< The Detective Store >



<Don't want to die in Adams Morgan,> I think.

Watergate Sump Pumps bang.

<|No sump pump bang being last sound.>

Sump pumps bang and spirt flow with people talk, screams, laughter and bass thumps and horn honks and movers shouts of, ,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE...'' <|Like one mass.>

I think, <|Psycho can read my mind.>

The North wall vibrates.

<|Or the record.> I inhale, hold lungs, close eyelids then slowly exhale.

The wall vibration stops.

<|Is Psycho real?> I think, <|If Psycho real...> Heart increases pump tempo. Chest tightens.

I inhale.

Sump pumps bang and spirt.

I exhale. <|Move.>

The heart beat rate slows. The chest muscles relax.

A siren spins motor.

I raise and move hands to head.

The siren motor is spun.

I aim index finger tips at ears.

A siren pierces the night.

I plug ears with index fingers.

Eyelids blink.

The siren forms a sphere through mind. The siren sphere encompasses the shouts and talk and laughter and bass.

Sweat drop falls from nose.

The warm air fills lungs.

Siren, jungle bass, house bass, ambient sump pumps separate and echo from mind.

Tongue tastes stale coffee residue.

People below mask a drone stare.

Sump pumps' bang and spirt fade.

Drone stare spreads from drone epicenter. The drone stare spreads to everyone on street. The drone stare becomes closed eyelids over eyes.

The people's eyelids cover eyes, and mouths hang open.

Forehead sweats.


Music fades from mind.

Rainbow hues reflect.

People slow step, stop. Bikers slow, stumble. Rickshaw handles drop. Passengers plop forward. Taxi jerks and pops.


Body is sticky, shiny. Body fumes sweat.

<|...Need to clean the office...>

The siren echo twists, <|Like a spiral,> in the stereo mind.

<|A robe?> I close my mouth.

Nothing is.


The siren's echo fades.

<|...What was I thinking?>

No sound is.


Eyelids blink.

I close mouth. <|Money with client.> I inhale through nose and exhale through mouth. Mind beats. Bones lock. Muscles squeeze mind and bones and blood then release. I feel and think, <|A Gee Forty-three Killing Machine.>

People outside close mouths and blink. They pivot heads side to side. They shake heads. They smile and shrug.

I remove finger tips from ears.

I lower hands. <|A Gee Forty-three Killing Machine.> I holler deep, ,,FUCK.'' Muscles tighten. I inhale.

,,DOWN HERE!'' someone hollers.

People move. Their mouths open and close. ,,WE'RE HERE!'' shouts one. Shout is. Then a group laughs.

House, trance, jungle, jazz flow from buildings through the people to the sidewalks and street.

Movers lift rickshaw handles.

Heart beat slows.

I exhale with the thought, <|A Gee Forty-three Killing Machine.> Muscles relax. Breath is shallow and slow. <|Mustang.> Jaw muscles relax. I inhale. <|There is more.> I exhale.

Red, yellow, blue, purple, pink, green pulse, blink, spread from building windows to people and sky.

Heart beats slow and steady.

<|Where is the government?> I wipe towel across face, put towel on desk.

Windows shake. Walls vibrate. Bass flows over body.

<|Dancing and laughing.>

The people walk everywhere.

<|Should dance.> I pivot head up and down.

Low vibration becomes a high thump against the wall.

Small bumps rise on skin. I feel a chill.

<|Larry's Fajitas.> I stand. <|What time was it?> I step from desk.

The wall thumps.

I think, <|Forty minutes?> step through doorway, step in room. <|Read only Psycho's data.> I walk by cot and blanket to shelf. <|Can we leave?>

Cotton t-shirt basket is on shelf.

<|Don't think.> I take off shirt. I wipe shirt over face and armpits. <|How to get away from Psycho? If Psycho is.> I toss shirt. <|Don't think.> I grab yellow shirt and slide it over head, think, <|...Wade through the mire...,> pull shirt to waist. <|Was waiting for shitty work.>

Wall vibrates and bumps.

<|Shitty work...>

Bass flows through body.

