Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Literate Chaotic => Topic started by: gnimbley on August 06, 2005, 04:43:06 am

Title: Cherry Street
Post by: gnimbley on August 06, 2005, 04:43:06 am
Prolog



Friday, August 5

Frederick Mueller staggered out into the humid, hot night. He almost pulled his anonymous escort
service blond to the ground, his grip on her hand was so strong, but they held each other upright.
The girl laughed in an alcoholic daze.

"Fuck them. They had the worse wienershitzel... venerschmitzel..."

The girl put her hand on his shoulder and ran her wrist up the side of his neck. "Yeah, fuck them.
But give us a kiss first, love." She puckered and stumbled towards him.

"They should fucking kiss my ass." He walked off, oblivious to the girl's intent, but still with a iron
grip on her hand.

"Tonight won't be a waste, love. Besides, there's the mini-bar back in your hotel. I'm sure it's got
scotch."

"Low life, fucking, churls. I bet the place is owned by Jews."

The street glistened from the remains of an early evening shower. Dark yellow light from soot
encrusted street lamps barely illuminated oil stained puddles and deltas of half washed waste. A
man wearing a greasy, tan jacket and dark, faded jeans approached the intoxicated couple.

"Say, listen, buddy, I gots..."

Frederick pushed the man back into a doorway where he tripped and fell against a rough stone wall.

"I ain't gots nothing for you, buddy."

"Say, love. That wasn't nice."

"What the fuck do I care?"

The couple swayed down Cherry Street. Sometimes the girl had to fall behind to keep from
colliding with parking meters and other objects of the urban landscape . But Frederick dragged her
on, his relentless grip compelling.

The street was a procession of concrete steps leading up to stark, metal doors or wooden ones with
iron bars like prison gates and the inevitable array of white call buttons, interlaced with slick,  mold
seeped steps funneling down like storm drains to black spaces hidden beneath the street.

Cold neon light illuminated the wrought iron tables and chairs of a late night deli. As they passed,
the door to the deli opened and a wash of refrigerated air congealed the moisture in Frederick's
clothes, icy fingers pricking the nape of his neck.

The man exiting the deli glanced over the pair. He wore a maroon beret, an open, starched white
shirt, and worn, black pants. Mild distain curled his lip.

"What you looking at, you fuck?"

The man turned away and walked off without saying a word. Frederick glowered after him.

"Come on, love, let's go to your room."

At first the sound seemed to be just part of the undercurrent of street noise, an automobile
accelerating, television spilling through an open window, the barking voices of a domestic quarrel,
footsteps. But here, in the quiet of the suddenly cool air, in the emptiness created by a momentary
distraction, in the eternity that lasts between one thought and the next, the sharp tic, tic, tic imprinted
itself on Frederick's mind.

It seemed to originate from the alley behind him, a dark recess in which only shreds of light dared
enter. Frederick strained hard to see in.

"Come on, love. You don't wanna go in there. The night's still young. Let's go back to your room
and party. What you say?"

Deep in the shadows Frederick thought he saw an even darker figure move ever so slightly, like a
cat stretching its spine, or a ghost taking a breath.

"Who's there?"

The girl yanked her hand out of Frederick's grasp as he stepped into the alley.

"What? Where you going?"

"I'm not going in there."

"Then just wait there 'til I come back."

Frederick moved tentatively into the gaping maw of the alley. Trash brushed against his shoes. A
faint smell of days old garbage, moist dirt, and just the hint of something sweet, chocolate perhaps.

The figure didn't seem move, but the tic, tic, tic was coming from where it seemed to stand.
Frederick stared at where the figure's hands would be and he thought he could just make out a
bony, emaciated hand working something over and over with its fingers.

Tic, tic, tic.

"Who are you?"

A hot, dry voice like a teasing, desert wind asked, "Why are you here?"

"What do you mean?"

"Why have you come to this place?"

Frederick laughed. "I came because Manny Gilbert said that place had good German food. The
little shit. I'm gonna pound his face when I get back to Baltimore."

"That's not why you're here."

The figure didn't move as much as the darkness got deeper, like a shadow when the moon
disappears. Hot, moist air flowed down Frederick's face and dripped off his chin.

Tic, tic, tic.

