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datatime: 2022-10-04 21:10:33 Author:knurHeZR

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.

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'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.

Still, it was one thing to trust people based on a gut reaction; it was quite another when the feds might be involved. He was glad they hadn't happened upon Kinsey first. "How come you to ask in here?"

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'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."

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.

Whatever Zach's morals (or lack thereof), Terry genuinely liked him. If there was even a slim chance that feds were heading for Missing Mile to nab him, Terry knew he had to help Zach get away.

We're looking for this boy, she said. "His name is Zachary. He's a good friend of ours, and he's in a lot of trouble."

Whatever Zach's morals (or lack thereof), Terry genuinely liked him. If there was even a slim chance that feds were heading for Missing Mile to nab him, Terry knew he had to help Zach get away.

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."

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.

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

Terry took the hand and shook it. Dougal spoke with a thick Jamaican accent, and his eyes were sharp, kind, stoned. The girl's burned like embers. Terry believed they were Zach's friends, though probably not his actual brudda an' sista. They smelled faintly sweaty, as if they had been driving all night. And the photo was worn, rubbed around the edges. Someone had spent a lot of time looking at it, and Terry was willing to bet that someone was Edwina. Eddy.

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.

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."

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

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

That made him think of Trevor and Zach. Terry had hoped they would show up again, but they never did. He wondered if they had spent the night tripping in that house. The thought made his nuts crawl. Terry remembered scaring his younger friends with the story of the murders as a teenager, wondering aloud if the McGees' ghosts still lived in the house, daring them to go inside with him.

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.

Okay, he said. "Truth. Zach's in town."

Whatever Zach's morals (or lack thereof), Terry genuinely liked him. If there was even a slim chance that feds were heading for Missing Mile to nab him, Terry knew he had to help Zach get away.

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.

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?

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.

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