< The Detective Store >



<Only in D.C.,> I think.

Richard stares at pages.

The pages are dressed in skirts and fishnet stockings.

I think, <|I am a toy, too.>

Larry's Fajitas cold air flows out through open door to the humidity.

The humidity parts. The humidity creates a rainbow ring around the street light and the table lamps. The humidity clings to skin. The humidity is mint.

Sweaty people queue from Larry's Fajitas.

People group before the entrance and murmur by another's ear. They point toward the congov standing near entrance and along sidewalk and tables.


Blacksuited and dark spectacled congov are.


,,Yes, Dick,'' says Psycho.

People circle thumb and index finger around eye. <|To mock congov dark spectacle.> They circle both thumbs and index fingers around eyes. <|To mock congov dark spectacles.> They cover eyes with palms.

I smirk. <|The dark lenses.>

<|To mock themselves.>

Rickshaw wheel rattles with chatter, talk, shouts and, ,,Move, move, move, move...''

Man holds whiskey cup. He circles index and thumb around eye.

Richard stops.

I stop. <|Too many people.>

Two congov stand and look. <|At me.>

Shit and piss smell fills nose.

<|Tell congov,> I think and almost say.

Richard shuffles forward, says, ,,Lots of spectacles.''

We walk from under awning into white light.


Richard looks back, <|At me,> smiles. ''Maybe they know Eleanor didn't check her gun?''

A soft breeze blows.

,,Why don't they find a way to hide that smell?'' says George.

Richard looks up at hovercopter's white light. ,,The hovercopter doesn't smell.''

George stares at Richard. ,,I'm talking about the shit smell that sometimes comes from the ground.''

Richard's jaw joint pulses. He steps forward, puts hands on Eleanor's shoulders.

<|What time is it?>

Shoulders bump shoulders.

,,Excuse me,'' I say.

People push.

George's head hits chest. He looks back and smiles.

<|People everywhere.>

Congov stand near Larry's Fajitas' entrance and tables. They pivot heads and aim dark spectacles at people's heads and building tops.

<|...Not enough.>

Betty's hand rises above George's shoulder. Betty raises a finger and points forward to gap between two vehicle gardens near dark spectacled congov group.

People walk along sidewalk. People lean against vehicle gardens. People queue along velvet rope around street block.

<|Or too many.>

The hovercopter breeze fades. Its white light dims.

People walk past and brush back.

Sweat seeps from pores. Sweat creates sweat beads on forehead. <|If fake. Feels real.>

We follow Betty.

Betty walks between a Porsche 911 carp tank and a V.W. Bug mushroom garden. Betty stops between vehicle gardens and raises left arm.

<|If real...>

The diode lamps shine blue. The vehicle gardens reflect blue light.

Vehicle gardens' laser signs beam red, white and blue words Larry's Fajitas upon the people walking on sidewalk.

I stand still. <|What if real?>

,,Dick,'' says Eleanor.

<|Eleanor near.>


I smile, look to Eleanor. ,,Yes, Eleanor.''

People walk back and forth.

<|Two congov left.>

Eleanor looks up, <|To me,> says with a faint smile, ,,Will you at least dance with me?''

I smile. ,,Yes.'' <|When was last time danced?>

,,Whoo HOO!,'' says Betty with arms raised to shape a Y. Betty rolls her hips and shakes her butt with arms raised and says, ''Eleanor wants to dance!''

I pivot head up and down.

Eleanor blushes.

Someone bumps back.

<|Curb edge. Richard by right. George to left. Eleanor.> I smile and wink at Eleanor.

Eleanor smiles.

Four movers move stagecoach past vehicle gardens and Betty. The movers whisper soft and slow, ,,Move...move...move...''

<|How would they know I like dancing?> I think.

Betty waves and points forward.

Richard wipes face with hand and wipes hand on pants. ,,Hot.''

,,Tell me about it,'' says George.

The movers say, ,,Move, move, move, move...''

Stagecoaches roll past. Red and blue wheels illuminate. A whip strikes above the movers' heads. Movers are dressed in red and blue body suits.

<|Tell congov.>

,,Dick,'' is said.


''Hey, Dick,'' says Eleanor.


,,Are you thinking of something?'' says Eleanor.

Rickshaws follow a stagecoach. The movers say, ,,Move, move, move...''

I look at Eleanor, say, ,,Yes,'' smell smoke, think, <|A Checker Taxi,> look at the taxi. ''I was just thinking of the Checker Taxi.''

I smile. <|Tell the government.>

Checker Taxi sounds a thump.

Betty puts split fingers into mouth, whistles high. The whistle pierces. People look.

''Do you enjoy dancing Eleanor?'' I say then feel and think to Psycho, >|Psycho, leave the city.<

Eleanor looks, <|To me,> then looks at the hovercopter above Larry's Fajitas. ,,Sometimes,'' says Eleanor.

Psycho says, ,,The highest probability of survival exists in this target area.''

>|You kill by being here.< I burp. ,,Excuse me.''

Scotch and fried squab burp fills mouth. I blow out.

,,Psycho will kill if Dick doesn't help Psycho,'' says Psycho.

I inhale.

Taxi rolls with thumps and stops near Betty. The thumps silence.

I exhale.

The carbon smoke spreads.

,,Move, move, move,'' chant movers running in-place behind taxi.


Skaters flow around taxi. One flows between taxi and vehicle gardens.

I feel and think, <|Now it's real.>

Biker flows between Betty and taxi. Betty's face follows biker. Betty looks at biker's ass.

Taxi window rolls down.

I cough.

,,Richard!'' says Betty.

Richard stares at hovercopter. Richard looks to Betty. ,,What?''

George creates a circle with index finger and thumb around right eye socket.

,,Richard,'' says Betty. ''The taxi.''

Richard pivots head side to side to side, points and says, ,,First the hovercopter was doing a propaganda bomb,'' aims finger with arm at hovercopter above Larry's Fajitas and walks to George and lowers arm.

Betty steps from between vehicle gardens.

Richard says, ''Now hyperscan. And all these congov. This many, but this many! Come on.''

,,Yea, it's a pretty color,'' says George.

Richard looks at George and pivots head side to side.

I pull handkerchief from pocket and wipe forehead, fold handkerchief, slide it in back pocket.

''Take the jacket,'' says George.


,,Take off the jacket,'' says George. He pulls on his tie knot, unhooks cufflings.

,,Good idea, George.'' I take off jacket. <|Eleanor is looking at me.>

Shirt is sweat wet and tight to skin.

Betty walks to taxi driver's door.

Stagecoach movers whisper, ,,Move...Move...Move,'' then talk, ''Move. Move. Move.''

<|George is staring at me.>

Eleanor is looking.

A stagecoach and rickshaw jerk, roll, stop. Congov truck idles four vehicles behind taxi. Stagecoaches jerk from left to right lane.

,,Dick is being inspected by congov,'' says Psycho.

<|Good,> I think.

Dark spectacled congov stands and scans.

Betty's head pokes above taxi's roof. ,,Dick, you're tall, you sit in front.'' Betty says, ''Richard you can't help.''

Richard stands on sidewalk, looks at hovercopter.

,,...Move. Move. Move,'' talk becomes, ''MOVE, MOVE, MOVE...,'' shouts.


I step back and bump congov.

Congov look, <|At me.>

,,Richard,'' I say. Right hand sweeps jacket over shoulder. Left hand grabs and releases Richard's shoulder. ''Richard, Betty's needing you.'' <|Can I tell you,> I think, look at dark spectacles. <|You will kill.> I see to Psycho, >|How many guns found on people of fajita line, Psycho?<

,,Thirty-three guns detected,'' says Psycho.

,,Richard,'' I say.

,,I guess I can,'' says Richard. He looks from hovercopter, <|To me,> and back to hovercopter.

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

I step by Eleanor, between vehicle gardens. >|How many people killed seeing you and causing panic fire?< I look across taxi cab top to Betty. ,,I'LL SIT IN BACK.''

,,Seven plus or minus one,'' says Psycho.

,,YOU SURE, DICK,'' says Betty and looks to George then front seat.

Richard stands between the vehicle gardens. Richard looks to Betty. ,,WHO'S SITTIN' ON MY LAP?''

>|Psycho, leave the city if you don't want to kill.< I step to taxi's front passenger door. I open door and lean forward and lead with open palm. I say, ,,My name is Dick.''

The driver says, ,,Jo.''

,,Did you say Jo?''

,,Yes, Jo. Jay. Oh,'' says Jo.

We shake hands over emergency brake. His hand is strong and callused. He smiles wide and shows white teeth.

,,Jo,'' I say.

,,Yes, Jo,'' says Jo. ''Where you go?'' He slides his hand between the two upper buttons of shirt and scratches chest.

,,You know the club Always.''

,,Always?'' says Jo.


,,Yes, I know Always.'' Jo points to Betty. ''She wants to go to Always.''

,,I'm with her.''

,,Good.'' He smiles.

,,Good.'' I look, smile. ''Can two people sit up front with you?''

His index finger points. ,,Not you and her.'' He smiles. ''You too big.''

I point at George. ,,Her and him.''

,,Okay, yes, yes.'' Jo looks forward. ''Get in. We go.''

I smile to Betty, slide from cab, grab and pull door. <|Tell her at Always.>

,,GEORGE!'' I holler.

George smiles. George walks from sidewalk to open door and slides inside, and he sits, moves legs away from stick-shift.

Betty walks around taxi rear, looks at stagecoach movers jogging in place saying, ,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE...'' Betty looks, <|To me,> smiles and winks. She slides on to front seat.

George and Betty sit one butt cheek on bench seat. Betty cradles George creating a leg canyon. ,,DICK,'' says Betty.

I shut door.

''THANKS,'' says Betty and George at the same time.

I open rear door, look behind.

People on sidewalk stare at us. Their brows V and noses wrinkle. Seven congov with dark spectacles stand by Richard and Eleanor.

,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE,'' is screamed and hollered, ''MOVE! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!''

Hovercopter flows clockwise from building. The white light turns red.

<|Ground. East. Hyperscan.>

Eleanor walks behind taxi.

I smell smoke. I cough. I look behind taxi.

Eleanor opens opposite door and sits upon seat and shuts door with a slam.

Stagecoach movers hop up and down with scream and holler, ''MOVE! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!'' Bikers cycle center. Two Secret Sentry trucks idle.

Richard steps backward. He pulls pupils away from the hovercopter and looks and walks to taxi door.

Richard says, ,,THANKS,'' slides along seat to the middle next to Eleanor.

I step, lower, squeeze next to Richard, groan, smile and say, ,,CLUB ALWAYS, JO.'' I lift right butt cheek, lay jacket on lap and slam the door shut.


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

Jo looks over left shoulder then forward. Jo looks over right shoulder. He holds the wheel straight. He looks forward. ,,WE GO.''

<|How know what's real unless test?>

Taxi jerks, pops, rolls over street.

The movers' holler flows to a chant, ,,Move. Move. Move...''

Soft thuds hit below.

,,Transmission. First gear pops,'' says Jo.


,,Why I like the movers,'' says Richard. ''Those are the only blessed machines. Not broken.''

Betty says, ,,As long as that machine fits your definition of pure. Because they're broken. And all that shouting?''

