“What do we have here?” Scarlett wondered as she opened the package she’d found waiting on her front porch when she got home. She often received packages from the fans of her blog, Things That Go Bump in the Night, but she never knew quite what to expect. Sometimes they were interesting, sometimes creepy, occasionally disgusting – but they were never dull. She cut the packing tape, folded back the top, and brushed away a handful of packing peanuts.
“The one thing that I never thought I’d find in church…” Scarlett paused, frowned, and deleted the text. She’d been trying to figure out how to start the newest post for her blog, Things That Go Bump in the Night, for the better part of an hour. Each time she thought she had the first sentence, she ended up deleting it. “So sleepy,” her brain muttered to her. “Let’s go to bed.
“For a building built by an eccentric architect who supposedly belonged to a modern Pythagorean mystery cult, this hotel looks disappointingly normal,” thought Scarlett. She yawned, set down her bag, and pressed the elevator button. The drive down from Cleveland had taken three hours, thanks to a wreck on the highway, and she was already tired from staying up the night before doing research. She’d heard about Hotel Tetra from one of the readers of her blog, Things That Go Bump in the Night.
Shoji checked his watch; he didn’t want to be late for his first shakedown. As he hurried down the crowded streets of Tokyo III, passing businessmen in suits and housewives in smart skirts, people gave him a wide berth. The pompadour haircut; black, leather pants; black shirt; and black, leather gloves made him look like a gangster – which, of course, he was trying to be. After passing the Spaceport, where the whine of antigravity engines filled the air, Shoji cut through Yamamoto Square.
Kat watched the smoke rise through the hazy air, curling and swirling in on itself to form strange little loops. Gordian knots tied and unraveled themselves within the span of a breath, as ripples of air passed by. She pursed her lips and blew, clearing the canvas that hung in front of her, then waited for Beth to light another cigarette. “I still can’t believe they made me black…” Sharon said, staring at her arms.