Authors: Jeffrey Thomas
The paramedics attended to Del, lifted him onto a stretcher, into the other helicar. Sophi was there with him now, and she held his hand. Radio chatter. Activity. A needle being inserted into his arm, taped in place, colorful monitor screens. The pain blocker drained away the agony. Del smiled up at his wife weakly, drowsy.
“Too bad…looks like I’ll be alright, huh? For a minute there I thought I’d be a star again. VT specials on my life. Collected retrospectives of my work. Black velvet paintings. I thought I’d be the next Lotto-ichi.”
Sophi laughed through her tears. She thought of the plastic bust of that Tikkihotto musician-political hero she had given Del, with its realistic moving eye tendrils; a music box. “Oh well,” she said. “You’ll just have to settle for being mortal.”
“I will be really famous again, I’ll bet…for now. I was shot tonight. I shot a boy and clubbed to death the man who raped my wife.” Del’s tone had turned sober. “There’s a VT movie in that. A mini-series.”
“Maybe. But I’ll be glad when it goes back to just the people who really appreciate you and your music. Won’t you?”
“Yes,” Del admitted.
Mitch Garnet clambered up into the helicar. “Del,” he said.
“Sorry, sir, no room,” a paramedic ordered him.
“I’ll be okay. See you at the med trailer,” Del reassured him.
Mitch reluctantly backed off. “Alright–see you inside.” How much more pale and shaken could Mitch Garnet look tonight? He’d get better, as Del would. But he would always be haunted in some way by tonight. Those who had survived tonight, those who survived
night, were affected in little ways or big ways.
For Dolly Horowitz, tonight was the night her daughter had died. Tonight a Choom man had given his girlfriend an engagement ring while they were high in the triple Ferris Wheel. Mrs. Oggen, an elderly Choom woman who had submitted a jar of preserves to be judged, would proudly return tomorrow to retrieve it, and would remember this year primarily as the year she had won first prize.
The helicar lifted and bore Del Kahn and Sophi Kahn back into the carnival.
About the Author
JEFFREY THOMAS' first book set in his milieu of Punktown was the collection titled
, from which a story was reprinted in
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror #14
. It will soon be released by Prime with twice as many stories as the original edition. His 2003 Punktown novel
was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in the Best First Novel category.
Punktown: Third Eye
is a shared-universe anthology of stories written by other authors in addition to Thomas. He lives in Massachusetts, and every Labor Day weekend makes a pilgrimage to the Spencer Fair, which inspired him to write
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