“I’ve just realized…I haven’t seen any homeless people or beggars on the street for at least a month. Where did they all go?”
The words where hardly out of Andrew’s mouth when he regretted them. His partner, Cary, was eying him strangely.
“What do you mean, Andy?” he asked, cautiously, Andrew thought. Like there was a secret he wasn’t supposed to know. There were a lot of those in the City Police Force. Too many.
“Well, there used to be the blonde lady down on Castor Street, the one that you could see the spark in? Like ‘man, this woman must have been hot in her heyday?’ I haven’t seen her in… since the day I got the promotion,” he realized, and then, more to his chagrin, realized he was still talking. Verbal diarrhea. It had cost him comfortable promotions and raises before, before he and June moves to the City. Was it going to lose him another one?
Cary was certainly still looking at him oddly. “I know her,” he answered slowly. “And the old black man down on West Indes Street…”
“..the one who would sing with the sweetest voice, every time you dropped a dollar in his cup?” Andy nodded eagerly, half hoping that this was going somewhere positive and half not caring, because these things needed to be said. “I remember him! The day after I got the promotion, I bought him a sandwich, and he sang for me for twenty minutes.”
Cary’s look was changing. “This city has a lot of beggars.”
“Had, it looks like. Man, is something happening?” He was always the last to know. “Bussing, or a serial killer no-one wants to tell me about, or something?”
“Something’s happening all right,” Cary answered slowly. “Get your coat. We’re taking a walk.”
Wishing that didn’t sound so much like “wandering into a back alley,” Andy slipped his coat on. “You knew something was going on?”
“You’re new, you see. No-one knew if they could trust you, so they gave you to me. But if you’ve heard Old Tyler sing, that means you passed.”
“You passed. And now, Andy… well, there’s more to our City than meets the naked eye. Come on, and I’ll show you.”
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/247353.html. You can comment here or there.