HOW MUCH LONGER IT GOT?”
“According to the blue bar?”
“If that’s how you want to time it.”
“According to the blue bar, it’s got half more to go.”
“How long you been waiting on the blue bar?”
Rodney held up his finger and his thumb, the gap between them showing roughly an inch. “About that long,” he said.
“Suppose I ask how long it took the bar to get that far, you’d tell me since there was no blue bar,” Deacon said.
Rodney nodded, said, “That’d be accurate. You want to put a different frame of time on what we’re doing?”
“How about rotation of the sun?”
“Since there was no blue bar to where it is now?”
“That’d be accurate.”
“I’d say it’s been a half hour.”
Deacon bent over and looked at the laptop screen to see the little blue bar twirling with white streaks. It was in the little window on top of the open editing program. ‘Rendering’ with three dots was in text above it.
“So it took a half hour for it to get half way?” Deacon asked.
“If we’re going by rotation of the sun, yeah,” Rodney said, leaning back in his chair, his arms crossed on his pudgy chest. “Want to ask how much longer the blue bar’s going to be?”
“You said this computer could handle the program.”
“You asked me and I said it could.”
“But I never asked you how well it would do, that what you’re going to tell me?”
“Remember when I said ‘but’ and you walked out?”
Deacon stood up straight and looked over his shoulder to the front of the house to see members of his crew staring back at him. Brooke was seated in a chair, the lights set up on tripods giving her a halo effect. Maggie had her hip cocked to the side, the boom mike resting against her body. All waiting on him.
He turned back to Rodney and said they didn’t have another half hour. Told him everyone was waiting on them.
“Waiting on the computer actually,” Rodney said. “The one I was about to tell you could run the program but would move like molasses through a strainer before you walked out.”
“You move like molasses,” Deacon said.
“That a black joke?”
“It’s a fat joke. Which one you offended by more?” Deacon looked back through the house to see Brooke stand from her chair, fake smile on her lips as she left the room. It was immediately dropped as she crossed the house to the back, into the kitchen.
“What’s the problem?”
“It’s still rendering,” Deacon said.
“Because that’s how we get the effect to look real,” Rodney said. “I’ve told you how these programs work since the beginning.”
“When’s the beginning of you not trying to sound like the smartest asshole in the room?” Brooke asked.
“Who said I was trying?”
“How’s the sheet gag look?” Brooke bent over to look at the laptop.
“Can’t see it while it’s rendering.”
“Rodney, stop the goddamn render and show me the sheet gag.”
Deacon took a step behind Brooke to look at the laptop as Rodney hit the cancel button and scrubbed the footage forward. The image on the screen was two people sleeping in a bed, tossing and turning in fast-forward, a pale green glow to them from the night-vision mode of the camera.
“Here it is,” Rodney said and the footage slowed down to normal speed, the two figures in the bed sleeping at a normal pace. Then the sheet was violently yanked from them and the man and woman sat up quickly, startled awake.
“It looks good,” Deacon said. “Let’s see how far the render got.”
Rodney looked over his shoulder at him, then back to the screen. The image went quickly in reverse, the sheet moving back onto the bed and the couple repeated their quick movements but backwards. Rodney hit a few buttons and the image played forward at normal speed.
In the lime green haze of the footage, a gas formed beside the bed, slowly turning into what could be a figure, floating in the air. Though not defined, you could see a woman with stringy hair running down the side of her head, but it was also enough of nothing that the image could be argued to be anything - like looking at a cloud and imagining it to be whatever you wanted it to be.
The gas figure floated for a little before forming what could be a tormented face. It turned to look at the camera then seemed to float toward it. Then the image got pixelated and cartoonish.
“That’s where the render left off,” Rodney said.
Brooke stood up and crossed her arms on her chest. Deacon looked over at her, knowing that look. Familiar with the crease on her brow when she was thinking on her feet, running a thousand scenarios in her head. Even Rodney knew enough to shut up when he saw that look.
“You still got that scream you made?” she asked.
“The tiger and the pig?”
“That one yeah.”
“It’s on another drive.”
“Is it here Rodney?”
Deacon saw another look he recognized from her now. One that he hated. Her no bullshit, I-don’t-have-time-for-how-stupid-you-are look.
“Put the scream in twice,” she said. “Slow it down and lower the tone, fade it up when the cloud forms. The last part where she turns to the camera, speed the footage up so it looks like she’s rushing to the camera then cut it like the feed dropped before the render drops out.”