<|But this...> I step to cot, kneel on floor and reach under cot, grab sneakers. <|Government put me away forever.> I pull sandals from feet, slip on socks, sneakers, grab sneakers' laces. <|Framed even if they, whoever, are not trying to frame.> I pull laces, tie laces with a bow, think, <|And Psycho is a killing machine,> pull on bows. <|Maybe?> I stand. <|A killing machine.> I walk to window. <|Psycho a way to entrap?> I grab towel beyond window on hook, think, <|Have some data to frame truth, frame proof,> wipe face with towel. <|Parties only want for testing.>

Wall thumps and window vibrates.

<|Congov.> I wipe back of head with towel, think, <|Then do something to me after used,> reach through window and hang towel on hook.

The shirt lays on floor below window.

I lift shirt and lay shirt collar on hook.

The bass flows, and a whistle pitch raises.

I close window. <|Am I too paranoid?>

A buzz buzzes.

Bass flows from low vibration through walls to high tempo thumps against wall.

<|No.> I walk from room to office. <|Psycho could be aware. Congov. Congov needs to profit from me.>

Red, blue, white light pulses through window, shines shadow, <|The Detective Store,> upon two-way mirror wall.

<|It's going to end how they want it.> I walk between desk and window, think, <|Psycho's data.>

The word FULL flashes from desk corner.


Window shakes then vibrates.

A high pitch whistles then fades.

<|A global.> I grab and pull the ruler. I close window, set ruler by window frame. <|Could be.>

The window lock's buzz buzzes.

I walk.

The floor squeaks.

<|Is Psycho real?> I step from the office, think, <|What is real?> shut the door, hear the lock ring, walk down the stairs, think, <|It grabbed cup. Hand shake. Not just illusion or psych projection.>

Steps creak each step.

I think, <|Maybe psych injection, good psych projection,> step to landing, pivot, step stairs. <|A really good psych injection. Looks, feels images, the cup caught, or believed to be caught.> I walk down creaky steps to a hall floor. Olive tree mosaic grows over hall floor.

<|Mom and dad, Mustang?> Feet walk along the olive tree mosaic. Body passes entrance to The Insurance Store. <|Congov or global control Psycho. Maybe independent?> I look through dirty clear plastic door. <|...If it a psych injection?>

People silhouettes and shadows pass left to right upon clear plastic door.

<|...Everyone but me...> Hands push door and body flows out.

People walk, ride, stroll, roll shoulder to shoulder, back to front, front to back. People flow from sidewalk to street to sidewalk. The three level buildings guide the people over sidewalks and street. <|No sphere with limbs above.> People push from lounge to dance hall to bar and through people and neon light.

<|Lawyers, lobbyists, contractors, government bureaucrats.> People fondle girl friends, boy friends, interns, pages. Unbuttoned sport jackets and suit coats; pressed slacks and skirts; polished wing tips and heels; brilliant earrings and rings; small bras and chest chains; tight jeans and skirts; high heels and boots; cufflinks; shiny nipple rings and belly button rings; exposed panties and g-strings are strapped, moved and pried over naked bodies. Ties are knotted. Bows are tied. Guns are strapped to legs, waists, shoulders.

<|If not a psych injection. Is Psycho aware?>

Hand guns shine from leather, plastic, cotton holsters with studs, pictures, stitches. A few hand guns glow.

I step and slide between people.

People stand and talk, watch and point.

Rickshaw mover shouts quick, ,,MOVE MOVE MOVE...''

<|Government. Police. Help? Shot?>

People press against back then sides.

A rickshaw cab's curtains are drawn and bounce with building's bass beat. Bass spreads through crowd. Some one shouts. ,,YEAHHHHHHHHH!''

<|Too many globals. Too many labels.>

Two men and a woman push people and lead girls and boys with Page Pins through a doorway under the sign Democratic Republican.

I step through line of girls and boys with Page Pins.

The stomach feels hollow. <|If Psycho is controlled by self, then no one can help.>

Perfumes, colognes, lotions, rubs, <|...Mint...,> fume.

A warm breeze carries bacon and pizza sizzle.

