Yeah, I’m running on discarded paper napkins right now, but it doesn’t mean you won’t get the shoddy excuse for entertainment you’ve come to expect from this blog. Here is the latest installment of my short story ‘Is It not Midnight’.
If you haven’t been reading along so far. You can catch up here:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6
Frankel and Winslow exited the shabby doorway of the St. Francis House of Hospitality and stepped into the chill of Autumn. The afternoon shadows were lengthening. The setting sun struck the shelter’s dirty facade, bathing it in gold.
“Another dead end,” Frankel swore. “How is it possible to be homeless in this city and never set foot in a damned shelter, soup kitchen or bus bench. What’s next on the list?”
Both men climbed into Frankel’s unmarked Crown Victoria. Winslow’s shoes rested on an assortment of styrofoam containers and wrappers from local eateries and national chains.
“Listen, why don’t you take off for the day?” said Winslow. “It’s been a long day. Let me check the next place and see if they recognise our victim.”
Frankel turned the keys in the ignition.
“And let some rookie get the glory? Not a chance,” Frankel grunted. “Besides, if we keep pounding the pavement we might just catch a break before the Hungarian gets here.”
Following the conversation with the Lieutenant, Frankel had been grumbling about “foreign influence.” Winslow thumbed through his smartphone for the list of shelters they had compiled.
“The New Day Refuge in Avondale,” said Winslow.
“Is that the one run by that New Age-y drum circle?” asked Frankel.
Winslow tapped and swiped his screen a few more times. The Crown Vic slid into traffic.
“The New Church of the Golden Age,” said Winslow. “They appear to have been investing heavily in social programs lately. They’re building a new pregnancy crisis center too.”
“Funny, I thought all those guys did was dance naked in the forest around a fire.”
When they arrived at the New Day Refuge, the building’s white facade had turned a faded crimson in the setting sun. The surrounding area was a wasteland of abandoned shopfronts, scrubby dead grass, and asphalt. Above the main entrance, some gilded text read, “A NEW DAY DAWNS.” It made a semi-circle above the doorway.
Lap it up little kittens. Lap it up.