,,If it's at least legal alien indentured, it's pure,'' says Richard. ''Can pull me any day.'' He shifts butt on seat. ''Besides. It sounds different when they're yours.''

<|A test.>

George looks back to Richard then George looks to Betty, says, ,,Pure is something you two should wait to talk about back at the office. Next...Next you'll both be arguing about super horse robots.''

I say, ,,Jo, you keep a clean machine.''

,,Thank you,'' says Jo. ''No rust. No finger prints.''

,,That's because it's all treated plastic,'' says Richard.

,,Not all,'' says Jo. ''The hood and the trunk. The bumpers.''

Taxi pops, slows behind stagecoach. Soft thuds hit below with roll.

,,The transmission,'' says Richard. ''I thought these were automatic.''

I feel uncomfortable.

,,It is shiny,'' says Betty.

Taxi pops, stops. Our heads jerk back.

,,Thank you,'' says Jo. Jo slams stick-shift forward.

Taxi flows slow with quiet thumps.

I say, ,,Jo, what gives this machine power?'' I think, <|Good illusion. If neuro cap.>

,,Algae.'' Jo glances back to me and smiles. Jo looks forward.

Taxi flows forward behind stagecoach. Soft thuds hit below.

Richard coughs then covers mouth. ,,Smells like algae, Dick,'' says Richard.

I nod head leading with chin up and down and up and down.

Jo looks into rearview mirror. ,,Yes, algae.'' Jo looks forward.

People stand and shuffle between people on sidewalk. People stand between vehicle gardens. People roll the walk with skates. People dismount bikes and push bikes between people.

Sweat beads on forehead.

Fan wind blows on face.

Forehead and nose sweat dries. Skin cools.

<|Can't afford this even if neuro cap.>

Hovercopter's red light cone fades.

The hovercopter flows Northwest.

Richard says, ,,And there it goes.'' Richard's head follows hovercopter's hover toward Northwest. <|Like ceiling an unseen map.> Richard says, ''I wonder.''

,,Don't,'' says Eleanor.

Hovercopter fades from sight.

The taxi stops then jerks, jerks, jerks, rolls along street behind bikers. Bikers stand on peddles and twist front wheel side to side.

<|Other's see Psycho?>

Two congov lean against vehicle gardens and watch the taxi pass.

The speedmeter needle points to 0 M.P.H..


Bikers flow around taxi and stagecoach. Taxi rolls behind stagecoach. The taxi thumps sound.

The taxi slows, idles forward. The speedometer needle remains pointing at 0 M.P.H..

People lean on vehicle gardens. They stare at people walking.

People walk on sidewalks and street.

Bikers dismount and push bikes. Stagecoaches and rickshaws are bumper to mover. Secret Sentry congov trucks idle on sidewalk of T.


We shift legs, butts and shoulders. We look out taxi windows.

Sound thumps are.

George sits with side upon bench seat. His arm hangs over and along seat top. Hand taps seat back. Armpit rests upon peak. George looks to me. ,,I like the smell of grass fuel.''

I lean toward Richard, twist handle on door counter-clockwise. <|Tell Betty, at Always. Then get out.>

,,GLOBAL TERRORIST RED IN AREA. BE AWARE,'' hollers a Secret Sentry standing on white truck.

The door's window flows into door.

''GLOBAL TERRORIST RED IN AREA. BE AWARE,'' hollers the Secret Sentry.

The breeze is warm and smells of mire.

<|Go mire, river, lakes, ocean.>

,,AAAAAAAAaaaadams Mooooooorgan,'' says a voice from earlier.

,,GLOBAL TERRORIST RED IN AREA. BE AWARE,'' hollers Secret Sentry.

We look out windows. We fidget.

The taxi rolls forward upon rubber street between rubber sidewalks.

Thumps are.

Bikes pass. Bikers flow between vehicle garden, stagecoach and people. A motor bike putters between the door and vehicle gardens then between stagecoach and congov truck.

''GLOBAL TERRORIST RED IN AREA. BE AWARE,'' hollers Secret Sentry standing on white congov truck.

People walk and stand around the white truck.

The taxi stops.

,,Aaaaaadams Mooooooraaaaaagan,'' says someone.

,,GLOBAL TERRORIST RED IN AREA. BE AWARE,'' hollers Secret Sentry.

Fan stops turning. Sweat film coats forehead and nose.

<|They know.>

The taxi pops and rolls forward.

Soft thumps are.

Betty looks through seat, <|By me,> and through rear window. ,,Heard that guy on the way to Adams Morgan.''

<|They could be globals.> I say, ,,I heard him from the circle.'' Betty and I stare. ''He was louder earlier.''

,,Yeah,'' says George.

,,Bunch of white noise everywhere,'' says Betty as she looks past.

I smile, softly laugh.

Richard mutters, ,,That's why I avoid the dance clubs.''

Street lamps illuminate. Building lights shine.

People press against people.

<|Richard could be red?>

,,Global terrorist red. In area. Be aware,'' says a distant holler.

The taxi stops.

People run in front of taxi and yell, ,,No, you're the global red! No, you're the global red! No, you're the global red!''

<|They could be reds?>

,,Reds,'' says Richard.

The taxi idles.

Jo says, ,,Have you a good night?''

,,I will know tomorrow,'' I say. ''And you, Jo, have you had a good night?''

The taxi rolls forward without jerking. The taxi's transmission thumps.

Jo says, ,,The transmission is loud tonight.''

,,You can fix it,'' says Richard.

Jo lifts palm from steering wheel. ,,No parts.'' Jo's face aims upon street and the stagecoach ahead. ''Try to make quiet.'' His body sits upright. His arm hangs from steering wheel. His arm holds stick-shift in position.

Jo and I stare at each other upon rearview mirror.

Jo's face wrinkles from smile. ''But so far so good.''

I wink at Jo's reflection.

,,You just begin your shift?'' says George.

,,Yes.'' Jo's head pivots up and down.

Jo's voice is soft and soothing.

<|If was yellow, probably red.>

Spaces between vehicle gardens fill with people. People stand, talk and laugh.

<|Not a global and Psycho real then a red.>

Red condominium building is. Then a dance club, church and bath house are. The building windows shine blue, red, white.

A big cross shines above. The shining big cross illuminates the block.

Jo presses on clutch and brake.

Thumps stop. The rumble and shake of motor is. Then there is silence.

People look at the taxi and wrinkle brows and noses.

Betty leans forward. ,,When do you get off work, Jo?''

Jo sticks straight arm through window frame and turns wheel left. ,,Noon.''

,,Noon,'' says George.

,,Yes, Noon,'' says Jo.

Stagecoach before Jo's taxi rolls forward.

Taxi pops forward, stops. Our bodies jerk then settle upon seats.

Jo takes hand from wheel and jams stick-shift forward.

Richard leans forward. ,,Jo, can we go through Adams Morgan?''

,,No, no. Take too long,'' says Jo. ''Take Vemon.''

Betty looks to Jo. ,,Vemon is one way.''

Taxi wheels roll forward, stop, roll forward, stop, roll forward. Taxi cab jerks and settles. Steering wheel jerks left and right.

Jo's knees hold steering wheel. ,,Either at night,'' says Jo.

,,He's right, Betty,'' says Richard. He wedges hand between back, lifts pelvis, shakes butt, and he pulls arm, hand and wallet from wedge. ''How's four hundred dollars for the time and trouble to drive through Adams Morgan?''

<|Paper,> I think.

Red lights shine.

The taxi stops.

The taxi's two dim headlights shine on a stagecoach's bumper.

The stagecoach before taxi stops.

A chorus of, ,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE,'' is. Stagecoaches, rickshaws, bikes flow end to end to end to end jerking and rolling right and left, left and right, along the cross street Northeast to U. Street lamps illuminate intersection. White congov truck parks on sidewalk intersection corner. People stand around white congov truck and walk crosswalks. Idle talk is covered by, ''MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE,'' shouts.

,,Flor,'' mumbles Jo. He leans shoulder back. Body remains postured. Pupils focus on street, stagecoaches, rickshaws, bikers, walkers then stare at Richard's reflection on rearview mirror, says, ''OKAY.''

Red lights shine.

,,MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!!!'' shout movers behind.

Richard opens trifold wallet, slides four hundred dollar bills from wallet. Richard closes wallet, shifts, wedges wallet into back pocket. ,,Let's go through Adams Morgan.''

<|Government contracts.>

Jo pulls in left arm. Jo grabs steering wheel with left hand and grabs four hundred dollar bills with right hand. Jo reaches and lifts mat with pointing index finger.

<|Through the mass we go.>

Four hundred dollar bills fall to floor.

The mat falls to floor.

''I love America,'' says Richard.

,,Thank you,'' says Jo.

,,You love to spend government money,'' says Eleanor.

Richard smiles to Eleanor and says slow, ,,It is a business expense.'' Then he says fast, ''We need to observe people.''

Eleanor lowers brow and raises cheek top. Eleanor's brow and nose wrinkle.

''Come on!'' says Richard. ''We're a subcontract for Secret Sentry. We need to observe people.''

Eleanor stares at Richard.

,,You are working for congov,'' says George. ''So it's natural to want to go the long way.'' George smiles.

Eleanor stares at George.

Richard says, ,,Contract government.''

I think, <|Cab full of Republicans, Democrats.>

Jo presses steering wheel center.


Jo says, ,,America,'' and waves hand, <|Like swatting,> at people walking on street and makes eye contact with a person. Jo stares them back to the side. He points people away from the Taxi.

Taxi slowly rolls forward with soft thump sounds.

People step and skip away from taxi's path.

The taxi stops.

<|No dancing.>

Skaters, bikers, runners and a rickshaw flow.

Intersection is clear.

The stagecoach afore jerks forward and rolls.

Red lights fade.

<|...Probably good.>

Jo's taxi putters behind stagecoach. The quiet thumps are.

<|...Be after midnight.>

Jo holds stick-shift forward.


Taxi lights illuminate faces stern, stoned, screaming and scared.

Jo slams on brakes and lifts hand from steering wheel.

,,We're going to be driving through people until morning,'' says Betty. She sighs and blows bangs from face.

Faces relax. People skate away. People cross the street and look at Jo.

<|Betty selected taxi.>

The taxi rolls through the intersection.

Richard shifts butt and rubs butt against my leg.

I hear short popping farts.

,,No, we won't,'' says Richard.

,,You're doing this because you don't want to dance,'' says Betty.

<|Someone else global.>

Richard looks and says at Betty to Eleanor to George, <|To me.> ,,I want to see what it's like to be in Adams Morgan during the night in a taxi.''

I shrug and turn head toward window. <|No dancing. Always safety tube.>

Humidity flows upon body.

Betty says, ,,What ever you want to do, Richard, is fine with me.'' Betty looks to George. ''We're going to Always.'' Betty looks back at Richard. <|To me.>

<|No need for detonation tube.>

People swarm upon the street and sidewalks.

<|Get lost in crowd.>

Podium is on sidewalk island. A woman wearing Army officer suit stands behind podium.

Petroleum smoke fills the taxi cab.