A people wave flows through crowd.

People pull then push.

I flow back and forth.

Shoulder to shoulder mass jostles.

I pull handkerchief from shorts' back pocket, wipe forehead, step and slide through a blacksuit group.

Blacksuits wear red and blue bow ties. Dark spectacles hide eyes. <|Secret Sentry.>

A guy shouts, jerks body, says, ,,GET Out, Get out,'' shakes head. Hand slaps his head, slaps his head, slaps, slaps, slaps his head. His body shakes. He pushes back and bumps people.

People are bumped. People fall backward.

A police drone flies over the guy slapping his head.

Guy shakes fingers through hair, shakes head and bumps people.

Mass looks, points, pivots heads side to side.

I pause and lower eyelids over eyes. I think, <|There is a Gee Forty-three Killing Machine in the area.>

A flash flashes blood red.

The treble and bass of music is. Drone's fan hums.

Some man says, ,,Where am I?''

Talking is. Loud talking is.

A cheer is cheered.

I open eyes.

The drone hovers.

The guy stands motionless.

A cicada, tangled in guy's hair, flaps free and flies away.

Chocolate scented smoke billows from door and rises from mass.

People bump shoulders and hips.

A breeze blows.

Sweat, humidity and shit and piss fume.

<|I need to be gone.> I wedge shoulder and sidestep through couples and groups.

I bump and make stumble two people. ,,My apologies,'' I say.

Arms and hands brush against sweaty backs and chests.

People are one mass.

Mass moves in pressed circle packs.

I pivot chest sideways. Shoulder leads and makes a trail through forward flow. <|Congov near.> I bump shoulders and elbows, split coupled bodies, step onto the street into blacksuit group. <|Maybe only congov reads record?>

The mass expands and contracts.

I bump people.

''My apologies.''

One of couple sticks middle finger up, says, ,,Fucker.''

I smile.

Other throws arm around shoulder of one.

They squeeze through mass.

One lowers finger.

I walk forward. <|Only company is reading my mind government won't know until company won't profit from me.> I walk by restaurant windows.

People eat burgers and fries.

Couples and singles and groups join and separate from bar to club to lounge to diner. Beats, claps and raps mix and spread. The groups, couples and singles press between people and push to bars, clubs, lounges and diners. Red, green, pink lights flash upon the crowd.

<|If only company is reading.> I turn head.

Sweat fumes.

Masks behind window cast shadows upon body.

People mass stops.

<|If only company.> I stop.

A mass wave pushes.

I think, <|Knows, worse off.> I look over heads.

A blue light shines upon the heads. People push from dance hall exit. People cheer and clap.

I step forward and wedge body between people.

People raise voice and fist at people. They look. <|At me.>

I squeeze through bodies. <|Reasons to be entrapment. Reason to not be entrapment.> I slide-walk along the sidewalk. <|Reasons to leave the city.>

People sway.

Body fulcrum shifts.

I step. <|Twenty-one percent.> I wedge between people. <|Bullshit.>

People stand, walk, slide and look at black and white arch into club. Steam and lights shine from arch.

The crowd spreads and shifts in mass.

People press against body.

<|If wasn't global yellow am now.>

People gaze at the arch and the steam and the lights. The gaze pulls the bodies tight.

People press. People stand on toes and lean forward.

Sweat drips and spreads on another's naked chest.

I pull from pressed mass. <|How to increase survival percentage?> Feet stumble then step on sidewalk. <|Focus.>

Congov walk forward and push with black sleeved forearms.

Page column marches through people. Congressmen pins are fastened on pages' collars. Pins reflect red and blue light.

<|No running away.>

Menthol steam puffs from windows.

<|Less thought.>

People begin to move in tight groups through loose mass. Go-Go drummer lost in the mass plays plastic can drums. People hop and pop. People stumble and misstep.


People squeeze.

I squeeze between people. <|Left.> I look left through alley between jail and bank from this street to other street.

People create silhouettes. Silhouettes pass a bottle. Silhouettes pass around pizza. Silhouette couples hold and rub the other. People walk from other street to this street.