"You're here because you have a debt to pay."

"Who the hell are you?"

A thin, long strip of polished steel sliced soundlessly through the saturated night air. Stray threads
of light glistened off it like starlight reflecting in a midnight lake. Frederick opened his mouth but
could say nothing. His lungs drew in only the blood gurgling through the slash along the front of
his neck.

Frederick turned back towards where the girl still stood. His eyes saw horror erupt upon her face
and his ears heard her piercing scream, but his brain registered none of it, wondering only why it
was so much trouble to breathe. He fell headlong and crashed to the ground. His blood followed
the same path earlier taken by the rain and pushed some of the alley's filth a little further towards
the street.

The darkness withdrew deeper into the shadows until finally only the sound was left.

Tic, tic, tic.

And then even that was lost in the sounds of that hot, moist, summer night.
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: Buddha's Ghost Penis on August 06, 2005, 04:55:22 am
I HAVE THROWN UP AT CHERRY STREET!
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: gnimbley on August 07, 2005, 06:03:18 am
Chapter One



Saturday, August 6

Karen Sorber had a bagel with lox but no cream cheese every Saturday morning at Kelley's
Midtown Deli.  

Mrs. Conner, who lived on the first floor of Karen's walk-up, always ordered a croissant made with
all natural ingredients. She was insistent everything be all natural and quizzed the counter boy about
its ingredients until she was satisfied she wouldn't be consuming some strange bio-toxins a farmer
in New Jersey had sprayed on his wheat field.

Whenever Rudy hired new help for the front counter, Mrs. Conner would ratchet up her all natural
interrogation. Rudy or Gus would patiently explain to the flustered newbie, "Yes. The butter is
organic" and "The eggs do come from free range chickens" and such.

Karen was sure Rudy got his croissants from big bags of frozen pastry that some mega-agri-
business dropped off every Tuesday morning.

Usually, Marie Clarke would join her. Marie had wanted to be a ballet dancer when she was a child
and still had the slender build, but she had panicked during a tryout when she was twelve and never
recovered. Her husband loaded trucks for Overnite Express. She was a bookkeeping assistant for a
Chevy dealer on West 33rd.

Marie came into the deli carrying the huge slab of red carpet she used for a purse, ordered a
cinnamon roll and coffee with too much milk, and proceeded to arrange her space at the table where
Karen sat. Marie picked up the strands of some conversation she had started with Karen, God know
when; not that it mattered since Karen wasn't required to contribute. She sipped black coffee and
watched her friend with amusement.

They hadn't been there five minutes when Billy Brookfield entered to pick up an order his mother
had called in. Billy was a pudgy, fourteen year old know-it-all and Karen could tell from his face
that he had something just pulsating inside waiting to get out.

After he picked up his order, he made a beeline for Karen and Marie.

"Did you guys hear about the murder last night? Some dude got his throat slit in an alley just down
the street. The best part is he was at the restaurant and my mom thinks she remembers seeing him."

"Did she wait on him?" asked Karen.

"Naw. He was at somebody else's table. Mom said that he was there with some hooker and they
both got trashed and got thrown out of the place. I wish I could have seen the guy, his throat all
slashed. I bet it was gross."

"Ew, Billy," said Marie. "I'm trying to eat breakfast."

"That's the third guy this year. I bet we got a serial killer stalking Cherry Street. Isn't this just the
coolest thing?"

"Oh, God, do you think so?" said Marie.

"Oh surely not," said Karen. "It's just a coincidence or something. Some out of town mafia guy.
They killed him here so it would be harder to figure out who did it."

"I worry about Chauncey sometimes, working nights and all," said Marie.

"Yeah, all of them happened at night," said Billy.

"You just take those donuts and get your punk little ass back home, Billy Brookfield," said Karen.
"Go on."

Karen would have slapped the smug smile off Billy's face if he were a bit closer. Billy wasn't sure
she wouldn't anyway, so he hastily left.

"There's nothing to worry about, Marie," said Karen. "The police will catch whoever did this and
that'll be the end of that. Probably won't even make the papers."

Marie packed up her carpet bag, a process that surprisingly took her almost no time at all. "I better
get back. Chauncey's uniform last night was covered in grease. Seems the regular transmission guy
didn't show up and he had to help work on the trucks. It's been soaking, but I probably should go
scrub it."

