Chapter 100 of The Empty City

By Andrew Looney

Dave wandered aimlessly around the streets for about an hour, thinking. Then it began to rain, so he headed for home.

At 9:33 he opened the door to the apartment. Bert was lying on the couch watching television and eating popcorn. Peter and Paul sat at the kitchen table playing Gin Rummy.

"Hey," said Peter, "What happened to you? Figured you'd be with the 'Princess' all night." His tone was mocking. Paul didn't look up from the cards on the table, and Bert mumbled to himself as he changed the channel with the remote control.

"So did I," said Dave, as if in a trance. "But I guess..."

His voice trailed off into silence.

"Hey are you OK?" asked Peter.

"Uh, yeah, I'm fine," said Dave.

"You don't look fine," said Peter. "What happened?"

Dave stared blankly at Peter for a minute, then said "I... I just moved into the Empty City."

Paul looked up at him for the first time with a confused expression on his face. "What?"

"Never mind," said Dave. "You guys want to play a game of Icehouse?"

Copyright © 1991 by Andrew Looney.

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