Other street is people and lights.


Congov, <|Secret Sentry,> stand on corner police podium. Congov stare follows people flow back and forth and forth and back through intersection.


Chants of, ,,Move, move, move, move, move...,'' are.

People flow slows. Intersection police podium is empty.

Shouts of, ,,MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!!!'' are.

Sidewalks and intersection are divided by Jersey Dikes. People dam around Jersey Dikes and pool on sidewalks behind Jersey Dikes. Stagecoach, rickshaws, bikes, skates roll and flow left to right and right to left on street beyond the Jersey Dikes.

Stagecoach and rickshaw movers scream, whisper, chant, shout, ,,MOVE! move, Move. Move. MOVE...''


Red light across street shines through passing stagecoaches, rickshaws, bikers, skaters.

I get handkerchief, wipe face and neck with handkerchief. I flip and fold handkerchief and slide it in back pocket.

The petrol smoke clouds.

People cough and sneeze.

Two congov trucks and a limo roll left to right and park in one lane by corner right.

Rickshaws' and stagecoaches' movers push against rickshaw or stagecoach roll. ''Move, move, move...,'' becomes, ''MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!!!'' Movers' feet and legs press rickshaw or stagecoach momentum into rubber street.

Traffic stops behind limo and two congov trucks.

The alcohol and sweat and mint and exhaust fume.

<|Focus forward.>

Congov step from trucks and surround the limo. They stand. Their black spectacles scan rickshaw and stagecoach movers and people crossing street and people standing behind Jersey Dikes.


People walk and roll around limo and congov trucks. People in stagecoaches and rickshaws and on bikes shout, ,,MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!!!''

<|...And the Vice.>

,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE...,'' holler rickshaw and stagecoach movers. Movers slow step and say, ''Move, move, move, move, move...'' They merge to single lane.

The people spread and contract.

I look forward, right and left.

People pass without eye contact.

I look right.

Two congov point to a person. Congov grab and hold the person. Congov lift the person and lay the person on the bed of a white truck by limo.

I look forward.

The traffic left to right and right to left stops before intersection.

The red light across street fades.

<|Mustang needs to know.> I walk pass the pointing congov. I step between Jersey Dikes from sidewalk corner to street. I feel and think, <|Psycho could be life.>

<|If Psycho life.> I look back to the right.

Person is tied to bed of white truck. Two congov fasten the ropes.

I think, <|Congov would use Gee Forty-three to entrap.>

People mass walk forward and step between people, rickshaws, bikes.

<|Congov don't need to entrap.>

The taxi rolls, and people walk through Vert intersection.

<|...If Psycho life teach...>

Government motors exhaust petrol.

<|Maybe now an Orange? Congov may then...> Sweat falls from nose. I step by stagecoach.

Rickshaw movers inhale and exhale and jog in place and move their mouths to whisper, ,,Move, move, move, move, move...,'' lost in the talk, laughter, music. Movers drip sweat.

<|Orange for sitting around office waiting for work?>

Petrol exhaust is.

I cough.

People bump shoulders.

,,Excuse me,'' I say, wink, think, <|Or Yellow.>

Red light flashes.

<|Or Psycho is alive. Red.>

Man says, ,,Alms for the poor. Alms for the poor...''

<|No one would believe me.> I step on the curb.

Man holds palm before him.

<|...No one will believe.>

Sump pump fades.

,,Move, move, move, move, move...,'' chant echoes from behind.

People are shoulder to shoulder. Over left shoulder cafe, restaurant, bar shine dim yellow light on people and street. Over right shoulder church and compound beam cross light on crowd.

Grease smoke flows from open doors.

People step between people. They walk everywhere.

I feel and think, <|Mustang will.>

Row houses; stoops; small grass and tree squares are.

Vehicle gardens separate street and sidewalks.

<|How do I know it's Gee Forty-three? Could be projection, sensory injection. Who has seen Gee Forty-three?> I stride.

<|No shades watching, moving on tops of row houses. No shades. Psycho probably invisible.>

People stand in spread groups.

