worst was also the rarest.