"You take care of that guy," said Karen. "It's hard to find someone as dependable as him."

"Yes, I'm lucky about that, aren't I?"

Karen trashed the remains of her breakfast and handed her empty porcelain mug, which as a regular
she was privileged to use, to the counter boy.

"It was in the alley that leads to the back," he said.

"What was?" said Karen.

"The murder that boy was talking about. When I came to work this morning there were still some
cops around. If you look in the alley you can see yellow tape. If you look real close, you can see the
chalk mark where they found the body."

"I think I'll skip having a close look," said Karen.

Karen turned left out the deli and she realized she would walk by the alley. The Scholar's Nook, the
used book store where she worked, was at 23rd and Cherry, just a short walk in that direction.

Even though Karen fought it, and felt a little ashamed of her morbid curiosity, she stopped and
looked down the alley. It had the look of all unattended urban spaces. Cigarette debris cluttered the
edges. Litter seemed pasted to the asphalt with grease. Some rusted out barrels waited for a garbage
truck that would never come.

The yellow tape was stretched across the middle of the alley. If she hadn't been looking, she would
have passed on the sidewalk and never seen it. The tape crisscrossed the alley and a stretch seemed
to disappear down its length.

Karen took a few steps in. She couldn't have said why, only that there was something about what
she was seeing that wasn't right. Things have a certain amount of sides. Edges meet and joints link
up. There was something in the alley that didn't make sense. Something defied her sense of
rightness. Something was out of place.

The first patch of yellow tape set off a square that was half as wide as the alley and twice that as
long. Some white scratches, undoubtedly chalk, crudely defined a man-like shape on the ground.
Some things, like the rusty barrels, had been moved. Most everything else looked just like she
imagined an alley would look. Trashy. Neglected.

It was the second set of yellow tape that didn't make any sense. It seemed to have depth, but no
width from where she stood. She moved closer, puzzled as to why she couldn't understand what
was wrong with it. She knew that once she figured it out, it would be obvious. But her mind just
could not grasp the significance of what she was seeing.

The police had laid out the tape for several feet, like they were marking one side of a square. But
there was only one side. The other three sides were not there. It was like they had wanted to cordon
off only a slice of the alley, just a fraction of an inch in width, but several feet long.

They had tied the tape up, off pipes that protruded from the wall. The center bowed down. She
stared at the center of the tape and at the alley beneath. But she couldn't see what possibly could
interest the police.

She looked up at where the tape was tied off. The tape didn't end at the pipes. It continue up the side
of the wall and came together some twenty feet in the air. The police hadn't cordoned off a section
of the alley. They had marked off a section of the wall.

That's where she saw it. About fifteen feet off the ground. A dark impression, a negative image, like
a frozen shadow on the wall. The image of a man. A man with wings.
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: Buddha's Ghost Penis on August 08, 2005, 07:48:57 am
GIGGLING YES! VOMIT MORE WORDS ON US! SPEW SPLATTER VERBAL!

yum
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: gnimbley on August 09, 2005, 05:13:46 am
Chapter Two



Monday, August 8

Kevin was perusing a friend's entry on LiveJournal when his roommate, George, popped into the
room and said, "Mondo's got beer."

"Yeah, just a minute."

George changed into a tacky, pink Hawaiian shirt full of bare breasted mermaids. As he headed
back for the stairs he saw that Kevin was still sitting at the computer. He knew how to get his
roommate motivated.

"I saw Karen heading up there."

Kevin was trying to think up a witty retort when he heard the front door slam.

Kevin tried hard to keep his interest in Karen a secret. But he couldn't help that his eyes betrayed
him. It wasn't that she wore really low cut blouses or anything. But they were cut just low enough.

Karen wasn't a spectacular beauty. But Kevin's skin would flush when he got too close. That was
something else he tried to keep secret.

Sometimes he thought he should say something. Sometimes he thought he should buy a bus ticket
for Denver.

Kevin shut the computer down. He grabbed an open bag of pretzels - one shouldn't mooch
everything - and headed for the roof.