Windows are dark. Staircases lead to stoops and call boxes. Staircases lead to basement apartments. Plastic fences are black or white. The tall gates flash warning lights.

Oak trees grow from mire squares between sidewalk and vehicle gardens.

<|Two image recorders. A universal sensor. No visible Gee Forty-three. No congov in trees.>

Sweat drop drips from chin.

I think, <|Gee Forty-three enters office when I need money.> I reach into back pocket and pull out handkerchief.

Sky is clear. Stars shine. Warm breeze blows. Branches shake then wave. Leaves flutter.

<|That's timing.> I wipe face with handkerchief, look at carrots in, <|Bentley,> vehicle garden. <|Hungry.> I inhale.

Hot rubber fumes float.

I exhale.

Lights shine from behind. Taxi passes. The bikers flow past.

<|Gee Forty-three should have brought food.>

People walk across street to people mass.

<|For steak or peach would've taken the job.> I pivot head up and down.

Couples, singles and groups walk, <|Toward me,> over intersection.

<|...Why a Gee Forty-three?> I walk across street. <|...A bit dramatic.>

People pass. Arms brush arms.

<|Probably not government.>

People walk past and under the dim street lamps by traffic semaphore.


People groups on other sidewalk walk toward the people mass. Lights twinkle from their naked chests and legs.

Lights shine from behind. A limo drives inside biker circle. Bikers wear black helmets and peddle with limo.

The limo lights illuminate the street.

Women and men couples are.

I stride wide by women and men.

Woman looks. <|At me.>

I run by vehicle gardens. I pull handkerchief from back pocket. <|It may kill Mustang...if home.> I wipe forehead, face, neck. <|...Mustang may be dead.> Emptiness drops from head to neck to chest to stomach and settles.

Nothing is.

Combustion explosions are.

Petrol fumes.

I fold handkerchief and slide it into pocket. The legs stride. <|Time. No time.> The heart pumps. Body is light. <|Mustang.>

<|The killing machine.> I stride wide and quick.

An intersection is.

<|...Where...Where would he be but home...>

Red light shines.

I look left. <|Home.> Legs reach, grab and pull across intersection to Duke's Bridge.

A white government truck drives under the red light. Petrol exhaust follows truck.

<|Not following.> I run across the intersection and by people. <|Waiting.> I part group, run upon the bridge. I look at the chain link fence. I run, look down at the wide river. <|Fucked,> I think, <|If entrapment. Paranoid. Don't like.>

Feet reach and grab, pull and push.

Groups walk along wide rubber sidewalks.

I run near chain fence along Duke's Bridge. I run by people. Legs pump and pull, push. <|Global red.> I inhale the shit and piss and river fumes. <|Psycho is.> I exhale.

Sweat drips from face and seeps from chest and pits through t-shirt.

<|Will kill mom, dad.> I look left beyond the chain links and peer at river and other bridge. I peer and watch the river's edge.

Lights illuminate oxygenators along river banks.

<|Nothing.> I look right to side at other sidewalk. <|Nothing.> I run past light pole. <|Psycho invisible.>

Biker group on street flows past.

I look behind through chain links.

The river is a pond.

<|Full.> I think. <|Where is Psycho?> I stride from a rubber sidewalk top to pebble path past a restaurant and office space, to the corner of Calvert and Conn, look left, <|Near.> I run left along the pebble path then run on bridge's rubber walkway.

I brush wall's edge.

Eight people pass single file.

The bridge spans.

Lights shine from behind. A running shadow is cast.

The shadow extends.

The shadow contracts.

A car passes. Exhaust blows a plastic bag. The plastic bag flies and floats up then over the bridge edge. Car drives across bridge.

Plastic bag expands and floats then falls.

I reach, grab plastic bag. Fingers pull plastic bag to palm. Hand grips plastic bag within fist.

People block path.

Light dots shine. LIGHTS BLIND. Lights leave petrol smoke in wake.

I cough.

Light dots shine. LIGHTS BLIND. Lights pass.

I run on walkway and through people. Shoulders hit shoulders. Someone shouts.

Light dots shine.

