ray did not have time to think about how surprised he was to be told he done good, because the girl in the red cape was motioning to him to follow her.
the girl opened a door in one of the dark, abandoned looking buildings. she held it open and ray carried the dead girl inside. ray waited while the girl closed the door behind them.
the room was pitch dark but ray was glad to be out of the snow.
the girl pulled a cord overhead and a single naked bulb came on, barely lighting the room. ray saw a wooden table and a couple of chairs in the room’s center, and large cardboard boxes lining the walls. and a heavy green door in the wall opposite the door they had entered.
the one window was completely boarded up.
“just put her on the table,” the girl told ray.
ray hesitated. the table was covered with dust. “it’s kind of dirty,” he said.
“she won’t mind,” the girl said. but she said it nice, not sarcastic.
ray put the dead girl on the table. when he put her down, he felt light-headed, and realized how heavy she had been.
“what’s your name, pardner?” the live girl asked.
“pleased to meet you, ray” said the girl. “my name is red. and this here is cindy.”
“was cindy,” ray blurted out, and wished he had not said it.
“still might be,” said red matter of factly. “tell me, ray, do you know this neighborhood?”
“yeah, i know it real good. i used to work in one of the old factories.”
“so you are a real old time homeboy. listen, ray, here is what i want you to do.” red looked ray right in the eye, something not many people ever did. “we can bring cindy here back to life, but we have to act fast. we have to get the doc - doctor frank. i would go myself, but the people who got cindy are looking for me, you understand?”
“i understand,” said ray.
“do you know how to get to 17th avenue and 34th street?”
“that used to be dave’s,” said ray, after thinking for a couple of seconds.
“perfect! you really are an old homeboy. well, it’s a chipper’s chicken now. but you go there and tell whoever is behind he counter that you are looking for dwight and that foster sent you. they will know what you mean and get doctor frank. and you bring him back here. can you do that?”
“i’ll do it.”
“you are looking for dwight and foster sent you. can you remember that?”
“dwight and foster. i can remember that.”
“good. i hate to send you back out into the show, but time is of the essence here, if you get my drift.”
snow… drift… was that a joke? ray could not decide, and then it was too late to laugh anyway, so he just said,” i can do it.”
“i appreciate it,” said red. “i really do. and i know you can do it.”
“i can do it,” ray repeated. “i would do anything for you.”