A voice screams and sings from podium louder than the congov truck's engine rumble, louder than bass bumps and thumps from churches and lounges, louder than people loud talk and screams and the movers' chant. The voice screams, ,,COME UNTO GOD AND YOU WILL BE SAVED. HE WILL BE ALL THAT YOU WILL RAVE. COME ONE, COME ALL. OR YOU WILL BE PART OF MAN'S FALL. STAND WITH YOUR COUNTRY AND GOD DURING THIS TIME OF WAR. THEN YOUR COUNTRY AND GOD WILL LOVE YOU MORE.'' The voice stops.

People walk from sidewalk to sidewalk island. People walk around podium and look forward. People walk crosswalks.

The Army Officer hits podium top.

Text flickers, shines from podium to her face then fades.

Betty coughs. ,,Good.''

<|Tell them run from taxi if no Always.>

,,Eighteenth Street Preacher.'' Richard looks forward then left then right.

George pivots head side to side to side, looks, <|At me.> ,,I hate those government preachers.''

Richard looks at George, jaw clenches. ,,You want to be a communist, a terrorist?''

,,Richard,'' says Betty. ''Be nice.'' She looks back. ''They do get annoying after awhile.''

<|If anyone global red, Eleanor.>

Richard looks beyond Betty's head. ,,For some people.''

<|Or Psycho.>

Red lights shine.

<|Probably can't detect Psycho.>

The taxi stops. Quiet thumps stop.

<|Need global proof plan.> I smile. <|Fool proof.>

Jo looks at Richard in rearview mirror. ,,It's neat. I like to hear.''

Richard looks to Betty. ,,At least someone appreciates our country.''

,,Oh, relax,'' says Betty.

The red light fades.

I feel and think, <|Global red fools for fame.>

Rickshaws, stagecoaches, bikers and skaters stop. A stagecoach rolls right to left to U. The stagecoach is pulled by ten dark armored soldiers.

Richard says, ,,Army.''

I think, <|Army.>

Jo pushes on steering wheel center. ,,MOOO OOOOOOOO OOOO OOOOOO OOOO OO OOOVE,'' skips the horn.

The taxi jerks forward.

A space opens behind Army stagecoach's wake.

I open mouth to say, but think, <|...Better than congov.>

Jo waves left.

Methane street lamp flames flicker at intersection corners and cast firelight upon the two lane street to U. Two stagecoaches stop on crosswalk line.

<|If Psycho real and let kill.>

Jo holds popping stick-shift forward.

Quiet thumps are.

The taxi slowly rolls forward.

<|Global control Psycho?>

People run from left to right between the taxi bumper and stagecoach bumper.

I stare at Army preacher.

Army preacher drinks water. Her hand grasps podium's side. Her eyes appear to stare at everyone. She hits the podium's top.

Text flickers on Army preacher's face.

People walk from sidewalk to pedestrian island to sidewalk.

<|Richard is looking at me.>

Richard says, ,,You like the preachers?''

,,Some days,'' I say. <|Could be government. Need to tell.>

Text shines on Army preacher's face.


The text no longer shines on Army preacher's face.

,,I do love those class A's,'' says Betty. ''They even make women sexy.''

George says, ,,Me, too.''


,,Jesters,'' says Richard. Richard's jaw pulses, and his eyes follow the jester.

People walk past Army preacher. People point and smile at the jester. People drop coins upon jester's open palm.

,,Dick,'' says Eleanor.


I look at Eleanor. I have eye contact with Eleanor. ,,Eleanor.''

,,Is it okay if we don't go dancing?'' says Eleanor.

I grin, wink to Eleanor. ,,You not dancing won't prevent me from dancing.''

Eleanor looks to Richard. ,,Richard may need to get back to work.''

Richard looks through windshield. ,,Why Army?'' says Richard.

Taxi moves.

Richard's jaw bone clenches.


Betty yawns, says, ,,Dick, you still want to go to Always?''

I look at Betty. ,,Always.''

George yawns, says, ,,What about you, Eleanor?''

,,What about me?'' says Eleanor. ''I said I can't.''

,,Because of Richard,'' says George.

Eleanor glances at George. ,,Yes.''

,,Not working the cycle. You have no excuse,'' says George.

Richard looks at George's head. ,,George, I want to stop working the third cycle.''

George looks at a guy by door.

Guy is dressed in jean shorts and t-shirt. Butt cheek bottoms are exposed.

George stares and says, <|Like talking to butt,> ,,Third Cycle is like all the others. All the services are there. People are there.''

Guy dressed in jean shorts walks with car.

George looks to Richard. ''The same amount of people live it.''

,,Third cycle,'' says Richard. ''Third Cycle sucks because everyone is still nine to seventeen when you're seventeen to one all the programming is still scheduled nine to seventeen.''

,,And not everything is open,'' says Betty.

I feel and think, <|Will Beltway Guards stop Mustang, mom, dad?>

Taxi rolls forward.

''Second cycle the stores are open,'' says Betty.

,,You can go to museums,'' says George.


Richard jerks head side to side. ,,So?''

The taxi stops.

Two people walk right to left.

<|Should tell them...Tell Betty...>

Bikes flow between taxi and vehicle gardens.


George grins. ,,You upset at third cycle, Richard?''

Richard's tense jaw relaxes. ,,No.'' He glances at Betty.


The taxi wheels roll.

Quiet thumps are.

People chatter. Organ pipes blow. Bass bumps.

A distant shout says, ,,Global terrorist red. In area. Be aware.''

Betty says, ,,Yes,'' looks to George then, <|To me,> says, ''But who cares?''

Eleanor looks from Betty to Richard to George. ,,I don't care.''

<|In office. Cap on head.>

,,Global terrorist red in area. Be aware,'' says a voice.

Jo mumbles, ,,Cal.''

<|The mind is...>

Everyone in taxi is quiet.

A voice shouts from the crowd. ,,GLOBAL TERRORIST RED IN AREA. BE AWARE!''

Richard snorts. ,,Reds,'' says Richard.

,,Who isn't these days?'' says George.

,,Are you a Global Terrorist Red, Dick?'' says Eleanor.

,,I do not know.'' I smile. ''I may be a yellow.'' I wink. ''But they never tell you.''

Eleanor grins. ,,You have satisfied the legal obligation to define terrorist status if you believe you are a terrorist.''

Richard turns head. Richard looks, <|To me.> ,,Dick doesn't appear to be a terrorist. Hell, everyone I know would be a yellow or an orange. Maybe a few reds if they didn't work for the government?''

,,With the government,'' says Eleanor.

<|Am I a yellow?>

,,What you a yellow for, Dick?'' says Betty.

,,I'm a detective. I was hired by parties and found out too much information about the party.''

Richard peers at me. ,,Which party? Republican or Democrat?''

,,I can't say or see,'' I say.

,,Parties,'' says Richard. ''Gotta be Republican or Democrat.''

,,If it was Republican Democratic Party I would have said hired by party.'' I look at Richard. ''There is not enough difference to need parties.''

Jo looks forward. Taxi bumper is close to stagecoach bumper. No red lights shine.

Richard stares at me.


Richard smiles.

The fans blow air upon forehead. Sweat dries.

George says, ,,Why did you work for the parties?''

,,The reason everyone works.'' I look at George. ''Money.''

George says, ,,And fun?''

Richard says, ,,They're parties, not constitutional parts of the government.'' He rubs thumb and index finger from nose bridge to nose tip.

I smile, let loose a slow soft laugh. ,,Political monopolies of politics. It's one party, the ruling party.''


Eleanor stares at me.

Richard wipes fingers on pants. Richard smiles. ,,Eleanor, a global red wouldn't have this much care.'' He glances at me. ''All this negative party talk could make me a global terrorist yellow.''

I look at Richard's head and Eleanor's eyes. ,,I could be a red, Richard.''

Richard looks, <|At me.>

''I could be.'' I smile. ''I could be wanting to find a way to sue the Republican Democratic Party for being a monopoly.''

Richard says, ,,It would be a failed attempt. Politics is not a business.'' Richard smiles. ''Okay, maybe it is.''

Eleanor looks forward. Jaw is tense. Eyes are wide and reflect the street lantern flames.

George says, ,,A.I. Detectives. And Stakeouts. And government. And BORING!''

,,Detective,'' says Betty.

,,Are you working now?'' says Eleanor.

,,I am investigating.'' <|Will Psycho kill?>

,,A party?'' says Eleanor.

I glance at Eleanor. ,,Yes, I need to investigate a party.''

,,Who?'' says Richard.

I look at Richard. ,,Richard, you should know I can't tell you.''


<|If they know,> I think.

Richard stares through windshield and says, ,,I don't know, maybe you sue. Could they be sued for being a monopoly?''

I look to Richard. ,,Maybe require them to support a third party?''

Richard smiles, says, ,,Yeah right. No need. The Republicans are enough to solve-''

,,Can we talk about something else?'' says George.

,,I support that motion,'' says Eleanor.

Richard looks at me.

,,I can't help it,'' I say. ''Once I start I can't stop.'' I look at George. ''Lived here too long.''

A congov unit mount tent over sidewalk and street. The tent is covered with bear claw silhouettes.


George stares, says, ,,You can move.''

I smile. ,,I like it here. I grew up here.''

,,Southwest,'' says George with head tiled back looking up.

,,Southeast, I actually lived on Quag and Mire.''

,,You're joking?'' says George.

Richard looks out the window. His jaw pulses.

I relax face and look to Richard's eyes. ,,No.''

,,Global Terrorist Red. In area. Be aware,'' is heard.

,,Are you a red, Dick?'' says Eleanor.

I say, ,,I may be a red dick.''

Betty laughs out loud, ,,HA HA HA...''

Richard's pupils focus upon me.

Richard and I stare.

<|Richard.> I lean toward Richard. <|Is tense.>

Richard pivots head down to up to down to up. His voice explodes, ,,YOU'RE THE FUCKING RED!''

I look at the wide rearview mirror.

Jo's wrinkles around eyes fade from smile to a stare.

A drone floats before taxi cab's windshield.

Richard grabs my shirt collar and pulls collar.

I do not move. I cover eyes with eyelids.

A blood red flash is.

The blood red flows to black.

Richard's hands fall from collar.

<|Psycho reading mind?> I uncover eyes with eyelids. <|Controlling drone?>

Every face is relaxed with drone stare.

The cab shakes and sputters. The motor clunks and clanks then stops.

Betty blinks, looks at me, says, ,,What?''


Richard blinks. ,,A Strobe Pulse,'' says Richard. He shakes head and rubs his jaw. ''Anyone remember what we were talking about?''

<|Psycho is.>

,,I don't remember,'' says George.

Richard says, ,,I feel tired like I was tense.''

,,You probably triggered that drone somehow,'' says Eleanor rubbing her eyes.

,,Like floating in space,'' says Betty.

I blink and look at Eleanor. I say, ,,Does he trigger?''

Eleanor says, ,,Yes.''

Breeze blows through taxi's open windows.

I feel and think, <|...Do need to move.>

Richard says, ,,We just gave Jo. Jo is it?''

,,Yes, Jo,'' says Jo.

,,We just gave Jo tip to drive us through Adams Morgan,'' says Richard.

Eleanor yawns. ,,Sometimes it's best to forget.''

