Chapter 44



Cameron and Pepe approached the bench where Nicole sat with her legs crossed, her face basking in the sun.  Her eyes were closed and they thought she had not heard them as they stepped in front of her.

With her eyes still closed, Nicole spoke, “You have only helped the operatives to their next lives.”

“I feel better anyway,” said Pepe.

“I have to agree,” said Cameron.  “Much better.”

“There is no stopping Rex Mundi, for this is his world,” Nicole brought her head down from basking in the sun and then slowly opened her eyes, “and his operatives are everywhere.”

Nicole’s eyes were vacuous and had she not spoke, Cameron and Pepe would have thought her in a trance.  Her gaze locked passed them.  They turned toward each other and then out into the park where Nicole had fixed her stare.

At a hot dog cart directly across the clearing, a provincial police officer laughed at his partner for spilling sauce on his white uniform.  The vendor, speaking quickly and waving a fistful of napkins and a bottle of water, was not getting either of the police officers’ attention.  Next to the hot dog stand, in front of the park fountain, a thin white faced mime pushed his hands against the walls of an invisible box, the top and sides closing in on him, while two young couples watched his performance.  Off to the side of the clearing, a group of college students were gathered on three blankets spread across the lawn for a picnic.

“You are saying all of these people are all operatives?” asked Pepe.

“No,” answered Cameron, “she is saying he is.”

Behind the fountain, in a tweed cap, sunglasses, and t-shirt, stood a thin man looking back in their direction, his open smile gaping and familiar.

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