Winter Light

“You look wrong, Will.” Taverty shooed the money away.

I could feel his eyes on my back as I left the bar.


*  *  *  *


At ten minutes after ten, from the roof of The Ketchup Castle, I watched the black Lincoln Navigator pull into the empty lot of the restaurant. Through night vision binoculars, I studied the male occupants as they piled out: one tall, one not; one in a yellow satin boxing robe dancing about, the younger brother from the restaurant, and finally, in exaggerated movements, an obese teenager with a bandaged ear. As he opened the passenger door of the SUV, golden foil balls of Ferrero Rocher chocolates spilled out, rolling in every direction.

I listened to a falsetto refrain of “Come out, come out wherever you are,” and climbed down the back of the restaurant, moving unseen to a dumpster at the back of the parking lot.

The boy leviathan strained his neck to take in the lot’s emptiness. Two of the three assistants were swinging at imagined pitches with aluminum bats. The champ kept dancing.

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