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Wayne Kyle Spitzer
Copyright © 2004, 2017 Wayne Kyle Spitzer. All Rights Reserved. Published by Hobb’s End Books, a division of ACME Sprockets & Visions. Cover design Copyright © 2017 Wayne Kyle Spitzer. Please direct all inquiries to: HobbsEndBooks@yahoo.com
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this book is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Though it was the height of tourist season, the beaches were closed. The canted umbrellas of seasons past with their gay colors and lounging owners were gone, leaving only bottles and cans and a few forgotten sand buckets, which poked up here and there from the smothered shore like broken, scattered tombstones. The billboards along the promenade had long since fallen into disrepair; now they appeared stripped and worn down in the withering sun, their images of soft drinks and gyros peeling. Even "Shady the Sea-monster" seemed to frown, as if the greedy black tide and the oily spray had finally killed what the skeptics couldn't—his ability to feed the imagination.
Before the oil spill the residents had relied on natural means to purge the beaches of waste. After all, for the ambitious scavenger, food could be found there. But since the disaster the number of visiting sea birds had dropped steadily, until, at last, the squawking throngs had all but vanished.
Only the Cathode Ray Cafe, the dingy backside of which extended onto the pier ("As if it were taking a shit in the ocean, someone had once said), and its "Wor1d Famous" clams remained. Though the smoky aromas wafting from its vents now were of pig fat and lard, not clams. And those had to compete with the stench of crude oil.
Still, Wen Tsui smiled as he flipped rows of bacon with quick twists of his wrist. The Seattle Mariners were scheduled to play the Boston Red Sox this morning, and his was the only watering-hole in town with a projection TV. Business would be good. Cold beer and cash would flow like white water, and his American Dream would survive another day. Already five orders of hash-browns, crisp bacon, and poached eggs sat in the window, steaming.
"Order up, Sian!" he called.