Narrator travels to Cincinnati to find out what really happened to his nephew. The newspapers are frustratingly uninformative. In exploring his nephew's death, the narrator gets himself in some trouble... trouble of a supernatural bent. Old troubles follow.
I was left in the cold waiting for half an hour, after my train came in. I knew I couldn't go to the gym right away. Weren't going to be much of nothing open at three in the morning. The bars had let out and all that were left on the street were the homeless and the loveless, seeking shelter from their loss.
It was late autumn and the memories of warmth were already flying away, like chevrons of birds looking for better days. It had rained before I got into town, so the streets were dark and shiny, rife with the smell of oil and yearning.
The newspaper said my sister's kid had been part of some sort of organized crime thing, but I knew Joseph. Hell, I trained him for the first few years. Big knuckles and big ego, but he also had a big heart, and he wouldn't have gone in for that kinda crap. He wasn't an idiot. He didn't want to threaten his chances in the ring.
He'd come to the city for training, to make him faster, better. Fifteen wins, eight of them knock-outs. He knew the value of hard work. He didn't want no short-cuts.
But it all went south a week before. Joseph and two others--an Italian and a Nigerian, also fighters--all found dead in a hotel room downtown. Bunch of witnesses saw them leave the bar in the Millennium with more skirts than guys. Headed upstairs to a room booked in Joseph's name.
Story goes that twenty-minutes later, neighboring rooms called security on account of the girls started screaming. Hotel Security locked down the place so the newspapers didn't get near. But they did splash the front-page with photos of the girls, wide-eyed and bloody in the back of an ambulance. Like something out of a slasher flick.
By the time Peter pulled up in the battered dodge ram, It was really coming down outside. I'd just about given up and started walking. Peter didn't say much. I figured he was sore for me calling him out at three in the morning. But, that's what you do for family. You put yourself out there. Peter was always good for that. Ever since way back in the day.
There had to be something I could take back to Joseph's mother. Joseph was a fighter. He wasn't gonna go down easy. Maybe he was drugged or he'd been injured or something.
So Peter dropped me at the Hotel. It'd been twenty years since I was last there, and they'd given the place a face-lift. Too many ghosts for me. But I was doing this for Jadzia and Joseph. Besides, I was nobody now. All my ghosts were put to rest a long time ago...