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Shooters: Sample chapter 1Title: Shooters
Rating: PG-13 for this chapter
Chapter 1: Veni
Veni always said that I learned thongs and strap ons before I learned Pythagoras and it never did me any harm. Grandpa would disappear to the back room, whilst I did my homework at one of the reinforced dance tables surrounded by the lingering sweet smell of candy floss. It must have been silent, though I can't imagine the place anymore without a soundtrack. Veni'd sashay up behind me and drape an arm across my shoulders. With a wave of his free hand, he displayed his kingdom: the bar with its bottles glittering like a church organ; the wood and velvet upholstery of the VIP lounge; the private booths with their gleaming blacked out windows; and the dancers themselves hurrying through the back door still wearing their daily lives. Soon they'd go from Katie to Candy, from Paul to Danny Valentino. Sneakers would become stilettos and jeans would become rhinestones and a tease of fabric.
'You get your learning done, Robin,' said
The TrundlerThe waste land behind the fire station is always silent. No birds sing there, and even the wild rabbits and feral cats avoid it. Weedy wildflowers nod their seasonal heads in the breeze. Lying fallow in the midst of housing developments, shopping malls, the new movie theater — the vacant lot stands out like a knife wound on a woman’s placid face, shocking, brazen, ugly.
It is always empty. Except for one thing: a ragged heap of old trash, all nasty black tar paper and vicious snarls of rusted wire, car parts and broken glass and other junkyard jetsam. The embodiment of injury waiting to happen, an invitation to a tetanus shot... the city never hauled it away. No one ever wants anywhere near it; it radiates an eerie sense of calculating watchfulness.
And at night, it wanders.
When darkness falls, and the last cars heading into the hives of tract housing stop illuminating the asphalt with moving-picture shadows, it… unfolds. Bitter, broken tangles, grotesquely mov
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