“Speed up the footage?”
“They won’t notice everything else moving fast around them, they’ll be looking at her. Bring the sound up on the slow scream before the feed cuts. Bring it back in before the sheet gag, like the feed came back and put in the real scream and then lose the feed again when they wake up. How long will that take?”
“It’s just for them, we’ll fix it up before it goes to air,” Brooke said and left the room.
DEACON FOLLOWED BROOKE INTO THE living room. It was one of those Victorian houses with three floors that looked big from the outside but was much smaller inside. It had a hallway that ran from the front door to the back door, a staircase that greeted you as soon as you stepped inside. To the side of the hallway were the rooms to the house, a living room in the front with a doorway that led to the kitchen in the back. Through its one hundred plus years of existence, much of the original designs were still intact.
“We’ve never actually had this happen before,” Brooke said as she sat back on her chair in the middle of the lights and cameras. Deacon followed across the original hardwood floors to the chair beside her. “We’re still having a hard time getting the footage together to show you.”
“Is it that bad?” Mrs. Campbell asked, leaned forward, her elbows on her knees. She was nearing fifty, her blond hair coming from a bottle for a number of years. She wore a red sweater. Her large thighs were ready to burst through the seams of her jeans, the ones Deacon overheard her saying were her ‘show’ jeans while she yelled at her husband to change his clothes because they were going to be on television.
“We’d rather just show you when we can, get your real reaction to it on camera,” Deacon said.
Mrs. Campbell gasped as she reached for her pack of Kool menthol cigarettes. She told them she only smoked when stressed as she lit one, expecting everyone to believe her lie. Everything in the house had a tan coat of nicotine, including the floral print couch that sagged where she sat beside her husband. Deacon had no doubt the two of them sat there every night, staring away at the television across the room, chain smoking while drinking malt liquor.
“You think we can cut these lights then ‘til you’re ready?” Mr. Campbell asked. He was a skinny man, much too thin for the wrinkled black suit he was wearing that had a layer of dust on it. He was bald, so chose to wear the hair on the sides and back of his head extra long, maybe to go along with his handlebar mustache.
Deacon looked beside Mr. Campbell to Dominic who was behind the camera filming him and Brooke. Dominic stood up and flicked a couple switches on the floor. The giant tent-like lights faded off, somehow making the room look grimier.
“You’re going to tell us it’s the ghost interfering with your taping?” Mr. Campbell asked.
“We’ll just show you what we have then see what you think,” Brooke said with a smile.
“Yeah sure,” he said.
His wife slapped his skinny thigh, telling him to behave. It wasn’t the husband they’d have to convince, Deacon and Brooke both knew that when they met the couple on the first day. He didn’t seem to complain much when the production company put them up at the Howard Johnson’s Hotel for a couple of days. He even went and asked why they weren’t being put up in the Marriott.
“So it was your parents had the house before you?” Deacon asked.
“It was,” Mr. Campbell said. “You know this already. Know it was my family built the thing before the Jews come and steal it from them.”
Deacon did know that. Knew the Campbell family built the house in the late 1800’s, around 1875 give or take a year. Knew the Campbell’s back then used to lynch and set fire to blacks on the property during the race riots near the turn of the century. Knew the house got handed down to another generation of Campbells until World War Two when Joe Campbell’s grandfather ran to Canada when he was drafted for the war. That’s when the bank tried to take the house because there was no one to pay the taxes on it, who Joe was now calling ‘The Jews.’ During that time when the bank had the house, it was given to a Japanese family who were hiding from the internment camps and angry Americans.
When the war was over, Joe’s granddaddy wasn’t happy at all to find a family of ‘zipper-heads’ living in his house. Unfortunately for the Japanese family and the bank, Joe’s granddaddy wasn’t the type to be reasoned with. After some fighting, Joe’s grandfather and his racist friends ran off the family, killing the wife and one of their children. Joe’s granddaddy went to jail for it, but the friends made sure no one bought the house so then the Campbell’s were able to buy it back at a discount. Not only because the friends wouldn’t allow it, but not many people were keen on moving into a house that had at least two murders occur inside.
Deacon found all that out while researching the property after the Campbells called the production company and said their house was haunted. Deacon knew a lot about the house and its history. He also knew a lot about Joe and his racist family that went back over a hundred years. Deacon and Brooke decided it was the Japanese girl haunting the house.
“Why do you want it to be the Japanese family?” Brooke had asked him yesterday.