Jo twists the key in ignition.

I look at Eleanor and yawn then smile.

George yawns.

The ignition turns over and over and over and over.

Pizza fumes fill cab.

<|How much forgot?>

,,Where are we?'' says Richard.

A sign reads Kalorama St..

I say, ,,Kalorama.''

George looks at me. ,,It's Dick, right?''

I pivot head up and down. ,,George?''

,,That's me,'' says George. ''And we're going to Always.''

Betty looks back and smiles. ,,I remember that.''

People walk left to right, right to left, front and behind. They skip fingers across hood of taxi.

Ignition turns over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

People walk on street and around vehicle gardens and on sidewalk.

The congov mass.

The buildings' windows cast bright light.

The dark spectacles and dark spectacle cover eyes.

,,Can only imagine what all these congov are doing,'' says Richard.

,,Don't imagine.'' Eleanor's pupils play for Richard's stare.

,,Where are we?'' says Betty. She leans toward windshield and looks left and right.

,,By Kalorama,'' says Jo. Jo twists key and ignition.

Ignition turns over and over and over and over and over.

''Sorry,'' says Jo. He twists the key and ignition.

The ignition turns over and over and over then it ignites, and the motor putters to a purr and spirt. The car pops and rolls forward.

Transmission thumps.

Jo holds stick-shift forward.

I feel and think, <|Eleanor has a gun.>

People stroll along car and between vehicle gardens. People walk between slow moving rickshaws and stagecoaches. People point and stare at the taxi.

We sit and stare.

Laughter, shouts and talk mix with Go-Go drumming and bass pounds.

,,The sign for Belmont,'' says Richard.

,,Yeah,'' says Betty.

Congov walk with people.

White building windows rattle and thump. Bright lights flash through stain glass Jesus Christ on the Cross.

A high pitched voice screams, ,,FUCK ME!''

Voices scream, ,,YES!''

People dance beyond windows and on roofs.

Bass and treble flow through mass.

<|More people.>

,,Well.'' George says, ''At least we can people watch.''

People stand, walk and push with people.

,,This is slow as going through Beltway Wall security,'' says Betty.

Jo's arm muscles flex and hold stick-shift forward.

Low thumps are.

,,What?'' Richard's brow lowers and eyelids narrow, and he looks at Betty and stares at her.

<|If they know Psycho will they be killed?>

Sweat beads on forehead.

I pull handkerchief from pocket and wipe forehead. I put handkerchief in pocket.

Eleanor clears throat. ,,Jo?''

Jo looks forward. ,,Yes.''

People walk with taxi. Laughter and shouting and taking is.

,,Do you remember?'' says Eleanor.

,,Always,'' says Jo. ''I remember Always.''

The taxi stops.


People are everywhere.

The Detective Store office is left.

The Detective Store office lights shine.

Three drones shoot red beams around the windows.

Two drones hover above The Detective Store roof. One drone scans blue beam upon the roof. One drone holds a sniper harness with congov sniper. Congov's sniper harness swivels. Congov aims rifle at roof tops.

The building beside The Detective Store booms. Lights flash and outline strobe silhouettes behind glass club walls.

,,Dick,'' Betty says. ''You there?'' Betty is smiling. ''Do you know what happened?''

,,A strobe pulse.'' I say.

,,Lets talk about all the people,'' says George.

,,Lets talk about the drones and the people in there,'' says Richard. He nods head at The Detective Store.

Eleanor says, ,,No.''

,,Lots and lots and lots of people,'' says George.

Richard says, ,,Those drones scanning the building is something to talk about.''

,,Richard,'' says Eleanor. ''They are government drones.''

Richard peers.

<|May not remember.>

Richard says, ,,No, they're contractor. Not ours.''

Eleanor looks at Richard then looks out window. ,,Yours.''

Silhouettes move across windows of The Detective Store.

Eleanor says, ''Or rather your company's.''

I look at Betty.

,,Strobe Pulse,'' says Jo. ''We argue. We get strobe pulsed. We forget. We move on.'' He lifts hand from steering wheel with each 'we'. Jo guides the taxi forward.

,,Remember paying,'' says Richard.

,,We should talk about that person,'' says Betty.

The taxi stops.

A drunk stands before Taxi. Her hand bag handle dangles from hand. She stands in the people mass before taxi.

Richard leans forward and peers. ,,She's had fun.''

We focus upon the drunk standing before taxi.

She bends down and peers upon, <|Me,> through windshield.


''Besides her.'' Richard looks to Betty then Eleanor then George. ''Everyone seems.'' Richard looks back to The Detective Store office.

Jo honks the horn. He lifts hand from wheel and swats palm at Ash.


Betty says, ,,I.'' She opens door, looks behind with smile. ''I can get out.''

,,I know her.'' I open door.

Door hits a few people. They stare at me.

I step from taxi, shut door and shuffle step along taxi and people to taxi front and Ash.

The stares follow.

Ash looks, <|To me.> ,,Are you always working it, Dick?''

I step. ,,Ash, do me a favor. Please.'' I create eye contact.

She sways.

Jo honks horn. ,,MOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE.''

The mass fills our space.

I lay arm on Ash's shoulders.

Her fingers sweep blonde hair over forehead to ear. Arms fall to side. Flower perfume and whiskey fumes.

I say and look down at Ash. ,,Ash, are you good?'' I press arm to shoulder.

We step from taxi's path.

She looks up. ,,Mustang loves you, Dick.''

,,I know.'' I step.

We step into people mass.

Ash walks with me and points to taxi. ,,Well, then who the fuck are fucking in there!?''

We stop.


Her taut face relaxes. ,,Oh,'' she says.

Jo's taxi begins to roll. Taxi's bumper nudges people.

Silhouettes move across window of The Detective Store office.

''Then what are you?'' She swallows and sways. ''Why are you here?''

The people sway. People push.

We press. We stop, and I help guide her to look at me. ,,Work.''

,,Oh!'' Her eyelids wide. ''Sorry.''

,,It's okay, Ash, but.'' I step toward taxi.

She grabs my forearm. ,,But, Dick.''

I turn and face her. ,,Yes.''

,,Mustang loves you,'' she says.

,,I know.''

She squeezes forearm, says, ,,Mustang loves you!''

Taxi's rear door passes.

<|Police drone.>

A police drone hovers above Ash and me.

<|No Psycho.>

,,DICK,'' shouts Richard. ''NEED HELP?''

Betty laughs.

I lay hand on Ash's hand grabbing my forearm, look at Ash. ,,I love Mustang more.''

Ash's hand relaxes. Arms fall and hang. Blonde hair fans over face.

I step and wedge between people.

Ash stands and stares.

People mass.

I open taxi door.

Richard slides to center of seat.

I sit and squeeze and lift butt and slam the door.

,,What was that all about?'' says Richard.

,,A drunk friend.'' I turn door handle clockwise.

The window flows up.

Betty says, ,,I need a drink now.''

I say, ,,Me, too.''

,,I heard something about love,'' says Richard.

,,LOVE,'' says Betty. Eyes open wide. ''Is Dick in love?''

,,Betty...,'' says Richard.

George looks from front to back. ,,You in love, Dick?''

I look at George and smile then look to Betty. ,,Yes, yes, I am.''

Betty leans back and raises right hand. ,,High-five for love.''

I smile, chuckle, slap her right hand with my left hand.

Betty says, ''You want to marry her?''

My smile fades. ,,I can't marry him.''

,,Oh,'' says Betty. Forehead wrinkles, <|Of concern,> then relaxes.

,,Well,'' says Richard. He looks to me.

Transmission thumps.

I look from Richard's pupils to Betty's pupils, and I smile and stare at Betty's pupils. I look through window at lamp posts. <|Marriage globals.>

People mass then move around car.

Car rolls forward then stops.

Silence in the taxi is.

Bass shakes taxi windows.

<|Bass from Rapture.>

Two congov walk by window. One wears a dark spectacle and one wears dark spectacles.

''Lots of congov patrols tonight,'' says Richard.

George shifts, sits on side. His head turns to me and says, ,,There are always congov out. The shades.''

,,This many,'' says Richard.

George nods head and looks at Richard, says, ,,Sometimes.''

Richard lowers brow and peers at George. ,,Yeah.'' Richard squints. ''There have been a couple of nights.'' Richard relaxes brow. ''But this many?''

George shrugs. He looks forward.


People press, mass and laugh and talk. People kiss and rub. Five bikers stand and hold bike handles side by side by side by side by side.

Sweat fumes.

The taxi rolls then stops.

A third and then a fourth and a fifth person leans against taxi.

The taxi pops forward.

Persons stand.

One person jumps, looks back and raises middle finger. <|To me.>

Jo holds stick-shift forward.

Taxi thumps.

Car rolls slow.

I look past Betty. <|No pace for a car.>

Two people pause before Jo's taxi, point an index finger at taxi hood. Index fingers raise and wave. <|Like inverted metronome.>

The people flow and fill the gaps and push the finger wavers away.

Three congov stand to the right. The boot soles extend and lift congov chests above the crowd. Their heads pivot at angle. Dark spectacles' rims shine blue and red.

Blue and red laser circles beam from spectacles to people's heads.

<|Congov casting.>

''They're hyperscanning the crowd,'' says Richard.

The taxi's wheels roll.

,,How on Earth are we going to get through here?'' says George.

<|In the taxi.>

Transmission thumps stop.

The taxi stops.

,,WATCH IT!'' screams someone walking by grill.

<|If red. I am here.>

Congov sole stilts walk by taxi.

I think, <|I may be the red.>

A drone blinks red and blue and hovers before windshield from left to right.

<|May not be the red.>

The taxi rolls then stops.

Building windows rattle and thump.


Jo looks at drone.

Rattles and thumps shake and hit.

I say, ,,With what music do you enjoy dancing with, Betty?''

Betty says, ,,I like dancing to jazz.''

I look at Betty. ,,Me, too.''

,,Really,'' says Betty.

Eyes contact.

,,Free jazz is the way.''

We stare.

,,Why Free Jazz?'' says Betty.

I smile. ,,I don't know what's coming next. I like that.'' I feel sweat on chest.

Richard mumbles something to Eleanor. Jo looks at police drone.

,,I remember.'' Betty says, ''You're a detective.''

I nod.

Betty stares. ''Is that why you like being a detective?'' Betty pivots head up and down.

,,Yeah, but after I accept a client, I know all the possible outcomes. Then it's just doing the job.'' I wink at Betty. ''And hopefully create the outcome that completes the job in an outcome for good.''

Taxi rolls forward.

People are.

''Free Jazz I know nothing but to move.''

The oxygenator hums, clunks and swoons then fades.

Low lounge bass and high house bass booms from buildings.

Forehead sweats.


People are.

<|Every one could be a red.>

A breeze blows through open windows.

Forehead sweat dries.

<|Probably crazy.>

The taxi stops.

<|Or a cap.>

Pizza and sweat fumes fill cab then fade.

,,That's from Original Original Pizza,'' says George.

,,Probably,'' says Betty. Her head pivots side to side.

Richard looks at Betty's face. ,,You come here more often than I thought.''

,,Some times after work to meet George.'' Betty burps, exhales with lips aiming for the window frame.