Kevin and George lived on the fourth floor of a five story walk-up. There were two apartments per
floor. Kevin and George shared the floor with a spooky guy named Roberts who always kept a
fedora slouched over his eyes. George thought the guy was a crack head. Kevin thought he just did
it to be mysterious, like he was playing spy or something.

Mondo was the rangy, old dude who lived on the fifth floor. He worked at a factory on the east
side. Every so often, never on a regular schedule and always without warning, Mondo would bring
home some beer and ice, cart them up to the roof, throw everything into a washtub, and proceed to
drink until the beer was all gone.

George was the first to discover Mondo's drinking habit and he had no qualms about asking
Mondo for a beer. What had started as a six pack had now grown into a couple of cases. Everyone
in the building, except for the Epsteins, the elderly couple who lived on the first floor, partook of
Mondo's beer. Even Mrs. Conner would join them once in a while.

On the roof, Kevin discovered the party in full bloom. Marie and Chauncey were there. Chauncey
would probably have only one beer since he worked nights. They were talking to Sharon
Brookfield who lived on the second floor with her son, Billy, who was trying, and failing, to
nonchalantly listen in on Karen and Roberts, who were animatedly talking about some book Karen
held.

George and Mondo were sitting in lawn chairs with Rupert and Orrin, also who lived on the fifth
floor. George referred to them as the "ghey brothers" - you could actually hear the "he" in George's
voice - when he though no one but Kevin was around.

Kevin picked up a beer and drifted over to Karen.

"It could have been an ectoplasmic discharge. An energy spike that sprayed the wall," said Roberts.

"But this was distinct," said Karen. "Wouldn't some kind of energy discharge be all blurry?"

"Not necessarily. It could have been focused. Or parallel beams, like a laser."

"What are you guys talking about?" asked Kevin.

"I saw something the other day," said Karen. "Kind of hard of explain. A discoloration on a wall.
Just trying to figure out what it might be."

"Karen saw what killed that guy in the alley Friday night," said Billy. "She thinks it's some kind of
dark angel."

"I didn't say that," said Karen.

"You're kidding," said Kevin. "The guy that got knifed?"

"They said he had his throat slashed," said Billy. "He bled all over the place."

"Billy thinks it's all gross and cool," said Karen.

"What did you see?" asked Kevin.

"Just a discoloration on a wall, that's all," said Karen.

"It was some kind of avenging angel, come down to kill the wicked, like the Crow," said Billy.

"You saw Brandon Lee? Come back from the dead?" asked Kevin.

"No," said Karen. "I saw what looked like the outline of someone on a wall. It was dark and about
fifteen feet up. And it looked like the guy had wings."

"Wings?" said Kevin. "Was it some kind of painting?"

"I don't think so," said Karen. "It looked more like soot than paint."

"Artists will use most anything," said Kevin.

"It was in an alley, where nobody would notice it," said Karen.

"You saw it," said Kevin.

"Yeah, but that is only because the police had marked it with yellow tape," said Karen. "If they
hadn't done that I never would have seen it."

"This was where they found the murdered guy?" asked Kevin.

"Yeah," said Karen.

"Then it's simple," said Kevin. "The murderer and the artist are the same. He did the killing to draw
attention to his painting."

"Who would kill someone to publicize their art?" said Karen.

"I don't know," said Kevin. "Some artists are daft."

"I think it is clearly something supernatural," said Roberts.

"I don't believe in that stuff," said Kevin.

"That's not what George says," said Karen. "He says you believe in some Greek god."

"You mean Eris?" asked Kevin. "That's just a joke."

"A joke?" asked Karen.

"Yeah," said Kevin. "Something to pass the time. What's the book you have there. It looks old."

"It's Edelson's Bestiary," said Roberts. "Kind of the poor man's guide to supernatural creatures.
There are more definitive resources, but they are expensive, hard to find. There's a lot of errors in
it."

"Well, if it's about supernatural beasts," said Kevin, "I imagine it's all in error."

"Mr. Hawthorne down at the book store gave it to me," said Karen. "I asked him if we had anything
about dark angels and he gave me this."

"Dark angels?" said Kevin. "That's what you thought you saw? A dark angel."

"Well, the impression of one," said Karen. "Maybe."

