Susan found her boss’s feelings drawer by accident. She drank too much and took a wrong turn in Sundrun’s apartment at the office holiday party, while looking for the bathroom. It had been all the rage five
years ago, getting your feelings surgically removed. After a sensectomies, some people had the feelings stuffed or encased in glass to use as paperweights so they could show them off during meetings with clients. That’s my fear, the size of an inchworm! Impressive, isn’t it?
The chair first appeared on a Thursday afternoon on the sidewalk in front of the Dollar Bank and Trust on Lancaster Street in Pulaski, Kansas. Nobody saw how it got there. At least, no reliable eyewitnesses have ever come forward, so we are unable to pinpoint the exact moment of its arrival. Customers began to ask the tellers about it shortly after lunch.
Captain Confederation was annoyed when he got off the elevator and it showed. It would have been so simple and logical for him to land on the roof of the Superhero Administration Centre, or in the ample grounds surrounding it, but these alternatives were no longer open to him. Last month Transport Canada had proposed a regulation requiring superheroes to take off and land from helipads unless actually fighting crime, and for some inexplicable reason the Department of Superhero Affairs had gone along with it.
Nate had expected the first serial killer. In fact the first thing he’d said to Kelly once their Ford rolled to a stop on the shoulder was, “This is serial killer country. We’re finished.” She made scaredy-cat eyes and drew a finger across her throat. “Finished,” he enunciated. She’d heard his bake before, something to the effect that certain places settled and then maybe recultivated to feel remote–the Wisconsin Northwoods, for example, or parts of Appalachia or, in this case, Tornado Alley–were stuffed silly with the dumped spent corpses that were the nuggets of serial killers’ labor. The type needed space to operate. So each tree in the Northwoods doubled as a headstone, each stalk of corn out here a memorial, and to hike cross-country through such territory was to traipse condemned through the densest kind of cemetery.
After a year in San Francisco, my legs grew strong again. A hill and a half lay between the bookstore where I found work and the apartment I shared with the Kotos. Every morning and evening I walked, breathing mist and rain into my desert-scarred lungs, and every morning the walk was a little easier. Even at the beginning, when my feet ached all day from the unaccustomed strain, it was a hill and a half that I hadn’t been permitted for seventeen years.