“He’s not going to run because of a black family. He thinks they’re beneath him, he won’t run.”
“I’ll give you that.”
“Besides when’s the last time you heard a black family haunting someone? You know this.”
“The wife, what’s her name, Helen?”
“Helen or Ellen, I couldn’t tell. You know her front teeth are fake?” Deacon lit a cigarette.
“She’s whiter than fresh snow,” Brooke said. “Probably scared to death of those Asian movies. Get her to run, she’ll drag him along.”
“That’s the stretch isn’t it. Get racist Joe to leave the family home.”
“He’ll follow her she wants it bad enough.”
“Not like he’d have to run fast to keep up.”
“Let’s talk to Rodney, see what we can conjure up.”
“So you’re saying I’m right?”
“Don’t make a habit of it.” Brooke went in the Victorian house to see what they could come up with.
And now Rodney was making his way into the living room, the floorboards creaking under his weight, to hand the laptop to Deacon so they could convince the Campbells their house was haunted.
THE LIGHTS CAME BACK ON, the cameras started rolling, and Deacon and Brooke took turns showing footage from the laptop while talking about the history of the house. Deacon kept a close eye on Joe as they relayed the history of events in his racist family tree. Joe looked uncomfortable, but not in the shameful way you’d expect. He wanted to lash out, tell them that’s how things should be in his America when Deacon told him about the lynchings, the burnings, his granddaddy murdering Japanese folk that were merely hiding. He was restraining himself for the camera.
This happened for the next twenty minutes. Ellen Campbell bent forward, trying to get a good view of the laptop showing the footage of Deacon and his team going through the house for the past couple nights. Dominic had to keep motioning to Deacon that she was getting in his shot, not able to get the laptop on camera with her moving her head in front of it. They would stop filming, remind her not to move too close, then start filming again.
The images on the laptop were in night-vision. The team, led by Deacon, walked through the dark house, acting scared. Things moved off camera the team reacted to. They asked each other if they heard the strange noises, then the noise was heard on the laptop. They spoke of getting heat signatures and odd cool spots. They showed the images of the infrared, some wavelengths they were trying to decipher sound from. Things fell over, picture frames moved, people felt things move around their legs - Terry even got grabbed from behind and yanked back.
Ellen reacted exactly how they wanted her to react. She covered her mouth, gasping at all the right places, even shrieked in some. She kept muttering to herself ‘Oh dear.’
Deacon stopped the image on the laptop as Brooke said, “Now we’re coming to the part we were having problems. It took us awhile to salvage the footage and we wanted to verify it. This won’t be easy to watch.”
Ellen was wide-eyed looking at her, all the breath gone from her body, tiny tears forming in her eyes. Deacon looked to Joe, saw he wasn’t impressed - like it was a waste of time, or he didn’t believe any of it.
“Deacon?” Brooke said and Deacon hit the space-bar on the computer in his lap.
“As you know, we asked you to stay in the house last night. We wanted to see how the spirits reacted to you,” Brooke told them as they watched themselves sleeping on screen. “This is the part we needed to verify. What looks like a figure forms at the side of your bed.”
Ellen leaned forward. Deacon gestured with his free hand for her to move back.
“It looks like a girl. We’re not sure what she’s about to do as she starts moving over top of you.” Brooke went quiet, letting them watch.
The ‘girl’ hovered above the couple, then turned to look at the camera. Deacon looked to Rodney leaned up against the door frame. They nodded briefly to each other. The sound of the slowed down tiger/ pig scream was perfect - it had an effect but wasn’t immediately noticeable.
The floating girl looked at the camera. Ellen moved back in her seat. For a split second, the ghost rushed to the camera before the image cut to a blue screen.
“That’s what we were able to salvage but it seems the feed cut out at that point,” Brooke said.
“She was right over top of us,” Ellen said to Joe. Then to Brooke, “What was she going to do?”
Deacon stepped in. “From what we gather from the history of the house, we don’t think it was anything good.”
“It would seem the camera,” Brooke said, “stopped her from doing whatever it was she was going to do.”
Ellen leaned back on the sofa, her hands covering her mouth, tears running down her cheeks. Deacon wondered if they were real or if she liked the attention. Whatever it was, it made for some good TV.
“You don’t think… possession?” she asked.
Deacon and Brooke looked at each other, both took a big breath, readying themselves. Deacon said, “From our experience it’s a very real possibility.”
“There’s one more piece of footage we’d like to show you.”
