In this year of unrest, Daniel Luis was sharing a small house with his mother, sister, his pregnant wife, and daughter. He needed work.
“You will be the new janitor at the Municipal Theater,” his uncle said, “It pays little, but the work is easy. Clean up after every performance. Do your work and be invisible, and maybe in time, I can find you something better. Here is the key to the door. They say the theater is haunted, so wear your crucifix.”
Willard Joseph Lord Pufferton, late colonel of the 1st Regiment of Hodson’s Horse and later 10th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry (Lancers), India-released, Asia-departed, separated from the British Army in 1870, reined in his horse at the head of Denby’s Creek as it flowed from the heart of Earth in America’s Rockies foothills.
‘Hello, Tycho Centre, this is shuttle Nostromo, over.’
‘Yes Nostromo, Tycho here, over.’
‘There was a hell of a judder as we left the rail launcher, and there’s a red light flashing on the front control console, over.’
‘Hold one Nostromo, checking, over.’
There’s a quick double rap on my apartment door and my son, Elijah, opens the door and walks in like he’s paying the rent. He ain’t. “Pop, what’s up dude? What’re you watchin? Why don’t you have the game on? You got beer? I know you got beer.”
He goes directly into my tiny kitchen and comes back with two bottles of beer. He flops on the couch beside me.
The only reason that I’m starting this way is that I have the radio on.
I fucking hate ‘Coldplay’.
‘Fix You’ just showcases what a whining, irritating voice Chris Martin has. He sings and I want to open a vein…No, an artery! He is a mammary testicle of a man.
“Someone really lives here? Geez. Always thought the place was abandoned.”
Detective Kolar undid her seat belt and opened the door to the cruiser. “Even in this state, it’s still a multi-million-dollar home. I’m sure he can’t sell it, plus you know how stubborn these old guys can get.”
“I guess,” said Detective Slaski. “Still, you’d think he’d put some of that website money into renovations. It’s…I don’t know, a little creepy keeping it like this.”
‘We were fair game
but we have kept out of the cesspool.
We are strong.
We are the good ones.
Do not discover us
for we lie together all in green
like pond weeds.
Hold me, my young dear, hold me.’
Anne Sexton, Rapunzel
The sound at the end of the phone was a metallic female voice, not her mother’s. “I’m sorry.” Pause. Her mum’s voice: “ANGELA.” Pause, then the robot woman again.
“… cannot come to the phone right now. Please leave a message after the tone.”
“Mum, I don’t want you to worry, but please call me back if you can. I just wanted to tell you… I forgive you.”