5. Whiteman across the table
In the foggy dark of twilight, a dirty empty diner on the industrial edge of the Vast World City, I wait, trembling, nails bitten down, jittery, grinding at my back teeth, untouched coffee before me, scratching at my nicotine patch.
The whiteman walks through the door, impossibly tall, stooping to come in, he is white, but he is dressed in cream, and he walks up, sits down across from me, and smiles at me with yellow teeth. He opens his mouth and takes out an albino cockroach and hands it to me. It tickles at my hand as the voices at the edge of my mind begin to talk over one another, screaming quietly, I can hear the fear in their voices, tickling, white legs on my palm, the whiteman’s hand covering my own —
He opens his mouth again, about to say something, and the cockroach in my hand is gone. He nods at me, rises, and walks out of the diner.
Just like they said, I think. I corral my legions, and they go silent. I open my hand. In it is a page ripped from a book, thin, like drug paper. I look at it. The page number, 362, is highlighted, as is the chapter title, Corinthians.
An address. A clue. What I sought.