Burped scotch blows past.

The fan on cab blows on face.

The pores fill with sweat.

,,It's always so hot,'' says George.

,,And humid,'' says Richard.

,,Yeah,'' I say.

The taxi rolls forward. People spread from path.

Betty looks. <|At me.> ,,You use to it, Dick?''

,,The humidity.'' I lift butt check, pull handkerchief from pocket and say, wipe forehead, ''I have accepted the sweat.'' I smile. ''Some days I like it.''

,,When you leave do you miss it?'' says Eleanor.


Taxi stops.

,,I hope to leave it some day,'' says Eleanor.

I pivot head up and down.

The taxi rolls.

Apple pie fumes in taxi's cab.

<|Apple pie.> I constrict lungs and hold.

,,Apple pie,'' says Betty.

George looks over shoulder, <|To us,> then to Richard, smiles and then looks forward. ,,I love me some apple pie.''

Richard says with a big smile. ,,I love me some God.''

Eleanor says, ,,The republic.''

The taxi stops.

I hold lungs.

,,It's a good place, America,'' says Jo. He looks back quick. ''I love it here.''


George looks at Jo and holds up index finger. ,,America is number one.''

<|One,> I think. And, ,,Yes,'' says Eleanor.

,,You know what I like about America?'' Richard looks. <|At me.>

I feel calm. I hold lungs. I pivot head side to side to side.

''Guns,'' says Richard.

,,Richard,'' says and smiles Eleanor.

Richard grins and grabs Eleanor's thigh, squeezes. ,,They're how we met.''

Eleanor grins and squirms.

The taxi moves.

<|Red, white, blue.>

A group chant of, ,,U,'' ''S,'' ''A,'' raises and spreads to a loud mass shout of, ''U!S!A! U!S!A! U!S!A! U!S!A!...''

Richard looks behind and then looks forward with smile. ,,I love the apple pie.''

I exhale. I pull handkerchief from back pocket. I wipe face and hold handkerchief center around nose and inhale through the sewn filter, say, ,,Apple pie makes me sneeze.''

,,America is hot,'' says Betty. Her voice rises. ''And so AWESOME!''

,,And free,'' says Eleanor. ''Still has land.''

,,U,'' ''S,'' ''A,'' says George.

<|The republic.> I sneeze and hold lungs.

Betty smiles.

The mass shout lowers to a small group chant of, ,,U S A! U S A! U S A!''

<|They're movers.>

A breeze blows.

The taxi slowly rolls over the rubber street.

,,U S A,'' says George.

,,U,'' ''s,'' ''a,'' is heard.

The taxi stops.

,,Columbia,'' says George. ''Like Columbus.''

,,American,'' says and grins Richard.

I exhale and inhale the algae. I place handkerchief before mouth and nose and sneeze. <|Damn.>

,,Bless you,'' says Betty.

,,Thank you.'' I look at saliva spots. I fold handkerchief over saliva spots and put into pocket.

,,Move, Move, Move, Move...,'' with, ,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE...,'' with, ,,Move... Move... Move...,'' with, ,,Move, Move, Move...,'' sonus flows through intersection in front and the, ,,Move, Move, Move...,'' behind.

Stagecoaches, rickshaws and bikers and walkers flow bumper to bumper, wheel to bumper, bumper to wheel, left to right and right to left. Metal rims roll over rubber street.

People walk from left to right, right to left before taxi. People press palms on taxi's hood. Faces are lost on endless heads that pass.

Jo presses on horn. ,,MOOOO O OOO OO O OO O...''


Jo lifts his open palm.

''OOOO OOVE,'' stops.

Jo's head pivots quick side to side.


,,Move,'' says someone.


Red lights shine above.

<|...Taxi guider?>

Stagecoach with shining purple rims rolls left to right.

<|Apple Pie Paranoia.>

The movers all say, ,,Move...Move...Move...'' The movers' sweaty bodies reflect the lamp posts' bright flames. The movers' bald skulls twinkle. <|Like stars.>

<|Of The Flag.> I look at Jo, Richard, Eleanor.

,,Army,'' says Richard. He looks from left to right, <|To me,> out the windows. ''I don't see any Army stages.''

An Army stagecoach rolls left to right. ,,Move. Move. Move. Move...''

Richard points finger to windshield. ,,There's one now.''

A BANG booms and echoes through the sky.

People jump and put hands to chest. They look side to side and up.

George shrugs. ,,So?''

Richard stares at George. ,,Army always after Apple Pie.''

,,That's paranoia, Richard,'' says Betty. ''You're going to get tense.''

Richard looks to Betty. ,,Something's going on.''

Eleanor says, ,,It's A.P.P..''

Two congov on sole stilts walk by taxi.

<|Didn't blink.>

I look to Eleanor.

Richard points finger right at red congov truck parked upon the center of intersection. ,,Think I see an S.S. to speak.''

,,Yeah.'' George looks at Richard. ''Well, that happens, too.''

,,Now they're not secret,'' says Richard.

George's head pivots side to side.

Richard peers at Army stagecoach. ''Must be important to expose.''

George says, ,,You get to tell the S.S..''

Jo looks over right shoulder and points left finger at red congov truck parked upon the center of intersection of Calvert and Col. ,,Going to say something,'' says Jo.

<|Jo driver...>

The red lights fade before and shine from the left and right.

<|...Or very good agent.>

Movers shout, say, ,,MOVE! Move. MOVE. Move, move, move...'' Stagecoaches, rickshaws, bikers, skaters and walkers move from intersection.

Congov truck motor idles in center of empty intersection.

,,In the area. Be aware,'' is.

I feel and think, <|Psycho real.>

Two people run right to left.

<|Even if cap. Injection.>

Jo looks forward and waves palm right to left.

<|If Psycho real then can't act fake.>

A Secret Sentry stands on congov truck and wipes boom cone mouth piece.

Two stagecoach movers behind taxi jog in place and pull tight leather harness wrapped over chest. They chant, ,,Move. Move. Move...''

The taxi rolls forward, pops, jerks, rolls forward.

Transmission thumps.

Movers' leather straps tighten upon muscled chests.

Stagecoaches, rickshaws, bikers and skaters roll forward and backward around congov truck. The mass weaves through mass over four lane street.

Taxi rolls forward. Jo's right hand clutches stick-shift. Arm and hand shake with transmission thumps.

People point, spin and walk on crosswalk.

Richard farts.

Eleanor turns head and points face toward the windshield.

A Secret Sentry wears black fatigues, black rubber boots, black suit jacket. The Secret Sentry raises arm. Bicep is bound with red band. His arm holds a big red, white and blue striped cone before mouth.


,,GLOBAL TERRORIST RED IN AREA. BE AWARE,'' says cone amplified Secret Sentry voice.

<|Are life too.>

Betty waves hand before nose. ,,Richard, that's a terrorist act.''

I smell Richard's fart.


,,Hear Richard,'' says George. ''We are searching for you.''

Richard's jaw pulses.


Betty looks to the red truck and Secret Sentry. ,,Hasn't this happened recently?''

,,Richard's farting?'' I say. I turn window handle. Window flows into door.

Eleanor laughs with throat.

Betty smiles. ,,No, I feel like they have been saying there's a global red lately and they never catch anyone or nothing happens.''

Richard looks to Eleanor and Betty and smiles. ,,Just because you don't hear about it.'' He looks through rear windshield toward The Detective Store. ''Doesn't mean it ain't captured.''

,,GLOBAL TERRORIST RED IN AREA. BE AWARE,'' hollers Secret Sentry with cone.

George coughs. Betty coughs. Eleanor sneezes.

The red congov truck creates carbon monoxide cloud.

Eight congov raise corners of a white tent by congov truck's bed.

Four Army hold laser rifles by tent's corners. They wear black body armor suit and helmet.

<|Bug helmets.> ,,Those helmets are terror,'' I say.

,,I want one,'' says Richard.

,,Me, too.''

Jo's taxi rolls and casts soft thumps past two armored Army.

Eleanor looks forward, sniffs and pulls handkerchief from jacket. The jacket opens and reveals a gun handle.


Eleanor blows from her nose.

Army soldier aims flashlight beam into car then on face.

Richard waves palm. <|Like a metronome.>

,,I'm a global terrorist red if I lose my job,'' says George. He looks behind and smiles wide and looks at us one by one by one. He twists head and moves chin all the way toward his left shoulder and peers under raised brow. <|To me.>

,,No more protection from the company?'' I wink with a half smile.

,,Ya' got that right,'' says George. ''Or from Richard's farts.''

Richard stares at George's head. His jaw pulses. <|Like chewing cheek.>

Light shines on Eleanor's face.

Army soldiers shine flashlights' lights on the people's faces.


Stagecoach movers pull on stagecoach poles. A mover hand holds pole and arm pulls pole. Other mover hand and arm move people from path of movers and stagecoach. Stagecoach movers move from behind taxi cab. Their voices command, ,,MOVE. MOVE. MOVE...''

<|Always, creek, river.>

''MOVE. MOVE. MOVE. MOVE,'' bark twelve movers moving a glowing red spoked stagecoach.

Eleanor turns handle on door.

Window lowers.

George looks through windshield.

<|Always exit.>

Red spoked stagecoach movers move people.

Big red glowing spokes slowly rotate past window.

People are pushed upon taxi hood.

Jo knocks on windshield and waves his hand.

The taxi stops.

,,GLOBAL TERRORIST RED IN AREA. BE AWARE,'' is hollered. The S.S. lowers boom cone. The S.S. steps from black box to truck bed. S.S. steps from truck bed to ground.

Movers push people.

People stumble and fall.

The red spoked stagecoach passes to the right.

A man in Army Class A's steps from mobile outhud. The man climbs upon truck bed. He grabs black box and sets black box on truck cab. He steps on cab then on black box.

I look at the Army Officer on box.

Army Officer stands on a black box. His hand presses ear. He stares at the taxi.

Richard mumbles, ,,A.O..''

Red lights left and right dim. Red lights shine above.

,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE...,'' surrounds.


People walk, skate and bike before taxi.

A rickshaw pushes in taxi's path.

Jo presses steering wheel's center. ,,MOOOOOOO OOOOOO OOOOOOOOO OOOVE.''

Richard's jaw pulses.

,,Why on Earth would you want to be a global red?'' says George.

,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE...,'' flows right and left.

,,Because you can't be one on another planet,'' I say.

Betty laughs.

Richard looks at me and smiles. Richard pivots head side to side.

,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE...,'' fills cab.

Stagecoaches, rickshaws, bikers, skaters rolling back and forth clear intersection.

Jo's taxi and red spoked stagecoach and the Army truck are in the intersection.

,,I need a drink,'' says Betty.

Jo's taxi and red spoked stagecoach stop in intersection.

,,I can get free well whiskey at Always.''

,,Always,'' says Betty. She looks back and smiles. ''We're going to Always.''

I wink at Betty and pivot head up and down.

The left to right lanes flow.

Movers shout, ,,MOVE! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!!!'' from left and right. Rickshaws, stagecoaches, a car and bikes move left and right.

<|Off Conn.>

Jo holds stick-shift forward.

The taxi transmission thumps. Taxi rolls slow through people mass.

