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Break-Up (30)

UNITED STATES—One-time detective Devon Zorba was jarred. It was as if he’d pulled a trigger and devastated a life that was already tossing on the spindrift toward the rocks. The question like herd of pink elephants, like the smell of burnt pita bread, hung heavy in the air. What had caused the hideous punishment to The Leader’s body? Time would...

Break-Up (29)

UNITED STATES—The die was cast: An opalescent pile of pill-pods glittered hypnotically in the noon day sun, which spared the eye little that was unpleasant, such as the raw welts near the base of the spine where the pill-pods had been lanced. It seemed later, but the sundial—one of the crude technologies permitted by the old lady inside The...

Break-Up (28)

UNITED STATES—The Leader raised from the dead with each step stood taller. Out he strode to the shores of the sea of wheat that fluttered in the wind in the sun. And he threw off the robe and the bulbous figure stood on spindly legs, the old and decadent farmer, raised to the level of supreme ruler, stood naked...

Break-Up (27)

UNITED STATES—“As I said before, the killer saw something so traumatic that it triggered cognitive dissonance. He blotted it out of his mind or thought he was dreaming. What they saw before fleeing the crime was that the victim of the hammer-blow was someone identical to himself. Identical to the twin brother given up for adoption that the killer...

Break-Up (20)

UNITED STATES—Zorba, the ousted detective taken to the land “up there,” stared at the tired turtle in the bed and looked for breathing movement. A greenish cast imbued the wrinkled head, covered by a film of dust. Long charcoal gray hair curled over a soiled pillowcase. No breathing movement was detected. Conclusion: Here they stood before a mummified body. Detective...

Break-Up (17)

UNITED STATES—The farmhouse was farther away than it looked. The brothers, flanking Zorba --former Detective Zorba-- trudged as the crow flies toward the white clapboard house and they crossed through a cornfield that was tall, almost tall as they were. The razor-sharp edges of its long silky green leaves cut Zorba’s bare hands. The former detective pondered an urge to...

Break-Up (13)

UNITED STATES—Indeed. The different chapter for the world had begun. It was a phone that was the start of definitively breaking relations with the Underground Cities in 2033, Zorba recalled. The Leader “up there” had abolished all phones in a startling degree. Years earlier photography had been abolished. Phones had been thought to make people stupid, to ridicule them...

Break-Up (12)

UNITED STATES—The case ended successfully for Detective Zorba. A trash collector in the magnetic train stations had emptied the contents of a trash can and turned up a wallet tossed out and a vodka bottle, it turned out to belong to the manager of the smoke/payday establishment, so he got his identity and got his cards back. The culprit...

Break-Up (10)

UNITED STATES—The clandestine reports that came from the land "up there" contrasted wildly and that, too, accounted for Detective Zorba's fascination for playing with a cold case "up there." When Robbins, the sergeant, strolled by the luminous desk in the dark office, which naturally served to conceal things, Zorba's instinct was to crouch over the screen where the photos...

Break-Up (8)

UNITED STATES—This was the part of our story where, sunken in the depths of despair over what I had done, I should awake and instantly shed the lead blanket of dread and be flooded by joy, knowing it had been a dream, trailing the Russian from the smoke shop and inexplicably, irresistibly, bludgeoned him with the hammer that kept...
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