Grand Guginol

“And if he’s not?”

I shrugged. It was the best idea I had, but it could easily be a will a’ the wisp as a lead.

Rhames sighed and said, “Well, a little gold goes a long way.”


More than a little gold found its way into the new human conductor’s pocket that night. He swore by Mithras, Lady Luna, and half a dozen constellations that the music would play at exactly 10 postmeridian during the intermission. He even brought out his sister (what he called her, but I didna see the resemblance) who took the time to pronounce the words to Rhames’ satisfaction.

We went to the upper balcony, a not-so-nice little box where all the chairs had been smashed to toothpicks. Upside was there weren’t no place to hide either. No one ‘round ‘cept us and the manager, who was operating the spotlight.

Even wit’out the chairs, the balcony was still the best seat in the house. You could see every last piece a’ garbage, every last street bum what came to sleep off their liquor, an’ the orchestra and stage just ahead a’ that. Best a’ all, nobody looked up.

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