Fusion or thereabouts

“Over there is the Greek isle. And beyond it: Dub’s Jungle. They *know*. But, after all, this is a part of Nautilus too I suppose.”

He looks around at his tent site. “Wheeler?”

It’s so beautiful here, so compact, thinks Tom, still looking for Stan but allowing time to take pictures during the search too. Maybe Jim would know the whereabouts of Stan, since he is a friend of both. Tom doesn’t know Stan as well, but Stan owes him money. How much? one may ask. 5 dollars? 50 dollars? Enough to make a relative stranger go in search of him. Why did he owe him money? Jim knows Stan and Tom, or, to put it better, Tom knows Jim knows Stan (and visa versa). But he doesn’t know who Stan knows yet beyond the triangle, can’t see into the unknown. Because there lies Erik.

Actually Tom met Erik through Stan already and suspects that’s who he actually gave the money to. We don’t know the specifics, but that’s what I have so far.

A little help here, Hucka?

Nothing.

—–

Meanwhile, Erik cooks eggs and bacon in Manolis while Susie waits for more customers to approach. “Alright over there?” he calls to his cashier who he plans to fire in a couple of days if business doesn’t pick up. “Perfect,” she replies, and flashes him an appropriate symbol.

It’s just stuff like that he doesn’t like. He flips over the eggs and then perceives the quiet through the sizzle. Someone’s got to put Alvarado on the map! he thinks. Maybe he can devise some kind of fake murder story to draw in the tourists, something to spice up the appeal or broaden the knowledge of the place. He tries to come up with a name as the bacon is now done; slid off the skillet onto a waiting plate. Eggs: just a bit more. Eggs Benedict, he thinks, watching the white continue to set. Combines the name of a traitor with something symbolizing eyes, as if something is there to *look* for — or at. But then he forgets the insight until the next day, when a customer walks in with a camera still in hand and recognizes him.

“Erik?”

Erik turns. “Stan?”

“No: Tom.”

“Tom, right right. Stan’s friend.” He returns to his cooking. 5 customers in here right now, an onslaught for him. 4 eggs and 6 slices of bacon sizzling in one pan. It will be a tricky juggling project and he needs to concentrate. And Susie conveniently on lunch break, bah.

“That right.” Tom waits patiently, shuffles his feet. “How’s business?” he decides to ask in the awkward space, not hearing Erik offer anything about the money he’s owed, and the paying of it. 50 dollars. *No*: 500. 500 dollars. He said his business was doing badly and that’s why I, Tom in the moment, am asking about it, trying to jar his memory if he’s even forgotten about the loan. Maybe just avoiding the subject — probably. He decides to take a snapshot of Erik and put it on his blog with the caption “traitor” underneath it. Is that the right word? Tom decides it is. Erik eases two of the 4 eggs onto a plate. They appear to be eyes to Tom. I *see* who you are (!).

His body was found the next day in the bay, mission accomplished.

(to be continued)

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Filed under **VIRTUAL, 0032, 0215, Nautilus, North, Upper Austra^

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