Mondo came by just then to collect them because they weren't drinking enough beer. He put his
arm around Karen and said, "If the world is my oyster, you are the peaches," the kind of thing you
would expect someone named Mondo to say.

Karen excused herself shortly. Kevin laughed at the Rupert's stories and George's jokes and
pondered Mondo's inscrutable adages.

When the beer ran out, everyone when back to their apartments. Kevin didn't go to bed right away,
even though his buzz wanted to. First he googled "Edelson's Bestiary." Later he left a post for some
friends.
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: Bella on August 09, 2005, 05:17:35 am
Sweet. Thanks, gnome.
I love the dark type writing.
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: Buddha's Ghost Penis on August 09, 2005, 06:24:27 am
MORE CLAPPING! MORE WORD VOMITTING!
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: gnimbley on August 15, 2005, 01:05:29 am
Chapter Three



Tuesday, August 9


For this one, you will have to click here. (http://www.gnimbley.com/fluffy/kdog.html)


Apologies to Bella, but your sweet little icon didn't seem appropriate.
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: Bella on August 15, 2005, 03:23:01 am
What sweet little icon? :twisted:
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: Malaul on August 15, 2005, 04:42:17 am
you are fucking brilliant
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: Bella on August 15, 2005, 04:48:31 am
Yup, that he is.
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: Eldora, Oracle of Alchemy on August 15, 2005, 04:55:26 am
Quote from: gnimbley
Chapter Three



Tuesday, August 9


For this one, you will have to click here. (http://www.gnimbley.com/fluffy/kdog.html)


Apologies to Bella, but your sweet little icon didn't seem appropriate.

That looks like a bit of work, and thank fluffy for the yeahright page, hehehe :lol:
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: gnimbley on August 15, 2005, 03:41:13 pm
Not as much work as it seems. Copy and Paste is your friend; along
with Find and Replace.

BTW, In Somnis Veritas means "In dreams there is truth."
Just thought you'd like to know.
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: Bella on August 17, 2005, 09:06:13 am
Quote from: gnimbley
BTW, In Somnis Veritas means "In dreams there is truth."
Just thought you'd like to know.

Thanks - I thought it was something along those lines.
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: Mangrove on August 17, 2005, 11:45:47 pm
(http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/6960/partytree7bl3sq.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: gnimbley on August 20, 2005, 08:44:34 pm
Cherry Street

Chapter Four



Thursday, August 11

Karen bounded up the stairs two steps at a time to Roberts' apartment. She knocked on the door
twice and let herself in.

"Justin," she called out. "You have to see this."

Justin Roberts was sitting at a dilapidated card table in his kitchen with Mark Beason, a short, thin,
red haired man with wisps of hair on his chin. An array of picture cards lay on the table between
them.

"Hey, Karen," said Roberts. "In the kitchen.

Karen rushed into the kitchen holding several newspaper clippings in her hand. "Oh, I'm sorry. I
didn't know you were busy," she said.

"Whoa," said Beason. "Never too busy for you, babe."

"It's okay," said Roberts. "What have you got?"

Karen glanced at Beason who was eyeing her lower body with what he considered an appreciative
smirk. She turned to Roberts and handed him the clippings. There was a sheet of yellow notepaper
on top.

"I have correlated the information about the murders," said Karen. "There are several rather
interesting similarities about the crimes and the victims."

"You mean other than they were all men, killed around here by having their throats slashed?" said
Roberts.

"No way, man," said Beason. "You got some kind of slasher about here?"

"Apparently," said Karen. "All the murders occurred between 11 P.M. and 3 A.M. All the bodies
were found in an alley or within a few feet of an alley; and when they weren't found in the alley,
fresh blood was found there."

"Damn," said Beason. "How many of these murders have there been?"

"Four, so far," said Roberts.

"While I don't have access to the police reports and know what other similarities there might be,"
said Karen, "I have visited each of the murder sites and all the alleys lead to a late night eating
establishment like a deli or a fast food joint."

"Not restaurants?" asked Roberts.

"In one case," said Karen. "But in each case there is at least one place where you can just walk in
and get something to eat or a cup of coffee late at night. A place where you don't need reservations."

"There would be no record you were there," said Roberts.

"Exactly," said Karen.