People walk right to left and left to right.


Movers holler, ,,MOVE. MOVE. MOVE. MOVE,'' from left.

,,I think we need to get out of the intersection,'' says George trying to peer at the movers.

Movers pull the red spoked stagecoach by the window. ,,MOVE. MOVE. MOVE. MOVE...''

George points index finger forth at red spoked stagecoach.

Red spoked stagecoach stalls in people mass.

,,That's a Senator,'' says George.

Richard looks forward.

The taxi rolls between people.

People shout and kick tires. They stare with brows V'd.

The red spoked stagecoach moves.

Eleanor says, ,,Dick, are you a red?''

George looks at me.

Richard looks to me.

,,I could be.''

,,Really.'' Richard's look becomes a peer. ''Really?''

George looks back.

The red spoked stagecoach moves.

I look at Richard. ,,Yes.'' <|Congov Siren Drone.>

People jostle before Taxi.

,,Really?'' says Richard. His jaw joint pushes in out.

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


Eleanor says, ,,I think I see a policing drone.''

,,Maybe? Are you...,'' says Richard between clenched teeth. Betty says, ,,Close your eyes.'' Richard looks to me. Richard's face is red and taut. ,,FUCK the drone. I remember,'' says Richard. ''We got us a red!'' ,,Richard!'' says Betty.

George and Betty look at me. Their eyelids cover eyes. Richard stares. <|At me.> Eleanor's hand slides under jacket and clutches hand gun.

Jo plugs ears with fingers. ,,It makes a sound,'' says Jo.

I nod head and hold fingers to ears.

Richard's eyelids cover eyes. Richard's lips read. ,,Sound?''

The taxi stops.

I feel and think, <|Why remember?>

Eleanor's, Richard's, Betty's and George's jaws open and hang. Wrinkles fade. Chins slowly fall to neck with forehead leading the slump. Their chins rest on chests.

People stop.

People and Eleanor cast drone stare.

<|Psycho won't.>

A blue spoked stagecoach rolls from behind to side. Movers whisper, ,,Move. Move. Move...''

<|Psycho knows.>

The world is hollow.

<|Jo knows.>

Jo's elbows press upon steering wheel. His index fingers plug ears.

People's arms fall to sides. Heads nod.

<|They know. I shouldn't forget.>

Eleanor's hand grips gun then relaxes. Richard's hands fall to lap.

People's shoulders slump. Their bodies sway.

Twelve movers move blue spoked stagecoach left from behind. They move through the people mass. The twelve movers hold and pull the stagecoach poles with one hand and arm, and they lift and set people aside with other hand and arm.

People are set on ground. People fall.

<|If they know.>

Fallen people stand and shake heads.

The movers pull and lift and set people from blue spoked stagecoach's path. The movers whisper, ''Move, move, move, move...''

Red spoked stagecoach afore rolls.

Jo presses steering wheel's center with elbow.


Richard, Eleanor, Betty, George blink and shake heads. George rubs his eyes. Eleanor holds a yawn.

Eleanor removes hand from under jacket. Then she puts hand in jacket pocket. She pulls handkerchief and wipes the mouth corners.

I feel and think, <|Lie to the gun.>

People look at the people then above then they step and walk.

The taxi rolls forward. Stick-shift pops back. The taxi jerks.

Jo jams stick-shift forward.

Thumps are.

I lower hands.

Betty looks back. Richard looks at windshield.

Jo looks at my reflection on rearview mirror.

The taxi stops.

Blue spoked stagecoach rolls forth and veers to the right between taxi's front bumper and red spoked stagecoach's rear bumper. Movers shout, ,,MOVE. MOVE. MOVE. MOVE...''


Stagecoaches, rickshaws, bikers and cars flow along Col.

The taxi rolls.

,,It's weird how it makes you forget, but you remember the sound,'' says George. George looks back at Eleanor then at me.

Eleanor stares forward then at me then at Jo's head.

,,It needs to get replaced by something,'' says Richard. His jaw joint pumps.

George looks at Richard and says, ,,Calm, Richard. You don't have it erased. You remember later.''

Richard pivots head side to side. ,,Have you ever remembered?''

,,Maybe,'' says George. George smiles. ''I remember dancing at Always.''

Eleanor lifts shoulders and then peers at me. ,,Dick, is it?''

I smile, say, ,,Yes, and you, Eleanor and we are to dance,'' and I wink. I think, <|They have this record.>

,,You remember,'' says Eleanor.

,,I remember names and objectives.''

,,Always,'' says Jo. Jo stares at my reflection on rearview mirror.

,,That's the dance place,'' I say.

People walk a line between taxi and red spoked stagecoach and blue spoked stagecoach.

<|Tension. Flash. No more thought.>

,,I remember dancing,'' says Betty.

<|There is the record.>

Eleanor smiles. ,,The time may be late.''

,,If it's before midnight,'' says Richard.


,,Work,'' says Betty.

,,Yup,'' says Richard.

<|They control the switch?>

,,Maybe,'' says Betty.

The taxi rolls forward behind blue spoked stagecoach. Movers shout, ,,MOVE. MOVE. MOVE. MOVE...''

George looks at Richard. ,,You were out late that one time with us.''

Eleanor peers at Richard.

Sweat beads on forehead.

People stand and look at taxi. The taxi rolls.

,,That was then,'' says Richard.

Eleanor looks at Betty.

I grab and pull handkerchief from back pocket. I wipe forehead with handkerchief.

,,I remember well whiskey,'' says Betty. Betty looks at me then Richard. ''Richard. We have to go.''

Richard says, ,,I don't, maybe...Maybe a quick drink.''

There is laughter outside taxi.

,,A couple drinks,'' says Betty. ''No more than an hour.'' Betty shrugs. ''Work can wait.''

Richard smiles. ,,As long as we don't die.''

The taxi rolls from people mass to people groups.

Shit and piss fume.

George looks at me and slumps, says, ,,We tire easy.''

I pivot head up and down.

The blue and red spoked stagecoaches roll in left lane and right lane with a muffled, ,,Move, move, move, move...''

Sweat fills pores.

Eleanor looks around and says, ,,What music you like to dance to, Dick?''

Street lamps flicker and shine. Vehicle gardens grow tomatoes and red bell peppers.

I look at Eleanor. ,,With Free Jazz.''

,,Jazz!'' says Betty. Her face spreads. ''Me, too!''

I wink. ,,I think you told me already.'' Sweat gathers on forehead.

,,Yeah.'' Her eyelids squint. Betty nods head, says, ''I think I did.''

Bright light from temple illuminates the night.

<|I will see them.>

The taxi stops.

Buildings are three-level row houses.

<|Find out.> I look to Betty. ,,Jazz is fun.''

Betty nods.

Person runs left to right between taxi's front bumper and stagecoach's rear bumper.

Betty says, ,,Does Always have free jazz?''

Bass from building shakes windows.

I wink at Betty. ,,Always.''

Taxi rolls forward.

Transmission thumps.

Row house lights dim, flicker then shine.

I look at Eleanor. ,,Is Eleanor going?''

,,I don't know,'' says Eleanor.

People group and stand by vehicle gardens and on sidewalks. People walk back and forth.

The red and blue spoked stagecoaches roll in right and left lanes.

Music fades.

<|Psycho is watching.> I wipe handkerchief across forehead.

A few people stand by vehicle gardens and trees. <|Oak.>

The houses' lights flicker.

,,Move, Move, Move, Move, Move, Move, Move, Move, Move...,'' say mover teams.

Stagecoach wheels roll along rubber street.

Bikers flow around blue and red spoked stagecoaches and flow by taxi and flow toward the mass, clubs, lounges, churches, bath houses.

Jo pulls stick-shift back. The taxi kicks, jerks, rolls behind red stagecoach.

Thumps stop.

I feel and think, <|They know.>

Blue stagecoach slows and rolls beside Taxi.

<|Why don't they stop it?>

Blue spoked stagecoach's right pole movers pull right pole with left hands and knock on taxi's hood, doors and quarter panels with right hands. ,,MOVE, MOVE, MOVE...''

Jo looks left, pivots head side to side, looks in rearview mirror.

The taxi slows.

<|The race.>

Blue spoked stagecoach rolls into right lane before taxi and behind red spoked stagecoach.

<|The race.>

Red and blue lights flash.

<|The race.>

Three congov trucks flash red and blue lights, blue and red lights, red and blue lights and flow by on left lane. An Army tank rolls past. Tank treads leave deep impression upon warm rubber street.

<|Who wins the race?>

,,An Army tank!'' says Richard.

<|Red or blue.>

,,Seen one last week,'' says George.

Richard looks at George's head. ,,Was it moving?''

George looks back to Richard. ,,Yeah, followed it in traffic.''

,,What you think, Dick?'' says Richard.

I look between Betty's and George's heads. ,,I am thinking which coach will make it to the circle first.''

,,The red and blue stagecoaches,'' says Richard. ''You think they're racing to the circle.''

,,Yes.'' I nod at Eleanor. ''Which one you think will win.''

Eleanor glares at Richard then stares out window. ,,I don't care.''

Richard looks between George's head and Betty's head then between George's head and Jo's head. His head pivots up and down. Richard says, ,,The red one.''


,,They're slow,'' says Jo. He glances back. <|At me.>

No people are on street. No people are between vehicle gardens and oak trees.

''We win,'' says Jo. Jo shifts gear.

<|You blame you.>

Blue stagecoach rolls to left lane. Movers pull blue stagecoach next to red stagecoach in right lane.

Taxi drives behind red stagecoach.

Jo presses palm upon steering wheel's center.

,,MOVE. MOVE. MOOOOO O OO O OOOO...,'' surrounds.

Jo removes palm from steering wheel's center.

''OOO O VE,'' stops.

The red and blue stagecoaches roll through intersection to Duke's Bridge.

The movers', ,,Move, move, move, move,'' seeps through the oxygenator hum, swoosh and splash.

Twelve movers move red stagecoach. Twelve movers move blue stagecoach.

The oxygenator's clanks fall silent. Oxygenator's fans' hum and swoosh fade.

Jo guides taxi behind blue stagecoach.

Sump pumps swoosh, clank. Their motors spirt. <|Spill swamp over Watergate.>

Taxi engine revs.

Blue stagecoach and red stagecoach roll beyond bridge. Blue stagecoach movers pull stagecoach past red stagecoach movers.

The intersection red light shines.

The taxi drives by red stagecoach.

Jo mumbles, ,,Senators.'' He presses on brake pedal.

The taxi slows.

The red spokes glow and spin. The plastic passenger box bounces on axles. The coach's tinted windows rattle. The tinted windows show silhouettes.

''Come on!'' says Jo. He lifts hand toward blue stagecoach.

,,Let 'em play, keeps 'em happy,'' says George.

Conn intersection lights shine red. People run from intersection's crosswalk.

The red and blue stagecoaches roll into intersection. Blue movers pull and push stagecoach poles hard left, push shoulders into red stagecoach movers. Red stagecoach guider whips the blue stagecoach guider. The stagecoaches' steel wheels slide and skip over street.

The stagecoaches turn left.

,,Drunk,'' says Betty.

,,You, or the movers,'' says Eleanor pointing finger to Betty then the stagecoaches.

