Grace and 42561 performed the ritual of finding to locate 42561’s second attacker from the morning’s incident. For only the second time, Grace worked magic with a partner. Grace thought about how much easier it is and wondered why everyone she meets is standoffish and afraid to share their magic knowledge. But then she thought about some of the magic people she had met and she knew why.
Despite the insanity of the situation, Grace really hoped that this would lead to her and 42561 teaching each other more about the magic that they could do. 42561 seemed to have no problem maintaining more than one spell at a time, something that Grace found nearly impossible, and because 42561 seemed to know magic that made her strong and tough and physically capable. Which appealed to Grace for obvious reasons. 42561 cast several spells before they were going to head out, all Grace could do was cast her armor spell that only sort of works.
42561 continued her wasp fearmongering “And there’s this other kind of wasp that has venom that can . . .”
Grace cut her off “Do you just watch the fucking wasp channel at day?”
“I figure the most likely places for them to try and inject eggs are the mouth, eyes, ears, genitals, and asshole.”
Grace rolled her eyes “You’ve got pants on, I feel like your asshole is pretty well protected.”
42561 shook her head slowly “There’s this one kind of wasp that has an ovipositor that can smash through tree bark.”
“What the fuck is an oivposter? Forget it, I don’t want to know, can we just go please?”
42561 headed for the bathroom “Let me just find something I can stuff up my ass just in case.”
“Will you shut up about your fucking asshole!?”
Grace’s spell led them to a cosmetic surgery clinic by the name of New You, which threw them off. It was not where they were expecting the trail of an SUV-driving kidnapping dude bro to lead them. After some discussion, Grace went in saying that she was interested in getting some surgery for her scars and she was told to make an appointment. Flummoxed by this turn of events they retired to Porky’s BBQ, home of the best barbecue on Route 66.
Grace smiled over a steaming plate of Sticky Southern Style Chicken “I love barbecue.”
42561 looked on sourly “How can you eat at a time like this? All I can think of is wriggling grubs.”
“How can I eat now? You’re paying right?”
42561 looked out the window like she was searching for something “What are we going to do?”
Grace shrugged “I don’t know, I’ve learned that I’m not very good at investigating. Maybe there’s an online course I can take.”
“I guess we just follow the guy?”
“Don’t you have a show tomorrow night in Texas?
42561 was incredulous “Don’t you think this is a little more important?”
Grace was equally incredulous “You’re going to cancel a show?”
At an impasse of incredulity, 42561 was scrolling through her phone while Grace stripped the delicious chicken flesh and created a small pyramid of bones. Neither one of them said much until Grace was waiting for her slice of peach pie.
“Are you doing anything useful over there or just fucking around?”
42561 glanced at her over the edge of her battered iPhone “Useful like what?”
“Do a search for that clinic.”
42561 snorted “Why? You want to see what kind of reviews they have on Yelp?”
“Maybe someone went there and says they got attacked by a bug monster.”
42561 rolled her eyes “Yeah right.”
But she did check. And she did find something. A woman had filled up her social media with complaints about the clinic. New You describes themselves as being private and discreet, but the poster had ranted at length about a private investigator showing up at the clinic while she was there in the waiting room. The woman, who claimed to be a celebrity, although neither Grace or 42561 had heard of her, said that he was there to spy on her for TMZ. She said that the PI denied that, and claimed to be looking for a man named James Kalisach, but that was “clearly a cover story”.
What’s interesting about that? Grace looked up James Kalisach and 42561 confirmed that was the man they tried to grab her. The one whose neck she didn’t break. Further social media probing revealed that James Kalisach works for the SoCal Courier, and was in a car wreck several years ago that left him with a badly disfigured eye. For which he has had many different cosmetic surgeries.
Grace looked up from her phone and over the pulled pork sandwich and Long Island Iced Tea she had ordered ‘so we’re not just sitting here’ at 42561 “Is this what investigating is? Just stalking people on social media?”
42561 shook her head slowly “I guess so. Everyone just puts their lives out there for anyone to see. It must be really easy to work for the CIA now.”
They were both quiet for a moment as they thought about how much they share on social media. A silence which Grace eventually broke.
“So what have we learned? The guy with one eye came here to get plastic surgery. And then he and a bug guy try to kidnap you. And now he’s back at the plastic surgery place? Someone thinks he’s missing, and that person hired a PI to find him. Which taken all together means what?”
“Maybe we should get in touch with the PI. See what he knows.”
“Plus we can find the guy with one eye for him, so maybe he’ll cut us in on the money. Those guys aren’t cheap, I know, so they have to be raking in the cash.”