Deacon hit the space-bar and the blue screen turned into the bedroom again, Ellen and Joe asleep on the bed.
“The footage came back to this,” Brooke said.
The full tiger/ pig scream rang from the laptop as the sheet was yanked from the bed and they were startled awake. Then the image went blue and Deacon closed the laptop.
Ellen jumped and let out a shriek. Brooke and Deacon stared at the couple across from them for a few moments.
“Who? Who is she?” Ellen asked.
“There’s a lot of possibilities,” Deacon said. “A lot of unhappy spirits. We’re guessing it’s the little girl.” Deacon produced a black and white picture of a Japanese girl wearing a white dress, standing in front of the house. Rodney had photoshopped it to look like it came from the ‘40’s - slight sepia tone, the house behind her in disarray. It was funny, it was a picture of the house taken two days ago, but the black and white with a touch of sepia and fade fooled most people into thinking the picture was taken from any time you told them it was.
“So it’s a slant girl?” Joe asked.
Deacon turned to Rodney who said, “We can edit it.”
He turned back to Joe, said, “We think the girl may be looking for her father and is angry about the bloodline of the house.”
“Mrs. Campbell, this is one of the most aggressive and tortured souls we’ve ever come across,” Brooke said.
“She won’t leave?” Ellen asked.
Joe stared at Deacon, said, “No, of course she won’t leave.” They held the stare for a few moments.
“We have to move,” Ellen said to Joe. “I can’t stay in this house with an angry Jap girl.”
NOW THEY WERE OUTSIDE, DEACON and Brooke, having a cigarette in the patches of brown grass, a broken lawn mower on it’s side, the grass starting to grow around it. From inside, they could hear Ellen yelling at Joe and him yelling back. Ellen telling him you’re goddamn right they were moving, Joe screaming at her she could go where ever she damn well pleased but he wasn’t leaving his family legacy behind.
“Think she’ll convince him?” Deacon asked Brooke.
“Think he likes to put up a show when people are around. Hurts his pride not being the man in front of others.”
“Some women have a habit of taking it from you,” Deacon said, turning his head back to the house to see the crew coming out, Rodney laughing to himself as he carried the computer gear under his arms. Dominic came out with a camera and tripod, getting a good look at the sun.
“Got about forty-five until it gets ugly,” he said.
Deacon nodded, asked how bad it was in there.
“She’s crying about the girl, asking him what happens when the spirit takes their daughter.”
“I didn’t think they had kids.”
“She thinks they’ll start.”
Deacon looked to Brooke, surprised she was staring at him. “That what you think I did to you? Took your manly nature?”
“No. Think I handed my balls over when I slid that ring on your finger.”
“Then you should’ve got them back when I put the ring back in your hand.”
Maggie came over then, a tiny woman with close cut blond hair, to clip a microphone on Deacon’s collar. He ran the wire under his shirt and handed the transmitter pack back to Maggie who clipped it on the rear of his belt. She started doing the same with Brooke as he tucked his shirt back into his pants.
Deacon looked back at the house, saw Joe sitting on the steps in a stew of his own anger, glaring at them. The suit jacket was off, the white shirt undone to the navel, yellow stains under the arms.
His attention was brought to the street where a silver Kia Serrento pulled up along the curb. Martina got out and put out her arms in a gesture that asked what the hell was going on before coming up to the picket fence with the peeling white paint.
“Had a few problems,” Deacon said.
“Flight leaves in three hours.”
“Where we going?”
“You don’t wrap this up I’ll tell you where you’re going,” Martina said. She was a short, black woman with a powerful build that wore her hair in a tiny afro, maybe trying to add height to her stature. She was the producer of the show, the one that found the haunted houses and decided if they were worth the time and money to bring the show to investigate.
“Marty I told you these back-to-backs are too much,” Brooke said to her.
“Talk to Dave at the network, they wanted to do the season in sets of three,” Martina answered. “How much of the wrap-up you got left?”
“All of it,” Dominic said. “Light guys,” he said to Deacon and Brooke, reminding them about the fading sunlight.
“Plane guys,” Martina said, pointing to her watch.
“Give me a level,” Maggie said, adjusting knobs on the pack on her hip with one hand, the other pressed to the headphones on her ear.
“He’s going to want a conversation,” Deacon said, gesturing with his head to Joe on the porch.
“Tell us how we poisoned the mind of his wife,” Brooke said. “Like she can’t have an idea of her own.”
“How much you think the house could go for?”
