Supersymmetry – a short excerpt from The Approximate Distance To Limbo

After Ritchie and his sister had left, Wanda checked into her room, dropped off her bags, and immediately changed into warmer, darker clothing and went out to hail down a cab. She got the cabbie to take her as close to the Navy Yards as he would go, and then walked the rest of the way. She spotted security guards and dogs, which she thought was a bit extreme, but she searched the perimeter for any signs of a hidden entrance. If someone was getting in and out of the place, there had to be a hole somewhere that was being overlooked. If no such hole existed, then in all likelihood it was a dead end.

She had been very careful not to be spotted by the patrols, and had managed to cover the entire fence perimeter, but had found nothing obvious. The fence had areas that looked weak, but no holes or trees or piled up garbage to make entry easier. She even pulled away a pile of crates to see If they concealed a hole, but to no avail.

She was alone in the darkness of early evening, and it was getting colder by the minute. She started to head back to the safety of the hotel when she thought she spotted someone double back to avoid bumping into her. She continued on her way until she had turned a corner and immediately looked for a shadowy spot to watch from.

Moments later, she saw Walter shamble along, looking to see if she was gone. He didn’t spot her in the deeper shadows, but she held very still. He was wearing dirty clothing, but the thing she noticed that put a new fear into her was that Walter was covered in dried blood stains. He didn’t appear to be injured, however. He looked gaunt and pale, underfed and slightly unstable. He looked like he hadn’t slept in days. She had trouble even imagining he could get around the city dressed like that. Surely the police would stop anyone covered in blood.

She watched to see where he went next, and saw him enter a nearby building site that had an open sewer entrance in its back yard. She didn’t think it was a proper sewer, or it would probably empty out onto the Hudson. She figured it must be a maintenance hatch or something like that. Still, it was weird that the security team at the naval yard didn’t have anyone posted here. Perhaps they thought it was still locked tight. The bits of lock littering the ground as she passed over the transom suggested it hadn’t been too long ago that it had been inspected. That jibed with what Ritchie had told her. Ritchie being right about anything left a bad taste in her mouth.

She followed Wally from a careful distance, and saw him enter the sewer entrance. She followed after him by about a minute, and hoped he wouldn’t be too far ahead of her, but she had to be careful from here on in. Wally might be in trouble, or he might be involved, but either way, she needed to see Sandy and Danny, to be sure of what she was seeing.

Wanda heard foot steps echoing off into the distance as she searched, but had lost sight of Wally within minutes. Soon she was wandering blind thorough dimly-lit tunnels and filth-ridden chambers whose function she could only imagine. Perhaps they were wartime bunkers or something. The rooms were atrocious now, obviously a den for generations of vagrants. She was deeply afraid she would soon have her answer, and that she wouldn’t like it.

When she found her way into a small medical office, she was horrified by the stench. It was as if something had crawled in and died there. She found the light and was surprised to find two human-shaped garbage bags laying on the only two tables in the room. They were duct taped shut, but she was able to peel back enough tape on one to open it enough to see inside. It was Daniel Bond.
He looked like he had been dead for at least a week, and by the look of anguish on his face, it had been a painful death. She didn’t want to take a chance of being caught unwrapping the whole body, and the smell was making he gag in any case. She decided she didn’t want to know what had killed Danny. But she had to know for certain who was in the other bag. Moments later, she was staring at the emaciated, rotting grimace of the once-lovely Sandra Christie. Both of the bodies were in a state of decomposition, and the roaches were starting to crawl back into view, now that the initial shock of light had ceased to bring instant death to them.

Wanda’s heart was breaking as she stood there, watching. She reached into her pocket for her phone, and then realized with horror that she had left it in her nice coat back at the hotel. Fuck!
Deciding it was well past time to get out, she turned to leave, and just made the doorway when a strong fist crashed into her face and everything went black.

© 2012 Lee Edward McIlmoyle

Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.


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