Betty glances at Eleanor, looks forward. ,,Guiders.''

Taxi drives under red lights.

The blue stagecoach guider whips the red stagecoach guider.

Jo turns the steering wheel left.

Eleanor and Richard press against me.


''Excitement,'' says Betty.

The blue stagecoach slows. Stagecoach's rear bumper touches taxi's front bumper.


Jo lifts hand at blue stagecoach. ,,You move.'' His palm presses steering wheel's center. ,,MOOOOO OOO OOOOOOOOOO OOO OOOOVE.''

,,The hovercopter,'' says Richard.

Big red wheel spins forward.

,,Lobe scan,'' says Eleanor.

The white lights shine on street at bridge's end.

Jo taps brake pedal, turns wheel right. Taxi swerves onto right lane behind red stagecoach. Blue stagecoach flows behind Jo's taxi and swerves into right lane.

<|A white check point.> I smile.

Bike lights flash left.


Jo turns wheel left, right, presses on peddle. Taxi rolls by red stagecoach and movers.

Red guider holds whip high and looks behind at blue stagecoach.

Two lights appear from corner.

Jo swerves before red stagecoach.

,,I'm sorry,'' says Jo. ''I have to stop.''

The taxi slows and stops.

Our backs lift from seats.

I look back.

The red stagecoach movers push poles against the stagecoach's momentum. Feet and legs push back against the stagecoach's momentum.

The red stagecoach stops.

The taxi idles behind a rickshaw, stagecoach and bikers.

Richard says, ,,With this. I don't know if we can go to Always.''

Red and blue lights flash.

Jo stares forward.

Richard looks back. ''Looks like red is a winner.''

I say, ,,Race is far from over.''

,,Well, red won this part of the race,'' says Richard.

Jo smiles. ,,We won.''

Richard looks at Jo.

Congov stand and shine light into stagecoach windows and between rickshaw curtains.

Jo relaxes smile. He looks at me on rearview mirror.

I look at Eleanor.

Eleanor stares out window.

People stand on sidewalks and queue to a white glowing arch.

Richard looks around. ,,Vehicle to vehicle,'' says Richard.

George looks back. ,,I wonder if they're going to read our thoughts.'' He smiles.

Richard huffs. ,,Try to read my mind. They'll need special permission.''

Betty looks to George, rolls eyes to Richard. ,,I am sure, if they're reading minds, they'll read yours.''

George looks to Eleanor. Richard looks at me. George says, ,,I like to think dirty thoughts.''

I smile.

George winks. ''When I go through one of the mind scans.''

,,Lobe scans,'' says Eleanor.

,,Lobe scans, whatever.'' George says, ''I just wonder what they think.''

,,They probably see George as a pervert,'' says Betty. ''What about you, Dick?''

I look at Betty. ,,I don't know what they think.''

,,No,'' smiles Betty. ''What do you think?''

,,Whatever is in my mind is what I think, And you?''

,,I think of music. Of a song that has happy memories,'' says Betty.

,,Football,'' says Richard. ''I like to think about football.''

,,They know,'' says Betty.

Richard says, ,,Dick doesn't.''

I say, ,,I do now.''

Richard looks at Betty.

>Your frontal lobe is being read by Construct(TM) with United States of America,< is seen in mind.

,,That always makes me feel weird,'' says Betty.

,,I suppose I shouldn't talk about how big and red the Chinese Embassy is,'' says George.

Betty says with a forced, ,,HA,'' laugh, ''As long as we don't talk or think about the symbolism of passing through a frontal lobe scan by the Chinese Embassy.''

Richard says, ,,What do you think of the game tomorrow, Dick?''

,,Redskins will win.''

,,Skins.'' Richard nods. He shakes head, says, ''Not a chance. Cowboys are so going to win.''

,,You always say that,'' says Betty.

,,Well...,'' fades Richard's voice.

The taxi cab jerks and pops, rolls forward.

Betty says to Jo. ,,You like football, Jo.''

,,Football,'' says Jo. ''Yes, I like football.''

Richard leans to Jo's head. ,,You know what football we're talking about?''

,,Yes. I seen Redskins play,'' says Jo.

Richard looks at me. ,,Your coach is bad,'' says Richard. He raises eyebrows to make a question. ''And against the Cowboys?''

I say, ,,Good defense. Good players. Coach okay. Team is okay.''

,,Okay?'' says Richard raising eyebrows.

,,Your defense is good.''

,,Good?'' says Richard raising eyebrows.

Betty says to Jo. ,,Who's your favorite team?''

I say, ,,They act like a good defense is a good offense when the offense isn't that good.''

Richard looks at me.

Jo then says, ,,Redskins is better.''

Richard peers at Jo.

Taxi rolls forward.

Sweat on forehead seeps from pores.

Richard looks, <At me.> ,,Your quarterback is ready.''

I smile. ,,Your defense strong, but over worked.''

,,It will hold,'' says Richard.

Rickshaw before taxi stops. Taxi stops. Two people shine light beams at faces of guiders, movers and passengers.

I say, ,,If we have our running game, our quarterback can pass.'' I pull handkerchief from pocket, wipe forehead and flip and fold it, slide it in pocket. ''He needs to slow down. He gets too excited when hurried and throws the ball up.''

,,That is true,'' Richard says. He looks to me. ''Did you watch the last game?''

Two people shine light beams at rickshaw mover.

I smile. ,,A touch down pass and two interceptions.''

,,Two touch downs,'' says Richard. He smiles wide. <|Crows feet land on face.>

,,Yes, but one wasn't much of a pass, but the run was a run.''

,,That run is one for the Best Of highlights,'' says Richard.

I pivot head up and down. ,,I agree with Best Of because the offensive line created a hall to the in-zone.''

Richard's jaw chews. Veins pump. He grins.

Eleanor looks at Richard.

Richard's eyes widen. ,,Thinking back, you're right.'' Richard lifts left hand with palm up and lifts right hand with palm down and shoots right palm across left palm. <|Like a rock skipping across a pond.> ''Boom, he's off.''

,,A red streak and nothing more,'' I say.

Richard's veins fade into sweaty flesh. ,,We'll still win.'' He looks at George and says, ''Do wish I had tickets to see them win.''

,,White House staff wanted them,'' says George. He peers through driver's door's window frame.

Taxi rolls forward, jerks, pops, rolls slow.

,,The image matrix is good,'' I say.

Richard nods and shrugs. Richard's brow relaxes. ,,I am a little worried.'' His voice is calm and high pitched. ''I am a little worried about Cowboys' running back.'' I say, ,,He's been used too much.'' Richard says, ,,Yeah.'' He nods. ''Long season.'' I say, ,,A long season is to be expected.'' Richard says, ,,I'm praying the second team doesn't move players from the first team.''

I nod. ,,They will.''

,,Yeah, they have to.'' Richard looks to back window.

,,They don't need to move from first team.''

Richard looks. <|At me.> ,,Need-to and have-to are two different things.''

,,One doesn't have to move anyone unless it needs to be done.''

,,Yeah, true,'' says Richard. ''Don't want to damage someone by making them play both teams, but...'' Richard raises eyebrows. ''For the last of the Spring season?'' He lowers eyebrows. ''Only six games at most if they play a Super Bowl.''

,,If. Super Bowl need-to.''

Richard slowly shakes head up and down. ,,Yeah.''

Blue light shines on Betty's and Jo's head.

I look at blue light. ,,They will need to use the weak side guard.''

White light, <|Cue ball size,> shines inside taxi cab.

Richard looks at the cue ball sized light then back to me. ,,But like you said you need a quarterback to show up.''

I nod head. ,,A wise quarterback.''

Richard smiles and winks.

Congov and government whispers fill taxi's cab.

''A calm quarterback.''

Richard stares at small light. ,,A veteran.''

The taxi stops.

I look at Richard. ,,Rookie quarterbacks are a gamble.''

Richard's head shakes up and down. ,,Yup, they can take years to train.''


A shadow appears before each door.

The shadow by Jo casts a voice, ,,Are any of you known Global Terrorists?''

Jo says, ,,No.'' Betty says, ,,No.'' Richard and Eleanor say, ,,No.'' I say, ,,Known, no.'' George pivots head side to side.

The white light shines on George's face. ,,Yes or no,'' says the shadow's voice.

George looks at the light to the shadow, says, ,,Known. No.''

,,Good.'' The shadow waves the light forward.

Jo's stare reflects from rearview mirror.

The taxi rolls forward, pops, shakes, thumps.

Light shines on Jo's face.

The taxi's shakes settle. Taxi rolls forward. Transmission thumps.

>Lobe Scan Complete. Contact Construct(TM) with United States of America for your Lobe Scan Results,< is seen to mind.

Bright yellow spots. Red then black flash and fade to reveal the street.

,,I find it funny that they say anything,'' says Betty.

George looks back at red stagecoach, hovercopter and the white cone of light. ,,I always hear rumors that the government really records all our talk and thoughts.''

,,That's bullshit,'' says Richard.

People walk along sidewalks.

,,It is for the lobe scan record,'' says Eleanor.

Betty leans and pokes head between head rest and George's head, smiles. ,,Since when does the government follow the legal system?''

,,Someone's leaning a little too close,'' says George.

The taxi rolls forward.

People walk from condominiums.

Richard looks, <At me.> ,,A two year quarterback not fitting into another's system.''

I pivot head up and down. ,,Need a consistent quarterback.''

The street curves.

Richard looks at George's head. ,,Maybe George will give me those two tickets, and we can go tomorrow?''

George looks back. ,,Maybe.''

Richard looks to Eleanor. ,,I'm sure Eleanor would like to have the excuse not to go.''

<|Benz, Bentley, Porsche.> Vehicle gardens are left to right. White oaks rustle with gust.

Eleanor looks over the top of Jo's head. ,,Why don't you think I like football?'' She looks at Richard.

Richard stares at Eleanor.

Road inclines. Road declines.

Jo pulls stick-shift back.

Thumps silence.

Richard breaks stare. ,,I don't know. You just seem bored. You sit there and just watch.''

Eleanor's head pivots side to side. She looks to window.

,,No more about football,'' says George. ''Lets talk about the weather.''

Taxi rolls along.

Algae exhaust is.

Vehicle gardens' laser signs shine shape of flags.

,,It's humid,'' I say.

George smiles and says, ,,And hot.''

White lights shine from building windows. Lamp posts flames flicker over sidewalk. People walk shoulder to shoulder, back to forth, forth to back, along sidewalks. The traffic circle center glows.

,,Is the Reagan Hotel still the only building taller than the Washington Monument?'' says Richard.

,,I hope it's not a topic for discussion,'' says Eleanor.

,,Yes,'' I say.

Congov trucks are parked on hotel's sidewalks and parking circle.

Intersection is clear.

Clouds hang above.

I look at George. ''It's going to rain.''

Betty smiles. ,,If I could choose rain or snow. I choose rain.''

People jostle upon sidewalk.

,,I like rain.'' I grin then relax lips. ''Snow, well. It's happened.''

Stagecoaches and rickshaws climb hill on left lane. Movers sweat, lower heads and say slow, ,,Move... Move... Move... Move... Move...''

Intersection is clear.