Brooke looked back to the house, saw Joe stomping down the porch, coming up to them, a bottle of clear liquid in his hand. “Looks like he’s ready for that chat.”
Deacon looked over and saw him, smelled the sour odor of moonshine on his breath before he opened his mouth. “So you’re telling me I’m leaving because a bunch a chinks?”
“But that’s why my wife’s crying now and telling me to give up my family? Because a couple zippers died here?”
“Innocent Japanese people your granddaddy killed.”
“Because they didn’t kill anyone at Pearl Harbor?”
“You act like you were there.”
“My grandpa was.”
“We just went over this inside. He was here then went to Canada because he was too chicken shit to fight for you to have this house.”
Joe took a step closer, almost touching noses with Deacon. He had to blink because Joe’s breath was stinging his eyes. “You know what I think?” he asked.
“I think you made the whole thing up. I don’t think there’s any slant girl in there.”
“That’s up to you to think that. You decide to leave, I got a friend handles houses. I can give you his card.”
Deacon heard a crackle and saw Joe tense up before his body fell to the ground. He looked over and saw Brooke with a taser in her hand.
She turned to Dominic, asked, “Is he in the shot?”
“Got a three quarter. Figured you’d walk into a medium.”
“See?” Deacon said. “That’s the kind of thing takes a man’s balls away.”
“Didn’t think you were into the conversation.”
“Levels are good,” Maggie said.
“Dom?” Deacon asked.
“Frame,” Dominic said, ducked behind the camera.
“Think it’ll be better coming from you, giving the wife Harvey’s card,” Deacon said.
“Yeah okay,” Brooke said, straightening her wavy brown hair off her cheeks. “I’d say the house fixed up? Can go for three-fifty, maybe even four.”
“Tell Harvey to offer two-fifty?”
“I’d start at a hundred-fifty, use the murders to bring the price down. Get him down here, see how much work it needs before he starts making offers. Know what you’re going to say?”
“Figured I’d just follow you. The one with balls.”
Brooke smiled at him. “They’ll drop eventually.”
“Rolling,” Dominic shouted.
Deacon watched Brooke count to three silently, then she started. “Welcome back to Gray’s Ghosts.”
TWO HOURS LATER, THEY WERE on a Delta flight heading to Myrtle Beach International Airport in South Carolina where they would be picked up by a couple cars and driven to a place in Rounders Bend, roughly forty-five minutes away, to investigate a farm that was supposedly haunted.
“There was one of them doomsday folk,” Martina said while crouched in the aisle. “Built one of them bunkers under the barn, you know that shit you white folk like to do? Load it up with canned shit and powders thinking you’ll live the rest of your days down there?”
“Sounds like my ex’s parents’ house,” Brooke said.
“I’m right here. Literally sitting beside you,” Deacon said.
“This was back in the mid-nineties, and here’s another one I’ll never understand,” Martina said as she flipped her finger on her phone, coming to the information she wanted. “Guy’s name was Dwight Williamson. Parents name the kid that it’s almost like he doesn’t have a chance making something of hisself.”
“Dwight Eisenhower managed,” Deacon said.
“Could’ve named him Willy,” Brooke said.
“Willy Williamson? Sounds like a ballplayer.”
“But what have you done for me lately?” Martina said, putting her phone back into her pocket. “Anyways, guy built the bunker under his barn, went and died in it.”
“Tell me it was food poisoning.”
“Something fell on him, didn’t build the bunker as well as he thought, used a rotted piece of wood, I don’t know. There’s some theory out there he was murdered, another one saying he locked hisself inside. Conspiracy folk,” she stopped to give a glare to Brooke and Deacon, telling them it was another white thing she didn’t understand. “They’re saying the government did it for a number of reasons, saying good ol’ Dwight was onto something the government wanted hushed up. From there it goes down a bunch of different roads. Figure you can find something to play with.”
Martina turned to see the Flight Attendant standing in the aisle with her trolley, a thin smile on her face.
“For what, being rude?”
“I need to get by ma’am. If you could go back to your seat.”
“Ma’am? My seat’s behind you so now you’re in my way if that’s what you want me to do. Didn’t think that one through did you?”
“Ma’am, I just need to get by.”
“So where you want me to go? Want me to sit on someone’s lap?”
Brooke turned in her seat, said, “Sorry, she hates flying. Give us two minutes and we’ll be done.” She tried her best smile on the Flight Attendant who sighed and made a spectacle of leaning on her beverage cart.