"This is some heavy shit, man," said Beason. "Sounds like it isn't safe to be out on the streets at
night around here. Maybe I should walk you home, doll." Beason reached out his hand and stroked
Karen's leg. She pushed it away.

"I just live on the floor below," said Karen. "Besides you are more the slasher's type. He only kills
men."

"No shit," said Beason.

"You know," said Roberts, "Mr. Hormone here might have a point. It may not be a good idea for
you to get so wrapped up in all this, going to the crime scenes and all."

"I'm careful," said Karen. "I don't go at night. And the police have already removed their tape.
Besides, people show up all the time, leave flowers, take pictures."

"Just be careful," said Roberts.

"Yeah," said Beason. "Wouldn't want anything to happen to you."
Karen didn't bother looking at Beason. She had a pretty good idea of what he was doing right them,
winking or flicking his eyebrows, probably.

"I also looked at similarities among the victims," said Karen. "All of them were from out of town,
they were with women they met here, not their wives..."

"Hookers," said Roberts.

"Probably," said Karen. "All been drinking heavily, and, if you read between the lines of the news
accounts, they were abusive and arrogant."

"What you say?" said Beason. "This some kind of feminazi serial killer?"

"I wouldn't put it that way," said Karen. "But obviously it is someone who has an issue with abusive
men."

"I don't know if it's obvious," said Roberts. "Maybe he doesn't like drunks, or men who date
hookers, or maybe they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and attracted the killer
because they were drunk and loud."

"Yeah," said Beason. "Maybe it's the pimp what's doing it. Doesn't like his whores freelancin'."

Karen gave the red-haired man a look of disgust.

"You found some connections." said Roberts. "Where does that get us?"

"I don't know," said Karen. She ran her fingers through her hair. "I didn't find anything in
Edelson's about a dark angel with dominion over abuse to women."

"It could be something more generic," said Robert. "You know, like rage. It's just manifesting as
rage against abusive men."

"Dark angel?" said Beason. "You think some kind of angel's doing this?"

"Karen saw something," said Roberts, "that makes her think the killer might be a man with, ah,
wings."

"Wings!" said Beason who then guffawed. "Man, I thought you guys were serious."

"I am serious," said Karen.

"A serial killer with wings," said Beason, still laughing. "Swoops down on his victims like a
demented Batman, I bet."

"It's not so implausible," said Roberts.

"Waspman!" cried Beason, bringing his left hand down hard on the table, scattering cards and
sending a few fluttering to the floor.

"There have been several recorded instances," said Roberts, "of people seeing winged humans or
demi-humans."

"Yeah, in comic books!" said Beason.

"Look," said Karen. "I didn't see anyone with wings. What I saw was an image on a wall, like the
shadow of something. But when I went back later, it was gone."

"I think it was an ectoplasmic discharge that discolored the wall," said Roberts. "Faded over time
which accounts for it not being there when we went back to check."

"You two are bats, you know that?" said Beason. He stood and put a hand on Karen's shoulder.
"But in your case, sweetheart, I'd be willing to overlook it."

Karen shrugged off his hand and backed away. Roberts stood and moved between them.

"I think maybe you should go, Mark," said Roberts.

"Yeah, well," said Beason, "this game is pretty fuxored as it is." He picked up two cards from the
table and dropped them to the floor. "I'll leave you two detectives to your waspman."

Roberts followed Beason to the door. In a lowered voice Beason said, "You getting any of that?"

"Well, you know," said Roberts.

"Are you sure it's worth it?" said Beason. "You know I'd hit it, but these crazy ones can be trouble.
Know what I mean, man?"

"I hear you," said Roberts.

Roberts closed the door and walked back to the kitchen. Karen was picking cards off the floor and
putting them on the table.

"Maybe I was just seeing things," said Karen.

"I believe you," said Roberts. "Mark is just, you know. He's a great guy for playing games, but
when it comes to the occult, he's strictly a brick."

"I've been beating on this stuff for four days," said Karen, "doing the research in my spare time, and
I am not one step closer to figuring it out."

"Why don't you take a break?" said Roberts. "Get away for a while, take the weekend off. My
brother's got a boat up on Lake Madison. We could go up there, just hang out on the water."

