Atmosphere by Michael Laimo

By Michael Laimo

Frank Ballaro, police detective, is retiring almost immediately. Or is he? A path of blood at the cut down outdoors his residence results in an alley the place younger males were seriously mutilated. yet they're now not useless. whatever retains them alive. within the palms of 1 is a wierd item, anything he holds onto for expensive lifestyles. anything he calls...atmosphere.

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Sample text

She was on the side of Young and Heavyset because . . well, because the other fellow had been afraid. Weren’t you worried, though? he asked her. He had still been so stunned by what he’d seen that it hadn’t crossed his mind—yet—to think he should be a little ashamed; after all, it was his girlfriend who’d stepped in instead of him, and that wasn’t the Gospel According to Hollywood. WELCOME TO COULEE COUNTRY ■ 45 Weren’t you afraid that in the heat of the moment the guy with the tire iron would take a swing at you?

In the darkness under the trees down there, one area seems murkier than the rest. Even as it shrinks back into the gloom, this area possesses an unnatural solidity that distinguishes it from the surrounding trees. Aha oho, we say to ourselves in an echo of Burny’s gibberish, what have we here, a wall of some kind? It seems that featureless. When we reach the midpoint in the curve of the lane, a triangular section of darkness all but obscured by the treetops abruptly defines itself as a peaked roof.

Mild sunlight filtering in through gaps in the eastern wall and the battered roof paints luminous streaks across the gritty floor. Feathers, dust, eddy and stir over animal tracks and the dim impressions left by many long-gone shoes. Threadbare army-surplus blankets speckled with mold lie crumpled against the wall to our left; a few feet away, discarded beer cans and flattened cigarette ends surround a keroseneburning hurricane lamp with a cracked glass housing. The sunlight lays warm stripes over crisp footprints advancing in a wide curve around the remains of Ed’s appalling counter and into the vacancy formerly occupied by the stove, a sink, and a rank of storage shelves.

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