Weirding Module | Discography

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He counted the gashes in the roof and sides of the car. The front was crushed, headlights empty sockets.

To say what? That I've refused orders from the police? That I hid evidence? That I'm helping a Russian instead?

I know where to go.

At last the streets ended at docks and the deep black and trailing lights of the harbor. Air blew through the windshield and windows and safety glass sparkled on their laps. The Lada limped over railroad tracks and finally swung into an alley, scaring the spangly green eyes of a cat caught in the headlight, and lurched to a stop.

He saw the Makarov in the car trunk. As Osorio hung on, he picked up the gun and cocked it." Get out of the way."

If it were a boat it would sink, he said." It will get you to a doctor."

No, Ofelia said.

Arkady peeled off enough windshield to see. The falling ladder had grazed the bulb, and as the light swung, goats, stairs, statues swayed from side to side. He backed into a column hard enough to rock the balcony, shot forward and aimed at Luna, silhouetted by crystals on his shoulders. Missed him, but as the hanging bulb flared to life Arkady saw an electric highway of glass leading to the doors and followed. As the doors burst open, the Lada landed askew on the steps, righted itself and shouldered through debris. The left-front fender was crushed, and left turns seemed to be impossible. He drove toward the streetlamp, and when he was a block beyond he looked back through the gaping rear window to see Luna running after. Arkady pushed the car as fast as it could go until the sergeant was out of sight.

It doesn't sound so good when you put it that way. Then what? Luna will only follow us to Pribluda's.

No, Ofelia said.

Arkady put Osorio into the front passenger seat of the car and went around to the driver's side. Ladas were not known for their power, but they did start. In the coldest or warmest weather they started. Arkady turned on the engine and lights and, blinded, Luna stopped for a moment, then crossed the floor in two strides and brought the machete down on the car. Arkady reversed so that the blow landed on the hood, but Luna slapped the blade sideways and split the windshield into two caved-in sheets of safety glass. Unable to see, Arkady drove forward, hoping for a piece of the captain, only to hit the long counter head-on. The rear window crystallized as the machete swung through. Arkady backed up, cutting the wheel to sweep Luna away. The blade came straight down through the car roof, probed and vanished. Just when Arkady thought the Cuban was actually on the car, one headlight exploded. A ladder toppled, crushing Osorio's side of the car.

To the police.

Considering that Ofelia made the arrangements in the middle of the night, she didn't do badly. A switch from the Lada, Change and all, to her DeSoto and then to a room at the Rosita, a love motel on the Playa del Este just fifteen miles outside the city and a block from the beach. All the Rosita's units were free-standing white stucco cottages from the fifties with air-conditioning and kitchenette, television and potted plants, clean sheets and towels at a price only the most successful jineteras could afford.

Exactly. Arkady got out of the car on weak legs.

I know where to go.

Arkady peeled off enough windshield to see. The falling ladder had grazed the bulb, and as the light swung, goats, stairs, statues swayed from side to side. He backed into a column hard enough to rock the balcony, shot forward and aimed at Luna, silhouetted by crystals on his shoulders. Missed him, but as the hanging bulb flared to life Arkady saw an electric highway of glass leading to the doors and followed. As the doors burst open, the Lada landed askew on the steps, righted itself and shouldered through debris. The left-front fender was crushed, and left turns seemed to be impossible. He drove toward the streetlamp, and when he was a block beyond he looked back through the gaping rear window to see Luna running after. Arkady pushed the car as fast as it could go until the sergeant was out of sight.

A black hand swung around Arkady's seat and hit him in the chest. He grabbed its wrist and twisted in his seat to the figure of Change. The man-sized doll had been riding in the back of the car, still wearing its red bandanna, still holding its walking stick in its other hand, its dark expression the glower of a kidnap victim. Ofelia aimed the Makarov, loaded or not, at the doll.

Considering that Ofelia made the arrangements in the middle of the night, she didn't do badly. A switch from the Lada, Change and all, to her DeSoto and then to a room at the Rosita, a love motel on the Playa del Este just fifteen miles outside the city and a block from the beach. All the Rosita's units were free-standing white stucco cottages from the fifties with air-conditioning and kitchenette, television and potted plants, clean sheets and towels at a price only the most successful jineteras could afford.

Actually, I did.

At last the streets ended at docks and the deep black and trailing lights of the harbor. Air blew through the windshield and windows and safety glass sparkled on their laps. The Lada limped over railroad tracks and finally swung into an alley, scaring the spangly green eyes of a cat caught in the headlight, and lurched to a stop.

The first thing Ofelia did once they were inside was to shower the burlap and shag off her body. Wrapped in a towel, she asked him to pick nuggets of glass from her hair. He'd expected her curls to be stiffer, but they were as soft as water and his fingers never looked more thick and clumsy. Between the wings of her shoulder blades the skin was rubbed raw and seamed with grains of glass. She didn't flinch. In the bathroom mirror he saw her eyes on him and the natural kohl of their lids.

Osorio pressed her mouth to Arkady's ear." My gun."

To the police.

To say what? That I've refused orders from the police? That I hid evidence? That I'm helping a Russian instead?

Well, I never told you that what Luna wanted from me was the photograph that Pribluda called the Havana Yacht Club. We're even.

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