I look over left shoulder to Duke's Bridge.

Lights illuminate.

I see, think, <|No killing machine.>

Bikers flow on street.

I look forward.

Lights pass.

<|Move.> I run.

Lights dot night. LIGHTS BLIND. LIGHTS BLIND. Lights pass.

Yellow dots appear.

I run near rail and street.

<|A couple.>

People hold hands.

I pass people.

Shadows cast. Light shines from behind.

I hear and smell diesel engine.

Shadows cast on trees.

Lights shine. Bike group flows past.

Shadow extends then contracts, <|To me.> Cars roll past.

The police dock is below.

Winds are.

Red flag with one big star and four small stars unfurls above big red brick building.

Lights shine, SHINE, then pass.

Cameras above double doors of big red brick building pivot right. Rows and columns of barred windows illuminate.

Cicada swarm buzzes then fades to silence.

Sweat drips, drips, drips from face.

Conn splits right separating red embassy and the Falun Island. Conn flows left and up a slow climb to peak beyond.

The peak flows up and down with stride. The peak flows down and up with stride.

I feel and think, <|It is being read.> I exhale, inhale, exhale...

I run along Conn incline to soft peak. <|Reading from office?> I top soft peak and think, <|Can Psycho transmit thought?>

Dots flash beyond. LIGHTS shine. Lights shine and pass.

I say, think to Psycho, ,,>|Can you transmit thought, Psycho?<''

,,Psycho is currently capable of writing eight bits of information to a human mind every minute,'' says Psycho.

Cicadas raise buzz and lower buzz.

>|Hello, Psycho.< I think to Psycho.

''Hello, Dick,'' says Psycho.

I wide stride across street to sidewalk.

I think for Psycho, >|Where are you?<

Psycho says, ''Psycho is on top of Reagan Hotel.''

I run. I say, ,,Psycho, how many human minds can you read simultaneously?''

,,Amount of human minds able to be read is defined by resources available to process the process,'' says Psycho. ''Current maximum amount is five hundred twelve.''

Sweat drips. Sweat drips. Sweat drips.

LIGHT shines. Truck rolls from an idle to a slow drive on the Reagan Hotel entrance road.

I inhale exhaust. I exhale exhaust. <|Government machine.>

LIGHTS are. Truck drives. <|At me.>

I run along the sidewalk, think, <|Do they kill me?>

The white truck moves.

''No,'' says Psycho.

I think, <|Assume,> and say, ,,Government truck,'' and think, <|If hits, government knows not.>

Psycho says, ,,Psycho reads the government driver is beginning to think to stop. Driver is aware. Driver is not processing more thoughts of you. Truck integrity level allows for stops.''

I run forward and follow the sidewalk through white truck's path. I think, <|My Psycho.>

Lights are bright.

I look at driver's face.

The white truck slows and stops. Driver smiles and waves.

I run by white truck.

Petroleum smoke fumes.

<|Our Psycho.>

Legs pull, push, pump, pull, push, pump.

I pivot head side to side, think, <|All government doesn't know.>

A truck engine revs.

<|Congov, globals.> I run with long strides down decline to a corner. <|All in mind?>

The crosswalk light is red.

I run upon street crosswalk to sidewalk.

Bikers flow past.

Sweat covers face, neck, body.

People talk and walk on sidewalk.

<|Would Psycho kill them?>

''Psycho will not kill,'' says Psycho.

Jaw clenches. Jaw relaxes.

Sweat drips from chin.

I wipe face with forearm.

People are everywhere. They stand, walk, talk.

White government truck rolls from behind and spreads exhaust.

I run along sidewalk, by the bank through people bumping shoulders and elbows. I run along curb.

Couples talk. A group screams, laughs and points at each other.

I run by vehicle gardens.

<|Corner of block.>

Red-hand shines.

People stop, look left and right and forward to red-hand.

Legs pull, push, pump, pull, push, pump.

People step and stand around vehicle gardens.

A stagecoach rolls up hill. Movers shout, ,,MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!!!''

I look right.

Street is clear.

