|The Story||The Authors|
Injun Joe shook his head. It was useless, this shamanistic tradition of reviving the dead and getting them to speak -- these days any schoolboy knew it, used it to impress the girls, but the thing was, the dead spoke pure drivel. Nonsense only. He knew other brujos who'd revive the corpses of their fallen enemies and have a team of secretaries on hand to take dictation, which, that task once accomplished they'd fax the transcripts to the Psychoanalytical Linguistics faculties at Berkeley and Harvard, where they'd be pored over by the same teams of cipherists who'd cracked the Voynich manuscript. |
But in the end -- nada. Never a damn thing worth hearing, never a clue as to what really lay beyond the veil.
Injun Joe spat in the former Officer Pencilthinmoustache's face and muttered a few harsh glottals in an unknown tongue; instantly the corpse went limp. He tossed it aside and returned to his inspection of the captive barmaids.
|Valetroie had quickly discovered the truth in the old axiom for drawing a crowd of thirsty patrons in the Big Apple. "Post a bloody customer or buxom wench in view of passers by!" If anything, the absence of a sign out front seemed to have stimulated the steady influx off the street. All those thirsty cops, crime technicians from across the square. A crop of young waitresses from some joint down the street,some sort of scary lunatic raving in his cups in there, or so they reported. Phew! She mopped her brow! If those party animals dressed in that Indian get-up hadn't shown up and taken to filling in as waiters, she had been afraid she was going to have to unlimber an extra set of Dextroid arms or two just to keep up with the drink orders! "You guys are SUPER!",she yelled at the two behind the bar, they war-whooped back at her with big grins,kept the steady flow of cold brewskis going out over the little service flap. Where the crowd on roller blades had come from she had never determined. The impromptu band had long since jerked the plug on the jukebox. She couldn't quite see how they had managed to set up the drums,push the tables together, make a stage up where Caitlin and the Professor had been sitting. Caitlin! My God, how long had it been since she had noticed that pair up there? The smell of burning flesh from the cauterization had disturbed her at the time, that COULDN'T be good for business, she thought. Then Caitlin crouched atop the Professor or Count or whatever he was, weeping bitter ritual tears onto the wounds in the prostrate body she had dragged atop the table. The least she could have done was draw the cafe curtains! But the few stragglers entering had turned into a steady flow, and she had lost track, trying to set up their drinks. Could that really have been Caitlin, baring her breasts, tossing her head back to drink from an upturned bottle, wiping her lips with a forearm like a man? And what had those pelvic gyrations been about, they seemed to have driven the table into the wall with a crash? She had given Caitlin a professional withering look when that happened and although she hadn't slowed the pumping motion of her 501 clad hips, she shouted back over her shoulder something like, "REE-pant,pant,SUSS,pant,pant,A-TATION!" The swirling crowd had blocked Valtroie's view a final time, but she could swear she had heard Caitlin begin shrieking as she spoke that last term. "Re-suss-a-tation", Valtroie would have to remember to try to look that one up. Well, wherever those two had gotten themselves off to, her little break was over. Incredible grinning faces were still pressing in to tell her what a great little place she had. The cash register had filled with money 3 or 4 times, she had lost count. Beautiful people were catching her eye, hoisting their drinks and shouting "Happy New Year!", she had long since given up trying to discourage the people hugging her and kissing various parts of her body. She might be running on empty, but she had yielded herself completely to the crowd and its spirits. Grabbing a glass of champagne floating past, she quaffed deeply and shouted at the ceiling, "Happy New Years, New York! You're MY KIND OF TOWN!" The answering roar was deafening!|