“Figured you might be here, Biker.”
Well. I had to go *somewhere*. *Burt*. Wasn’t that your name the last time we met? Black Lake Bunch?”
“Brutus, actually. But enough of the past.” He fondled his skeleton heart medallion hung from his neck like an underweight albatross, knowing he had to further the plot. Biker was merely following steps.
“Evening wood be too kind for this sky.” He waited. Nothing. This must not be Eveningwood.
“Amazon is awfully hot for June.” Nothing. But then:
“Ama*zonia*.” Bingo. We can continue the dance.
She stepped out of the subway and into the light.
“Mother?” Cory asked at the top of the stairs, hands folded. He hadn’t seen her in nigh on 20 years.
“Cory?? My little baby???”
“It’s me, Mother. Your little Cory.”
They hug. They embrace. Cory had heard she had been gunned down in a crosswalk over in Urqhart or thereabouts but here she was, full of blood again and pumping like hell. He could feel her heart pound through his. He hugged more. She embraced more. It was a warm moment, hot even.
She drew back from him, arms still entwined. “*My* *little* *Cory*.”
“Yes, Mother. It’s me.”
She exhales bigly. “Wellll. Where’ve you been??”
“Where *haven’t* I been.”
“Biking. So Peter tells me. And Jonathan.”
“Biking with a man named Biker, yes. I’m a biker, he’s a biker, but more than one. TWO TO KNOW.”
“What did you say, darling??” She hadn’t heard that expression in years and years, the last time being…” She unclasped his arms from hers, stood back, staring, no love in her eyes now, or just shock. She knew this wasn’t her little boy all grown up. She knew that this was some kind of doppleganger manufactured for a reason. *A* *reason*.
“Mother? Anything wrong?” He couldn’t even see it in her eyes, but he wasn’t programmed that way.
This Middletown was big, far as the eye could spy. Women wearing red wishing they were wearing blue. Visa versa. It was all a big game of 2 in this most central of cities.