November 20 Murdock

IT'S NOT HER. I know it's not. Even though it might look like her and I didn't let her see me and people might think I'm nuts. Sure, the P. I. is satisfied. So are her folks, I guess, who probably haven't even been to Laguna Beach in person, but have seen the P. I.'s blurry pictures and that lets them believe they still have some control over her. But for me the decoy is a chilling augury. Who the hell did that girl get mixed up with to make a monster like this?

Regie delivered the thing just like he promised. And I gulp because I don't really want this thing now that I take it out of the glove compartment, see it in front of me, feel it's ugly weight. It nauseates me a little to think what it can do. I put it in my pocket and I like the way my coat hangs.

The nails are too red. Carol would never wear a color like that, not even if she changed her name and the color of her hair. Not even if she got a lobotomy. Something she said to me once: it's one thing being freewheeling but a whore is a whore, girl or boy. Awful knowledge red. It's the bad, wet red the serpent picked from the tree.

It's enough to make me grab a little the thing that weighs at my side. Just for the grounding in something hard, heavy when the rest of the world lurches by so unbalanced, even immaterial.

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