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datatime: 2022-10-04 21:26:56 Author:lvJVuJHd

Eventually, of course, they had. At first it had just looked like any old abandoned house, all sagging wood and ancient dust and shadow. But as they approached the bloodstained doorway to the hall, the shadows had seemed to shift around them, to change, and for a moment they were no longer in the house at all.

Terry couldn't argue with that. "Well-look-you understand I want to be sure you're cool. Give me something I can trust."

Terry couldn't argue with that. "Well-look-you understand I want to be sure you're cool. Give me something I can trust."

Around four-thirty A.M. they'd all met back up in the kitchen, bedraggled and happy, and managed to make a batch of popcorn. Then they put Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on Terry's VCR, snuggled up on the couch, and thrilled to the sinister tale until dawn, rewinding it again and again at the part where Gene Wilder said "WE are the music makers, and WE are the dreamers of dreams." After that Terry and Victoria crashed while Calvin and David went zooming off to breakfast, still full of crazed fungal energy.

We come in peace, he said, holding out a large slender hand. "We are his brudda an' sista. My name is Dougal. The lady is Edwina. Eddy."

They had run out yelling, slapping high-fives but not fooling each other for a second. They had tumbled off the porch and across the weed-choked yard, toward the small stubborn figure of Ghost far away on the other side of the road. None of them had ever gone back. But Terry had dreamed of it, that strange seductive slum. And he would be willing to bet Steve and R.J. had had dreams of their own.

They had run out yelling, slapping high-fives but not fooling each other for a second. They had tumbled off the porch and across the weed-choked yard, toward the small stubborn figure of Ghost far away on the other side of the road. None of them had ever gone back. But Terry had dreamed of it, that strange seductive slum. And he would be willing to bet Steve and R.J. had had dreams of their own.

He's staying with a friend, Terry said. "In an abandoned, haunted house. Now I'm not going out there, and I don't guess you better go by yourselves either. But I'll take you over to my friend Kinsey's. He doesn't mind ghosts. He'll go tell Zach you're here."

Eddy's face lit up with a beautiful, delighted smile. She was obviously crazy for Zach-along with half the world, it was beginning to seem. Terry refused to be responsible for breaking the news of Trevor to her. It wasn't his damn business anyway. But he had a hunch that the plane out of the country was going to be carrying an extra passenger, and not the one Eddy probably hoped it would be, either.

R.J., who still preferred to live like an eleven-year-old kid most of the time, had just said no and gone home to bed. Terry tripped with Victoria, Calvin, and David, the redheaded boy Calvin had met at the show. David turned out to be a brilliant twenty-year-old exchange student from London who entertained them all with witty banter until Calvin dragged him off into one of the bedrooms. Terry and Victoria took the other one. There was nothing quite like sex on hallucinogens to strengthen a relationship.

How 'bout we all relax a little firs', said Dougal, and pulled out a straw pouch and a package of rolling papers. As soon as he opened the pouch, the sweet sticky reek of absolute primo weed filled the store. Terry saw a double handful of tightly packed bright green bud bristling with tiny red hairs. Dougal pinched off a generous amount and started rolling a huge spliff right there on the counter.

He looks like he might be. Terry picked up the photograph, pretended to consider it. "Nice young kid, though. I'd hate to see the cops get hold of him."

He looks like he might be. Terry picked up the photograph, pretended to consider it. "Nice young kid, though. I'd hate to see the cops get hold of him."

He hit the joint, which tasted even better than it smelled, and held the smoke in for a long time. He didn't think so much of theft, but it was hard to feel sorry for vast bloated corporate entities like Citibank and Southern Bell. They loved to talk about how the cost of such theft was passed on to the consumer, Terry reflected, but when was any cost of big business not passed on to the little guy at the bottom of the ladder?

We're not cops We're trying to warn him about- The girl shut her mouth as if she thought she'd already said too much. Her companion approached the counter.

Help you with something? he inquired. Probably they were looking for Steve and Ghost. Kids from the fringe had started drifting into town over the past year, since Lost Souls? had managed to get their tape distributed to record stores up and down the East Coast. Most just wanted to see a show; a few wanted to camp out in the band's yard, or thought Ghost was their true soulmate due to secret personal messages they heard in his lyrics. It was a little unnerving, but it had brought in tons of business when Steve worked at the store. Even now that Lost Souls? was touring, when Terry pointed out that he had played drums on their tape, these kids would always buy a Whirling Disc T-shirt.

He didn't know if it had been a group hallucination or what. He doubted so, because it didn't seem to have anything to do with the murders. Terry had seen a city street around him, a boarded-up slum, wavering like a mirage but definitely there. R.J. had seen a dark deserted bar with shattered glass on the floor and cracked mirrors on the walls so dusty that he could not see his face in them. And Steve would never say what he had seen, except that it had legs like a bug.

We come in peace, he said, holding out a large slender hand. "We are his brudda an' sista. My name is Dougal. The lady is Edwina. Eddy."

They had run out yelling, slapping high-fives but not fooling each other for a second. They had tumbled off the porch and across the weed-choked yard, toward the small stubborn figure of Ghost far away on the other side of the road. None of them had ever gone back. But Terry had dreamed of it, that strange seductive slum. And he would be willing to bet Steve and R.J. had had dreams of their own.

Because Zach's a freak, Eddy said simply, "and freaks tend to frequent record stores."

He didn't know if it had been a group hallucination or what. He doubted so, because it didn't seem to have anything to do with the murders. Terry had seen a city street around him, a boarded-up slum, wavering like a mirage but definitely there. R.J. had seen a dark deserted bar with shattered glass on the floor and cracked mirrors on the walls so dusty that he could not see his face in them. And Steve would never say what he had seen, except that it had legs like a bug.

Because Zach's a freak, Eddy said simply, "and freaks tend to frequent record stores."

He hit the joint, which tasted even better than it smelled, and held the smoke in for a long time. He didn't think so much of theft, but it was hard to feel sorry for vast bloated corporate entities like Citibank and Southern Bell. They loved to talk about how the cost of such theft was passed on to the consumer, Terry reflected, but when was any cost of big business not passed on to the little guy at the bottom of the ladder?

They had run out yelling, slapping high-fives but not fooling each other for a second. They had tumbled off the porch and across the weed-choked yard, toward the small stubborn figure of Ghost far away on the other side of the road. None of them had ever gone back. But Terry had dreamed of it, that strange seductive slum. And he would be willing to bet Steve and R.J. had had dreams of their own.

Terry suspected that psychedelic drugs affected the body chemistry of gay men differently than straights. He could never eat greasy diner food on 'shrooms, and though he'd enjoyed Ecstasy the couple of times he'd done it, he hadn't felt remotely like dancing to disco music all night. Or techno, or rave, or whatever was the current noise of choice. Calvin and David had kept wanting to drive to Raleigh where they imagined they could find' some glamorous after-hours club and do just that.

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