Eddie walked to the edge of town, where the brabbles grow, before the others were awake. He brought a cup of hot coffee from home (single origin, direct trade, organic, light roast) in a cup he stole from Eddie #2, and a pączki filled with the dreams of a huckleberry plant. His plan was to eat the pączki in the brabble field, to dip it in the piping hot beverage he had brought so the sensual liquid soaked through to the huckleberry dreams inside, releasing their silky aroma of lovers regrets.
“Take small bites, Eddie,” he reminded himself, like he had learned in pączki-eating class. “Let the sweet dough disintegrate between the roof of your mouth and your tongue, eyes closed, as the brabbleflies awake, the aria of their morning light surrounding you, filling your heart with the sense of wonder you have lost.”
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The Chief sat behind his plywood desk, sopping sweat from his greasy forehead with a Dunkin’ Donuts napkin. The man was a wet cookie dough sausage with a pushbroom moustache and a bulldog’s temper.
He slammed a doughy fist down and pointed his index hot dog right in my face.
“You’re going to do this story for me, Ace. You’ll do it, or you’ll never work in this town again.”
“I’m done with this town and done with the paper and done with you,” I told him. “I’ve seen too much filth and eaten too much grit out of the gutters of these mean streets to see this thing through to the bitter end.”
She came to see me the night she shot her lover. She stood on my porch in the rain, her big wet eyes staring plainly through the window, saying nothing. The water poured down over her and left a thick trail of black mascara on each of her ivory cheeks. Her hands hung limp at her sides, her fingers pale and wrinkled.
I opened the door.
“Come in,” I told her.
She waited in the hallway while I got towels from the closet. She said nothing when I...