"Thanks," said Karen, "but I've got to work this weekend. There's some big book fair in New York
and everyone's going to be off buying so I'm stuck minding the shop."

"Maybe some other time," said Roberts.

"Sure," said Karen, "that'd be great. Say, thanks for listening to me babble. If it weren't for you, I'd
really be going nuts."

"No problem," said Roberts. "Any time. My door is always open."

Roberts closed the door after Karen. He picked up the rest of the cards and tossed them on the
table. Took a can of soda out of the refrigerator and downed a swig. "Maybe some other time."
"Sure, that'd be great."
Roberts smiled as he imagined what Karen would look like in a bikini
sitting on the prow of his brother's boat, her hair streaming behind her, as he took her to that special
secluded cove his brother had shown him last year.
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: LMNO on August 23, 2005, 03:12:09 pm
Yaaay!  Men are pigs!
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: DJRubberducky on August 23, 2005, 03:17:11 pm
Just ask Circe. ;)
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: gnimbley on September 06, 2005, 11:07:37 pm
Cherry Street

Chapter Five



Thursday, August 25

The bell above the door tinkled, announcing that someone had entered the Scholar's Nook. Karen
looked up from the copy of Duvall's Apocalyptic Breeze: The Role of Dark Angels in the
Reformation
that laid in her lap. She smiled at the young women wearing a Bunny Horde t-shirt
who had just entered. The woman shyly smiled back and headed for the stacks of used fantasy
novels.

Karen looked back at her book. She was sitting on a stool behind a long, waist-high, glass cabinet
which displayed a multitude of well known classics in older editions and some firsts of popular
novels.

Mr. Hawthorne, her boss, called it his "collector trap." While none of the books were particularly
valuable, they would catch the eye of any collector. That gave Hawthorne the chance to feel them
out, see if they were serious and what kind of book might interest them. If they passed muster, he
would show them one of the real treasures he kept locked up in his office. But, even then, only a
couple. Hawthorne's treasures needed to be appreciated, not merchandised.

The bell tinkled again. This time a slender, middle aged woman dressed in a black, three quarter
sleeve, wrap dress entered. A long, black, silk shawl with swirls and quarter moons of silver thread
was draped across her shoulders.

Karen smiled and the woman acknowledged her with a slight tilt of the head. The woman started for
the back of the shop, but stopped suddenly and stood very still, like she was trying to recapture a
feeling that had just slipped away.

She looked at Karen and asked, "Would you have a copy of Dr. Arthur Sanders' Sunrise at
Luxor
?"

Karen was surprised at how pure violet the woman's eyes were, like a pair of amethyst jewels.

"Is that a travelogue or a work of fiction?" asked Karen.

The woman stepped closer. Even though she was on the other side of the glass case, Karen felt like
the woman had crowded up next to her, their bodies separated only by the thin, wispy fabric of the
shawl.

"It would be under Egyptology. Or perhaps Spiritualism."

"If we had anything like that on the shelves, it would be in the second alcove on the left," Karen said
huskily.

The woman looked down into Karen's lap and smiled slightly. Karen felt the urge to cover the
Duvall with her hands, ashamed she had been caught reading such trash. But she froze in place, her
breath iced in her throat.

The bell tinkled again. The woman said, "Thank you," and walked away. Karen inhaled a noisy rush
of air.

A familiar voice said, "Hi, Karen. Where do you all keep the porn around here?"

Standing in front of her were George and Kevin. George had a smirky grin on his face while Kevin
was trying hard not to look embarrassed.

"We have paperbacks of the Kama Sutra in the small room at the top of the stairs. They'll be just
what you are looking for. Only one user," said Karen.

George grinned even bigger and bounded off, up the stairs.

"What are you guys doing here?" said Karen.

Kevin shrugged. "George said we ought to come down and check you out, I mean, check your shop
out. I mean. You know what I mean."

"Yeah, I know what you mean," said Karen.

"What are you reading?" asked Kevin.

"It's just an old book."

"Isn't that everything is your shop? Old."

"Not really," said Karen. "We have a lot of stuff that is practically new."

"So, what's it about?"

Karen shifted her eyes down away from Kevin. "Dark angels."

