wall. Dennis. Dennis scrambled off the floor, gasping and yelping and
clutching his side. He stared with wide, wild eyes. “Holy shit!” he cried.
“Dad! Oh, my god!”
“Dennis.” Simon lay on the floor, looking up. “Jesus, Dennis.”
“It’s me, Dad! Holy fuck!”
“Why are you here?”
Dennis stood panting and staring. Anny, pale, said softly, “This was
going to be a surprise.” The look she cast toward Simon was awful.
“What were you trying to do with that spoon?” Dennis asked, voice
shrieky. Blood swelled and ran on his cheek where Simon had got the
spoon into him.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Simon stood. He dropped the spoon on the
marble floor, where it made a terrible clatter. “I was going to gouge your
Ten minutes later Dennis was already proclaiming forgiveness. “It was
an understandable mistake,” he said. “The dark and all. Don’t worry,
Dad. I’m OK. I’ll be good. I wasn’t looking for it, though. You caught me
off guard—who expects to be suckered by his own dad?—or I would have
done better. But give you credit, you know how to take a dude down. I
didn’t know you had that in you, tiger.” Simon bowed his head and listened and made an effort to appear grateful. But he knew Dennis and
knew that anything Dennis said had to be regarded as temporization.
Then he remembered the suitcase. It still rested in the corner, obscured
by the sofa. He picked it up and opened it on the coffee table and riffled
through. Some clothes. An empty leather purse. Two cell phones. An
Inside the envelope he found a stack of photos. They showed the girl
who’d left the suitcase naked, having sex with a man Simon did not recognize. The photos were strangely focused and unpleasant. Where he
could see her eyes, they were closed.
He glanced up and saw Dennis looking. He put the photos back and
shut the suitcase. “Excuse me a minute,” he said. He carried the suitcase out the door and downstairs. Although it crossed his mind that the
police might want it, he didn’t care. He found a large steel-sided waste
bin and threw it in and shoved it down into the stinking rubbish.
But as he returned to the apartment, he felt a sudden clutching, as if
someone had grabbed him around the chest, and he stopped and fell to
his knees on the sidewalk. Silvery, writhing things moved at the edge