Legs pull, push, pump, pull, push, pump through people and on sidewalk.

Bikes pierce through the intersection through Conn to flow along Flor.

One red semaphore light shines. A white government truck putters past spreading petrol. People mass.

I brush a woman's back. I nudge a man's shoulder.

Street lamp's red light fades.

<|Psycho pushing play not make Psycho alive.> I look left, think, <|Or just selecting a response,> look right. <|Clear.> I run upon crosswalk, street. I run right and run right across Conn.

Red-hand glows.

I run Flor flow.

Sweat drips, drips, drips.

LIGHTS shine. Horn honks and honks. Tires screech. Person shouts. ,,HEY, YOU.'' Bikes blur past one by one by one by one.

,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE...,'' is.

I look left.

A stagecoach is moved by eight humans dressed in whitesuits.

<|Forward.> Legs pull, push, pump, pull, push, pump.

I run by Jersey Dikes.

<|A taxi.>

Tires squeal. Horn blasts, ,,MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!''

Out of sync hollers, ,,MOVE, move. Move,'' are. Stagecoach rolls and stops. Mover falls.

I look right.

A rickshaw mover falls.

I jump over sliding rickshaw handles and stride upon sidewalk.

The shops' oil lamps hang on horizontal poles above doors. People sit around tables, stand in circles, look behind, step from path. People point, stare. Fingers follow. <|Me.> The people part a path.

Groups stare, point. Plastic coats, jackets hang over forearms. People stand on another pedestrian island.

I turn chest.

People step aside, look.

I slice group, hit shoulders.

,,Dick needs not run,'' says Psycho.


I run across S.

Shouts of, ,,HEY YOU!'' ARE! Honks of horn fade with the cadence of, ,,Move, Move, Move...'' Blue and red lights flash left, right, left, right, left, right.

People create a path.

I run by corner. I step on rubber sidewalk, split groups, side stride couples, think, <|No people,> close eyelids.

<|I need.>

Horn honks and beeps.

Blood red flashes.

The horn is silent.

Feet rub and push off sidewalk.

I open eyelids.

>|Any drones, Psycho?<

,,No,'' Psycho says.

>|Psycho, any one following?<

Psycho says, ''No.''

>|People don't remember, Psycho?<

Psycho says, ''Yes.''

<|White oak.> Trees are. Plastic fences are. Vehicle gardens are.

<|No people on steps or stoops.>

A biker rides toward.

Three rats run from vehicle garden to fence and disappear in corn.

''Dick does not need to run,'' says Psycho.

<|No.> I run. I inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

Lungs warm.

Sweat drips from chin.

I run past the R street sign.

The wind gusts. White oak leaves shake.

Red and blue and white, <|Bentley, Benz, Mercedes, Jaguars,> vehicle gardens border the sidewalks and the street.

<|Gardens same.>

Sweat drips and drips.

I wipe forehead with forearm.

A silhouette walks down stairs to sidewalk. The lamp flames illuminate sidewalk.

A door shuts. Silhouette hollers, ,,DID YOU FIX THE GARDEN CAR LEAK!'' A voice hollers, ,,YES, WE WILL HAVE ENOUGH WATER TONIGHT!''

I run past silhouette, look left. I feel and think, <|Is Mustang Alive?>

Lamp flames illuminate street. No people from intersection to Conn are seen.

Legs' muscles burn.

<|Mustang.> I run on sidewalk. I wipe face with left and right shoulder.

A silhouette group form people.

Lungs warm.

I look up and across the street at row house roofs. >|Where are you, Psycho?<

Psycho says, ,,Psycho's position is above the group of people on the corner of Q Street.''


''Above Dick,'' says Psycho.

,,I can't.'' <|Invisible,> I think.

The people become men and women dressed with suits and dresses. The voices are... ,,There.'' ,,Here.'' ,,No, There, Here.'' ,,No.''

Feet grab and push from rubber sidewalk to rubber street. Feet stride over wheel trails worn into rubber street.

,,Car,'' says Psycho.


I look right.

A car moves fast.

Tires skid across street. The car stops a few feet from body.

I run across street.