"You're still working on that serial killer theory of yours?"

"It's not a theory," said Karen. "I'm just curious, that's all."

"He hasn't been around lately," said Kevin. "Maybe he's moved on. Gone away."

"I don't think so."

"What makes you think that?"

A young man with a stack of paperbacks approached the counter. Karen added up his purchases
and waited for him to count out several crumpled dollar bills and a fistful of change.

The woman in the black shawl stood half hidden by a shelf of philosophy and history texts. Every
time Karen glanced, the woman was looking down at a book. Every time Karen looked away, she
felt sure the woman was looking at her.

"What makes you think the serial killer will be back?" asked Kevin after the young man had left
with his books.

"Promise you're not going to think I am some kind of nerd?"

"If you're a nerd, that'll make two of us."

"The first murder happened on February 8th. The second was May 8th, the third July 1st, and the
fourth August 5th. The time between the murders is getting shorter."

"Okay," said Kevin. "That's what? Three months, two months, one month? Following that pattern,
the next murder should have happened the same day."

"It doesn't work out to be months exactly. If you count the days, it works out to be 89 days, 54, and
35. Almost months, but not quite. I tried working out a pattern but I couldn't see one. Until I also
looked at the times of the murders."

"What? You've got this figured out down to the hours, or the minute?"

"No, silly. The first murder happened at 2:00 in the morning. That's what the coroner told the
newspapers at any rate."

Karen pulled out a couple of clipped newspaper articles from the back of her book. "The second
murder took place just after midnight, the third murder was just before midnight, and the last one
around one in the morning."

Karen looked at Kevin expectantly, but saw only a clueless expression.

"The third murder took place before midnight," said Karen. "The others took place afterwards. If
we consider the night time before and after midnight to be part of the same day, then our count is
wrong by one day. The third murder should be counted as if it took place on July 2nd and not July
1st."

"And what does that do for us?"

"That makes the counts between days as 89, 55 and 34."

"Okay. I'm still clueless."

"It's the Fibonacci sequence. A mathematical sequence where you take the last two numbers, add
them together and get the next number. You start with one and two. Add them together to get three.
Then two and three make five, five and three make eight, eight and five make thirteen, and so forth."

"So you are saying that the time between the murders fits this Fiberace sequence?"

"Fibonacci," said Karen. "And yes, it fits the sequence. 55 and 34 make 89. Instead of counting up
as you would normally do, the killer is counting down."

"I see," said Kevin. "So what's the next number in the sequence?"

"You get that by subtracting the last number from the one before it. 34 from 55 is 21."

"Twenty-one? So if the last murder took place on August 5th, then the next one should take place
on August 26th. Tomorrow night."

"Since we are counting the time before and after midnight as the same day," said Karen, "it won't
be tomorrow. It'll be tonight."
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: Eldora, Oracle of Alchemy on September 06, 2005, 11:50:24 pm
EEKS!

And, Fiberace, heheh :lol:  :twisted: that's beautiful man :cry:
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: LMNO on September 07, 2005, 03:30:04 pm
Nice... I was wondering where this would be going...

Hey, how did Karen recognize the fibbonacci sequence so easily?
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: LMNO on January 31, 2006, 04:12:47 pm
gimbley, come back.....

I have cookies...


Right here, in this sack.


LMNO
-Thread Archeologist.
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: LHX on January 31, 2006, 06:28:01 pm
compelling
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: East Coast Hustle on January 31, 2006, 07:56:33 pm
how did I miss this the first time around?
Title: Cherry Street
Post by: LMNO on January 31, 2006, 08:00:44 pm
I dunno.  It was in the midst of Erics last gasp, if I remember correctly, so you might have been busy.
Title: Re: Cherry Street
Post by: Cain on October 21, 2006, 10:13:23 am
Bump.

This is great (and I know how I missed it first time around, I wasn't here).
Title: Re: Cherry Street
Post by: nurbldoff on October 29, 2006, 08:25:44 pm
This needs to continue.
Title: Re: Cherry Street
Post by: gnimbley on August 06, 2020, 08:08:52 pm
Just stopped by to grab a copy of this. I am thinking about writing another chapter. Yeah, I know, 14 years or something. I blame Covid. He's such a bastard.