“Good,” Ran answered. He introduced us. We gave her the shift report—a verbal run down of how the shift went, of any changes with the residents, and anything she would need to know for her shift.

After we finished, Ran went to the entertainment center and pulled out the gaming console and controllers. He ejected the disk and tossed it to Jason. “That’s yours?” I asked.


“The console’s mine, the game’s Jason’s. This doesn’t belong to any of the residents,” he said. “Most of them couldn’t afford one,” he justified, as though his entertaining the underprivileged with his own toys were a grand humanitarian gesture.


“Noble, but no one ever died from lack of video games,” I said, hearing the violins in his voice. He laughed, brushing off my remark with a joke.  The violins had turned to fiddles again.


He put the gaming gear with the rest of his gadgets. He packed some of them into a large hiking backpack, others into a smaller daypack, and the smallest devices went into the cargo pockets of his snowboarding vest. His luggage contained a plethora of gizmos and playthings, many of which I had yet to see. I watched him array himself with all the electronics. “Don’t you think you ought to be more concerned with a robot apocalypse than zombies?”


His eyes crinkled at me. His question was real: “Whatcha talkin’ about?” He disappeared with a grin.


“Nice to meet you.” I waved to Tiffany.


“You too.”


I clocked out and walked outside as Ran pulled out of the driveway. Jason climbed into his H3. “Hey, Core, you working swing shift again tomorrow?” he asked.




“Which house?”


“Whichever one they send me to.”


“Tell ’em you want to work with your homeboys at Nailor,” he said, but he knew pool staff did not have a choice. We provided coverage where we were sent.


“Good luck with your meeting tomorrow,” I said.




There was a decal in the corner of his rear window. I watched it diminish as he pulled away, a schematic rendering of brass knuckles.

The End

0 comments about this story Feed