Grace and Christie headed to Galesburg on the hunt for the customer service center manager at the middle of this inspect spirit jamboree, but he was long gone. Along with several other employees who are likely his insect-infected minions. Did the doctor warn them before Christie magic-mouthed the bug juice out of him? Or does the “master” insect guy somehow know what happens to his progeny? Grace and Christie sure as shit don’t have a clue.
There’s no Denny’s in Galesburg sadly, so Grace couldn’t celebrate in style, but there is a Perkins. Grace was enjoying her Magnificent Nineteen (that’s when you order a Magnificent Twelve and a Magnificent Seven) while Christie listlessly poked at his phone and drank coffee. Grace took a big gulp of horrible orange juice and then frowned at Christie.
“What are you so fucking glum? We kicked ass.”
He didn’t look up from his phone “So do you want me to drop you off back in La Fayette? Shouldn’t take long, it’s less than an hour away.”
“Why would you do that? We still need to find the guy, the egg laying queen in this scenario.”
Christie finally looked up “I thought you said that your finding spell didn’t work.”
“It didn’t. I assume any competent wizard can scatter a spell like that. I’ll keep trying but in the meantime we’ll just look for him the old-fashioned way. Interview people, ask around, something with credit cards maybe? Whatever they do in the cop shows. TARU? I don’t know what that is but the police are always getting answers from TARU. Maybe it’s a search engine for criminals.”
He shook his head tiredly “I can’t fuck around with you on this anymore, I have a show in Milwaukee. And I need to get home.”
Grace jabbed at him with her fork for emphasis “You’re the one who told me that this was a matter of world ending stakes. Are you saying that a hundred buck show in Wisconsin is more important than the entire world? Wisconsin is part of the world. Spoiler.”
He looked around as if someone was coming to help him “I can’t . . . I can’t . . .” he threw his hands up “I have a life! I have . . . stuff . . . I can’t chase monsters around the country.”
Grace snorted “Fuck your life buddy. This is more important than your shitty career and your idiot girlfriend.”
His face turned hard “Don’t call her an idiot.”
Grace gave him a level gaze “If she’s buying your bullshit, she’s an idiot. We’re talking about the fate of the world here, Christie Lane. What don’t you understand about that? Not to mention you’ve murdered at least four women right? Probably a lot more. You don’t get to walk away from that. This isn’t Dexter, champ, there are consequences. This is your penance. Save everyone in the world a few more times and we’ll talk. Maybe God forgives, but I don’t. Not that I believe in God since that social worker stabbed me when I was a kid.”
He slumped in the booth “So what? This is my life now? Traveling around with you and your abuse? What about money?”
“All we need is gas money and a little food. Do a show here and there, pick up a little cash. It’s not like we’re going to be on a bug hunt all the time.”
“Comedy doesn’t work like that.”
“You can come to wrestling shows with me, be my manager. Piss people off, you’d be good at that. You have a natural talent for it. Don’t worry about money, it all works out.” She plucked at her ripped and bloody eight-dollar Wal-Mart shirt “You ever see me change clothes? People don’t need ninety-nine percent of the crap they have. You can get by fine without much. You’ll learn. I can tell by your shitty little kid brat expression you’re about to say something about how you don’t want to do this. Too fucking bad. This is what it is, just accept it.”
Christie wrote something down on a napkin and passed it over “Here.”
Grace picked it up “What’s this?”
“That’s my girlfriend’s number. I want you to call her if anything ever happens to me. I don’t care what you tell her. I just don’t want her to worry.”
Grace huffed “Don’t be so fucking dramatic. Nothing will happen to you as long as you’re with me.”
Grace would have been worried about him ditching her when he went to the bathroom if she didn’t have the keys to the Malibu. But she did so she wasn’t. She wasn’t worried when he was in there more than half an hour either. She figured he was pouting. When the EMTs came in with a gurney, that’s when she got worried. She joined the gathering crowd around the bathroom door and asked what was going on. A trucker with long wild hair around a bald spot and dirty saggy jeans answered.
“Some guy tried to drown himself in the toilet.”
“Tried or did?”