“The guy’s been there forever,” whispered Shelley.
“I really want to play Pac Man,” replies Arthur in a not as hushed voice.
“How… (she glanced over) how about Space Invaders? Right next to him — you haven’t played that as I recall.”
“Really?” is all Arthur could say to this, giving her a look. Pac Man is classic. Space Invaders is a game for *kids* in his opinion, a shoot-em-up. Not even on the level of archaic Pong.
They went next door to sip on saki for a while but the bleeps and blips from the now lone player at the arcade persisted. “Might as well go back to the hotel, dearest. Prepare for Liz again. I’m kind of eager to try out that broken telephone booth outside — see what kind of action that can produce.”
But Arthur wouldn’t relent, not for that and apparently not for anything. He’d stay here at the upper end of Mortons Gap until the ends of the Earth.
Does this also spell the end of Arthur in our story? Shelley has many suitors available to her, it seems. But there’s Liz. Yes, Liz. Arthur also recalls that and finally relents and goes back to the hotel, eventually ending up at the booth like she desired.
“Hello?” she starts the roleplay. “Is this the Moon?” She slams the receiver back into its carriage. “Damn thing’s broke — no *4*!” On cue, a telephone repairman saunters up to the booth outside, loaded down with the tools of his trade around a maximized belt. Until he dispenses with it.
“Dang, Shelley. Just not in the *mood*. Can’t get *over* that guy back there!”
Yes, Arthur might need to disappear from our story for a while. There’s always Keanoob. And Edward, who most call Eddy these days. Might as well drag another character into the story. Appears to be a motif for the novel by this point — character overload. Location will help stabilize: Mortons Gap here. Both of ’em, actually. 2 places at once.