willie was having a nice dream. one of his usual dreams, nothing special, but still a nice dream.
in his dream, willie was sitting all alone in a big auditorium, like madison square garden or the roman collosseun - the kind of place that had not existed in his lifetime and that he had only seen on videos and in comic books.
a beauty contest was in progress. the contestants were wearing one piece bathing suits of various colors and they all had long legs.
willie’s phone rang.
he woke up immediately and grabbed the phone off the box beside his cot. the call was from joe b, so he answered it.
willie, look out your window, man.
willie only had one window. he could pretty much look out of it from his cot but got up and moved the two steps to the window, and looked out.
it was starting to snow. willie didn’t see anything except the snow.
“i don’t see nothing, just snow.”
“look down by the street. just inside the alley. there should be a body there.”
“yeah, a body. you don’t see it?”
“afraid not. but it’s snowing.”
“go down and take a look.”
“all right.” willie grabbed his coat from the foot of the cot and went out into the hall. he didn’t lock the door behind him.
willie’s room was on the third floor. the elevator got stuck a lot so he never used it.
“i’m going down the stairs,” willie told joe. “i don’t like to use the elevator because it gets stuck sometimes.”
“that’s good, willie. that’s good. it shows you’re thinking. it’s why we like you so much. and we wouldn’t want you to get stuck.”
willie got down the stairs and on to the street. he did not see a body or anything else in the alley or near it.
he walked the length of the alley.
“there is nothing here,” he told joe.
“are you sure?”
“i’m sure. you want me look for it? what exactly am i looking for?”
“no, no. here is what you do. go back up to your room, and call emergency. tell them you saw a body.”
“and then nothing. tell them you saw a body, you are a good citizen, you reported it. and that’s it. no details, so that you can’t screw the story up. you saw a body, you reported it. you think you can handle it?’
“then just do it. your cooperation is sincerely appreciated. thank you.”
joe was gone. willie put the phone back in his pocket. he stood for a few seconds looking down the alley at the swirling snow.