Drones hover and flash diodes.

,,Snow isn't bad,'' says Eleanor.

I look and smile at Eleanor. ,,I don't sweat.''

Eleanor looks at me and smiles.

No red light is.

Taxi flows down slope.

One, two, three, four bikes flow past Jo's taxi, along the soft curve.

People shout and talk.

No red light is.

I look at George. I say, ''This heat and humidity can be too much.''

The taxi slows to a roll.

George looks at me then past me to rear windshield. ,,Yeah, here it can.''

People jostle and stand on sidewalks. People stand in lines. People move and shift and fill space between people.

I pull handkerchief from pocket and wipe forehead, flip the fold and slide handkerchief into pocket.

''I'm happy I live in the third sub level,'' says George.

<|One, two, three, four.> Tanks are parked on street left.

Richard looks at four tanks until he's looking at four tanks through rear windshield. ,,Four tanks,'' says Richard.

,,That's a little odd,'' says George looking back.

People walk across Conn from left sidewalk by Jersey Dike to right sidewalk and from right sidewalk by Jersey Dike to left sidewalk.

People tie, lift, pull, show red arm bands, ties, socks, bows, belts.

Two more tanks are parked to the left.

,,There are two more to the left,'' says Richard.

The taxi slows.

George shrugs. ,,When tanks get in double digits then be worried.''

People wearing red wear dark spectacles or dark spectacle.

I think, <|Congov every third person.>

The taxi rolls forward and stops.

George smiles. ''This what they mean by congov.''

Richard says slow and raises eyebrows. ,,Secret Sentry almost every person?''

Red lights are.

Eleanor looks at. ,,Richard, talk about football.''

,,Eleanor,'' says Richard. Richard and Eleanor stare at each other. ''Not now.''

I feel and think, <|For diversion say Betty and Richard fucking.>

Congov and people walk before taxi. The sidewalks are covered with congov and people.

The lamp post flames flicker shadows.

<|They probably know.>

Jo holds the stick-shift forward. Jo stares from rearview mirror to me. Taxi rolls. Taxi stops.

People raise palms toward taxi and step from taxi's path.

Six congov stand and point at Jo and Eleanor. Six congov stand and point at Betty, <|And me.>

Betty says, ,,Congov pointing.''

,,Fuck,'' says Richard. ''Fuck!''

Jo stares at my reflection in rearview mirror.

Eleanor says, ,,Richard, it would be best if we...''

,,Eleanor!'' says Richard.

,,Move move move move move,'' whispers from behind.

The twelve blacksuits and dark spectacles run away from taxi.

People near Jo's taxi run from taxi to sidewalks and Jersey Dikes.

''MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE,'' screams from behind.

Jo looks back.

<|Both even.>

''MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE,'' screams from right and left.

The red spoked stagecoach rolls left through people gap. The blue spoked stagecoach rolls right between people groups.

Stagecoach movers hold poles. Arms are vertical. Legs and feet are raised parallel with street. Movers sway left or right and guide stagecoaches and holler, ''MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE.''

Jo's hand grips and pulls steering wheel left. Jo's hand holds stick-shift forward.

The congov and the people stand on sidewalks and Jersey Dikes.

Taxi thumps, pops.

Jo holds stick-shift forward.

The taxi shutters, settles and drives. Transmission thumps. Taxi rolls by Jersey Dike with people standing on top. Taxi rolls behind red spoked stagecoach.

Jo pulls stick-shift back.

Thumps stop.

The taxi shakes and accelerates.

Richard and I stare through rear windshield.

The tanks do not move.

,,That was weird,'' says Richard.

George looks at Richard, says, ,,Secret Sentry do like to point.''

People on sidewalks and on Jersey Dikes stare and wave and smile to the stagecoaches.

,,Tanks don't even move,'' says Richard as he twists head left then right. ''Maybe it was work?''

,,Richard,'' says Eleanor.

<|They're guiding us.>

Richard's jaw pulses. He peers at Eleanor. He huffs.

Taxi rolls behind red spoked stagecoach.

Eleanor looks to window.

The street descends to tunnel under the traffic circle. Jersey Dikes ascend. A wall is. Right wall flows to sidewalk and revolving doors. People walk from revolving doors to sidewalk.

Jo pushes stick-shift forward.

Yellow fire light casts people shadows to the street and ceiling.

The red spoked stagecoach rolls over and under people shadows.

Congov bikers flow side by side with taxi. Their dark armor absorbs light and spreads darkness.

''Just look forward Richard,'' says Eleanor.

George begins to laugh. ,,And think of United States of America.''

<|Psycho real...>

The congov bikers disappear.

Wind blows through window frames.

,,I've never seen that,'' says Richard.

Betty slaps George on shoulder. ,,George.'' Betty says, ''I heard those are nice hotels.'' She points her finger at revolving door along the tunnel wall.

,,Expensive and boring,'' says George.

,,Fifty levels below ground,'' I say.

,,Cool,'' says Betty. ''Dry.''

,,Where'd they go?'' says Richard.

Sweat on forehead dries.

<|Psycho reading.> ,,Yes,'' I say.

Congov bikers appear by red spoked stagecoach.

,,There,'' says Richard.

The revolving doors and sidewalk flow to wall.

Street ascends. The walls become Jersey Dikes.

The red and blue spoked stagecoaches meet on street and bump in middle.

Red spoked stagecoach bumps into right lane. Blue spoked stagecoach slams toward left lane.

People cover sidewalks.

Building windows shine red, blue, white light. Windows vibrate.

Jo guides taxi behind stagecoaches and bikers.

I think, <|I am Psycho.>

Betty leans toward windshield. Betty points right to building tops. ,,Did you just see something up ahead?''

I lean forward.

Betty turns head, looks, <|At me,> then looks forward. ''Up there.''

Richard leans head between headrests, says, ,,Nah...I don't see anything but drones.'' Richard leans back. ''Drones which there seem to be a lot of.''

Murders of drones hover and fly.

I think, <|Psycho?>

Eleanor says, ,,Well, what do you think you saw, Betty?''

,,It was like a ball or something,'' Betty says. She forms a ball with palms and fingers. Her finger tips touch. ''Not a.'' Straight fingers and palms form a rectangle.

People cover left and right sidewalks.

George looks to Betty. ,,You shitting me.''

,,NO,'' says Betty. Betty's finger points at top of building to the right. ''It was right there.''

,,Jo,'' says Richard. ''You see?''

Jo presses on brake. He says, ,,I watch people and road.''

Eleanor says, ,,I didn't see what Betty saw.''

,,Dick,'' says Betty.

Red lights shine. Red spoked and blue spoked stagecoaches roll under red light and through intersection.

Betty says, ''You've been here longest. What would be your best guess?'' Betty looks, <|At me.> ''I probably didn't see anything, right?''

I look at her. ,,It could have been a new drone.''

A loud, ,,MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE,'' screams from a congov truck.

Taxi slows.

Betty says and looks back, ,,Do you think I saw anything, Dick?''

,,Yes,'' I say. I wipe forehead with handkerchief. <|Thought.> I wink. ''But we probably shouldn't focus on what it could be.''

Betty smiles. ,,Yeah.''

Red spoked stagecoach and blue spoked stagecoach slow before people crowd around 18th to Conn U Turn and sidewalks and street. Movers move people from paths of stagecoaches.

The building lights flicker then shine.

George shifts from hip to hip and switches shoulder hanging over seat from left to right. ,,I believe you,'' says George. ''I just want to see.''

Taxi stops.

,,Is that Always?'' says Betty. She point to Always' building. <|Next to buildings Psycho jumped.>

People walk sidewalks, stand on corners, flow from and to buildings. People fill space between vehicles.


Betty smiles. Richard rubs nose. Eleanor stares forward, breathes deep.

People walk across street.

Bikers, rickshaws, congov trucks and tanks flow right to left and left to right.

<|Psycho on Always. Intersection.>

Congov trucks idle on intersection corners. Army soldiers stand on truck cabs. Army soldiers wear thin body armor and a cap over head. Dark spectacles cover eyes.

<|Psycho following.>

Sweat slides down nose bridge to nose tip. Sweat drops.

Diode posts shine from intersection corners. Diode lights illuminate intersection.

I wipe face with handkerchief.

,,Soldiers scare me,'' says Betty.

Richard sniffs. ,,They're supposed to scare.''

,,Richard,'' says Eleanor. <|Like a command.>

Richard's jaw pulses, snaps. ,,FUCK, Eleanor. Drop it!''

<|Feel weird.>

Eleanor looks forward.

,,Move. Move. Move. Move.'' A stagecoach slows and stops to left.

Richard peers through windshield and crowd. His voice speaks. ,,Some. Thing. Is. Going. On. Here.'' Jaw joint pulses.

<|Feel hot.>

Eleanor looks forward. Face is relaxed. Her stare sees beyond Jo's head.

Congov and people fill intersection.

People walk past. Heads shake and nod. Hands and arms gesticulate sexual and violent acts with smiling faces. Jackets are slung over shoulders. Ties are loose. Hair is down. Shirts are unbuttoned. Pantyhose are rolled and clasped in hands. Belts strap holsters tight around waists. Guns hang loose. The people walk between congov.

Congov talk, point spectacles, cock guns, look left and right, push and pull people.

<|Almost one for one.>

,,Richard.'' Betty looks back. ''What ever is going on, they will take care of it.''

Sweat is.

Richard peers forward.

,,Hot,'' says George.

Red lights left and right shine.

<|Making path?>

The lights above dim.

Army inject into people from right and fill the intersection.

People jog and walk quick from front to back of Jo's taxi.

Army push people toward taxi. They push people past taxi. They stop people from stepping beyond rear bumper of Taxi. They push people from street to sidewalk. They stop people from leaving the sidewalk.

The intersection is clear.

Congov and Army walk and stand from front to back of taxi.

Four tanks roll left to right and roll before taxi.

The four tanks create a Two by Two and roll to two lane street by Always. The tanks stop.

,,They are all contractor or Army!'' stresses Richard. ''And four MORE tanks!''

The Army and congov loosen line and disperse.

,,Moving tanks. Oh no,'' says Betty in a voice. <|Like Richard.> Betty looks back and smiles. ''Calm down, this D.C.. Ain't it, Dick?''

I look at Betty. ,,I don't mean to alarm, but this is a lot of Army. And this is the most tank movements during one night for years.''

,,Impressive,'' says Jo. He peers at my reflection.

,,It is,'' I say.

Eleanor looks. <|At me.>

,,We should get out,'' says Richard.

,,Yes, get out.'' Jo says as he stares at my reflection, ''We are almost there.''

Taxi rolls slow.

,,Where we going?'' says Richard.

I smile to Richard. ,,The building near the tanks.''

,,You're joking,'' says Richard.


A stagecoach, bikers, rickshaws and two congov trucks roll toward and away.

,,Move, move, move, move...,'' chants behind.

Jo looks right over shoulder and bobs head to see past Richard. He twists wheel right.

People step from street to curb.

Taxi pops then veers right.

A person quick steps from street to curb.

Taxi flows and stops along curb.

''Move, move, move, move...,'' chants behind.

,,Always,'' says Jo.

Richard says, ,,Anyone know the time?''



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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