Lawson was already regretting the decision to go shopping by the time he was standing in line waiting to buy a ticket for the tube. All but one of the time- and labour-saving automatic ticket dispensers was either closed or unable to give change, and it was all he could do not to let out yelps of irritated despair at the inability of those in front of him to understand the process of getting the machine to yield up its wares. The station seemed to be unusually full of squalling children and jabbering mad people, and the flu which he’d thought in decline was thriving in the damp mildness of the winter afternoon. All in all he was beginning to feel like death cooled down, and he was barely on step one of the afternoon.
Tag: Author: Michael Marshall Smith
IT HAPPENED IN BRYANT PARK, a little after six o’clock in the evening. He was sitting by himself in lamp shadow amongst the trees, at one of the rickety green metal tables along the north side, close to where the Barnes & Noble library area is during the day. He was warmly dressed in nondescript, casual clothing and sipping from a Starbucks in a seasonally red cup, acquired from the outlet on the corner of Sixth, right opposite one of the entrances to the park. He queued, just like any normal person: watching through the window you’d have no idea of who he was, or the power he wielded over this and other neighborhoods.
Old Tom was a very tall man. He was so tall he didn’t even have a nickname for it. Ned Black, who was at least a head shorter, had been ‘Tower Block’ since the sixth grade, and Jack, the owner of the Hog’s Head Bar, had a sign up over the door saying ‘Mind Your Head, Ned’. But Tom was just Tom. It was like he was so tall it didn’t bear mentioning even for a joke: be a bit like ragging someone for breathing…