…from the case files of Detective Pagasmo…
(Continues from Mixed Media)
Someone just had to bring a howitzer to the party because my night wasn’t shitty enough. The short barreled gun stitched an unbroken line of bullets into the wall and probably through it given the amount of dust choking the air. I looked at the door fifteen feet away and knew I’d never make it, not alive anyhow.
I waited for demands, but none came. These goons hadn’t been told to take me alive, damn. Worming my way to the end of the row, I waited for my moment. It came ten minutes later when the howitzer fell silent. Pushing up from my crouch, I ran for it and hit the door with my shoulder. It opened and dumped me into an alley.
Gaia had an exit already prepared. The ground under my feet sank as soon as I stepped off the linoleum. Down I went into her embrace, not caring where she put me. The wind toyed with a flier at the other end of the alley. Just before I dropped out of sight, it threw the paper at me and plastered it against my face. I was eye to icon with another of those symbols:
Below the star glyph, was an excerpt from a police blotter:
I unwrapped the paper from my head and perused the excerpted entry. As my descent slowed, I chuckled at the report. Imagine that, a teenager driving too slow. Why would someone complain about such a thing? Usually, folks reported the opposite. After my bemusement and mirth had worn off, I studied the entry more closely.
Was my quarry inviting me to Flathead County? Wasn’t that in Montana? That seemed too easy. Why would my mysterious attacker take the direct route when every other clue had been cloaked in mystery?
No, this wasn’t an invitation. There was more to it. I crammed the paper into my pocket with all the rest–including the kid’s phone and his bookmark. When the guns had started shooting, I’d pocketed both items. My pocket was filling up with detritus from this case, but I still had more questions than answers.
No way could those goons have tailed me through mundane means. Damn, now I had to cross to the paranormal side of the street and pursue arcane means to unravel this puzzle. Damn. Well, cursing fate wouldn’t net me answers, so I focused on a particular part of Magic Town. And Gaia did the rest.
Those people movers at the airport had nothing on Gaia. With a flick of her will, the ground around me undulated. I yawned as she moved me conveyer-belt-style through the earth. I drifted off secure in her embrace, certain I’d wake where I needed to be.
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More Detective Pagasmo stories: The Boxes Are Doors, Descending into Trouble, Epistemology, Novitiate, Lulled by Rhymes, News, Clues and Howitzers, Mixed Media, No Truth in Quotes, Haiku Hunt, Random Risks, Freeze Frame, The Mark of Destiny, Detective Pagasmo in Playing Dead, Detective Pagasmo.