''Disabled,'' says Psycho.

I inhale and exhale, think, <|Makes Psycho more real,> inhale and exhale. <|Or car fake.> I see the Gandhi statue and a stagecoach. <|Why not create loving machines?> I look along Mass.

Two rickshaws and a stagecoach roll along Mass to the Circle.

<|If I pace the run.>

''Dick will cross the street before the stagecoach passes,'' says Psycho.

I run past vehicle gardens, row houses, white oak trees. I stride across street, onto rubber walkway by empty embassy.

,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE...,'' flows from right to left.

I place hand on hips, slow run to a jog. I inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

Sweat drips.

Sump pumps begin to hum.

Lamps illuminate intersection P 21's four corners. People stand, lean and sit. People spin on inline skates. People eat, point, jump. People talk and walk from corner crowds.

The distant talk mixes with sump pump and oxygenator noise.

I wipe face. <|Crowded.> I walk. I inhale and exhale.

The rubber fumes.

The sidewalks and street are parted by, <|Porsche, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Lotus,> vehicle gardens.

<|The same.>

A carp splashes water from the Countach Tank.

Water swishes side to side. Water seeps and drips onto street.


Sweat drips from chin and nose.

I exhale. I inhale, exhale dry breath through dry mouth, place hand over mouth and dry cough. Legs push back and slow to a jog to a fast stride. Arms dangle to sides. I slow stride to a fast step.

<|What now?> I think. I lean head back peering between the clouds to the stars.

The stars disappear.

I step into beams of light.

The embassies left and right flood the night with light. The compounds compounded with iron fence. Guards with guns walk from shadows to light to shadows. Red laser dots connect trees, vehicle gardens and body. Wide spot lights shine upon vehicle garden driveway.

Four embassies are dark with boards covering windows.


Two rats run from right to left through the iron fence. Red dots appear on rats. Clicks and pops are. Burnt rat hair smell is.

Sweat drips.

<|What time is it?> I walk past two dead rats. I wipe face, inhale and slowly exhale, turn to look forward. <|Time for food.>

Row houses and shops shine bright light.

People sit, stand and stroll around corner cafe.

Sweat drips.


Laughter and loud talk emit from crowd. Two people run past screaming, ,,WAIT,'' toward people.

Sweat drips.

Three rats run from left to right under a, <|Maybach,> vehicle garden. Two rats appear on top of empty hood and scurry to wire cage, stick nose and whiskers between holes and reach paws for the lentils in the cage.


Shoes rub against rubber walk way.

I pull handkerchief from shorts' pocket and wipe face, neck and stuff handkerchief in shorts' pocket.

People sit, talk and gawk and lean upon Porsche and Ferrari vehicle gardens parked around cafe corner. People pump shoulders and rub chests. Hands touch bodies. Bodies touch hands.

Breeze and perfume flow past.

<|Desires now it is no longer light.>

The diode light shines. White suit and ties, blue jeans and shirts, red slacks and polo shirts reflect blue. People hold hot dogs in both hands as they talk between chews and swallows.

Sweat drips.

Flamed hot dog smoke is.

Grease smoke floats.

<|No suits and shades,> I think.

The pupils follow. <|Me.>

I part groups and couples.

Guffs and huffs find their way between the people talk.

I bump shoulders, say, ,,Sorry.''

People stand on sidewalks and eat and talk and point. <|At me.>

I walk to the corner, step left and walk past cafe, step left and walk up steps to door. I open hand from fist.

Plastic bag ball slowly expands upon palm, hand.



The Detective Store
Written by Kalab J. Oster
Edited by United States of America
Copy-Edited by Valerie Jean Thompson
Copy-Edited with Word Prostitute®
Published with Word Prostitute®
Published in United States of America
Library of Congress Control Number: 2009920085
International Standard Book Number: 9780972846592
Word Prostitute® Revision Control Number: 30995

Electric Price: Free To Read
Paper Price: $5 USD and 1 tree for 1 print of The Detective Store. Only 1 print per person.

Copyright © 2009 Word Prostitute®. All Rights Reserved.

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