“Well,” said Erwin, finally sitting up and taking the last sip of his honey wine. “We cannot do it alone. The job requires a third. And a third of some abundance of skill, and no small amount of magical power. We are both thinking the same thing, of this I am sure. So let me be the first to give it voice.”
I had nearly forgotten about the picture, had come so terribly close to letting it slip away from my memory forever. Weeks would go by before the amber-red flames would dance and roil in my mind’s eye once again.
He puts the cigarette in his mouth and lights it with a match, letting the match burn as he continues speaking, “I didn’t even give you a name, Inspector. What could you possibly arrest me for that I won’t deny by the time we walk out of this office?”
It’s true. The strong kid, laser beam girl, iron-skin guy -- they have all been rumors for so long. Took better than a dozen years, but I finally got a source on the inside. No one too high-up, no one special. But I got blurry pictures and some details out of it. Once that was out there, my site blew up. Just a matter of time before there was a knock on the door.
The place, though, isn’t as bad as the noises I can hear on the other side of the wall in the first stall. I wouldn’t admit this to just anyone but it would give me nightmares. If I slept.
She stood there, on the stoop. Her beautiful blue eyes lit up, hopeful, like two perfect oceans of possibility and life. Her eyes had been everything to him. Innocence, love, hope, perfection.
They had tailed Emerson and Gilley from Dr. Carter’s in New York, down to D.C. After that, they had to duck under the cover of a Miami airport newsstand to avoid them. Bought a Post and a magazine. A quick outfit change at a tourist shop next door, then hustled to the other side of the terminal. Booked a charter down to Rio via Havana.
The horses slushed and slopped their way through the washed-out divots of the muddy trail. We were on our way beyond Harper’s Reach, the old, steep stone-faced mountain miles north of Fox Osage. In the distance, towards home, I saw bright lightning crackle to the ground. Still, I jumped at the clap of thunder that followed from the gray sky.
I listened to the sounds of the night. A mockingbird called through the brush, far off, maybe halfway across the lake. The cool wind rustled the tops of the trees and they whispered together. The ker-klack sound of the horses going down the trail past the lake was almost hypnotizing.