“Don’t apologize for me,” Martina said.
“What’s the family like?” Brooke asked.
“Seem nice, not bat-shit. Got the farm on a deal because the owner after Dwight said it was haunted. Now they say they’re seeing Dwight too. Started with the two kids seeing him.”
“And when can we tell people about us?”
Martina stood. “I still got hope you two will patch it up,” she said, then turned and squeezed between the trolley and the man in the seat beside it. “You a tiny bit nicer, you might’ve had a shot with me,” she said to the Flight Attendant then walked down the aisle toward her seat.
“Thanks Marty,” Deacon called after her. Martina raised her arm, not bothering to look back.
“She’s a lesbian?” the Flight Attendant asked, pulling up her trolley beside Brooke in the aisle.
“Pretty good at it too,” Brooke said.
“I love your show,” she said. “I watch it every time I’m on layover. You guys fake all that stuff don’t you?”
“Hotels get Spooky TV?” Deacon asked.
“If they get Discovery and National Geographic they do. On the same package right?”
“Only reason we’re on TV,” Brooke said.
“Anyways, just wanted to tell you I love the show. Keeps me up at night.”
The Flight Attendant forgot to ask if they wanted anything from the cart. She went to the next row and asked if they wanted refreshments.
“I told Harvey to give it three days, make the call then, see if they want to sell,” Deacon said.
“She seemed grateful for the card. Tears almost sucked back into her eyes when she asked how much I thought they’d get.”
“You tell her?”
“I just said it’s my friend, didn’t know. Hazard a guess, I told her, maybe one-fifty to two. She asked if that was all.”
“You remind her of all the lynchings and dead bodies there?”
“She had a hard time believing people cared about minorities.”
“One bad as the other,” Deacon said.
The pilot came on the intercom to tell them they would be landing in Myrtle Beach International Airport in approximately twenty-five minutes.
HUEY LOMBECK LEANED AGAINST THE Lincoln Town Car in a spot reserved for taxi pick-ups. He’d heard of the show before, even watched it some nights when he came home without a date from the bar. This ‘Gray’s Ghosts’ show that ran at three in the morning while everything else was playing infomercials.
This morning at Rounders Rides, the livery service Huey worked for, his boss was going ape-shit, saying they were handling celebrities. Jeff was the boss, a fat bald man in his thirties still living with his mom, had a habit of Google searching customers when they made a reservation. He’d find a good looking one on Facebook and look at the girl’s pictures for hours. When he Googled Martina Boivin, he came across a listing at the bottom of the page saying she worked as a producer on Gray’s Ghosts, a popular show on Spooky TV.
“Don’t know how popular it is airing at three in the morning,” Huey said, leaning over Jeff’s shoulder, staring at the computer.
“Tell me what I’m smelling is a skunk you hit on your way in,” Jeff said, not bothering to turn his head. He didn’t like Huey smoking dope while he was on the job, but there weren’t too many options in Rounders Bend for hiring people at minimum wage.
Jeff clicked the link and was brought to Martina’s bio on the Spooky TV website. “Well shit, she’s black,” Huey said.
“So what if she’s black?”
“Boivin’s a French name.”
“Maybe she married a French man. Maybe her parents are French. Think there might even be one or two black French people.”
Jeff then went on to tell Huey to stop smoking until he dropped the celebrities off at the house they were renting, and to be on his best behavior. Gave him the itinerary and told him to make the sign so they’d know to come over to him.
“I know what they look like why do I need the sign?” Huey asked.
“Because it’s classy that way. You know what? I’ll just take the other car,” Jeff said, looking for an excuse to go himself.
So now Huey was waiting for these celebrities to come out of the terminal, giving the parking police the finger when they told him he’d been there too long. He looked to his right, saw Jeff standing there holding up the sign because they asked for two cars and Jeff never met a celebrity before. Watched Jeff wipe the sweat off his bald head while trying to maneuver his lard in the suit that was too small three years ago. He’d catch Huey’s eye and motion for him to hold the sign up. Huey just wanted to go home, get this damn suit off him.
Well, not home. He wanted to head over to Cesar’s house, see how the pot business was going. Cesar and Hector were trying to expand, to stop being dealers and become wholesalers. They had a pretty good racket now, driving into Myrtle Beach and selling the drunk college kids weed, overcharging them for it. They’d make a few hundred on the weekends, sometimes getting close to touching a grand. But it was all hustle and Cesar had bigger eyes than that.