Ten or fifteen fidget in the cafeteria. Folding chairs and tables pushed aside to make a floor. Elephant Gerald plays the handyman washing a mop under the outdoor spigot. Unseen shattering and someone cheers. Ariel shakes her head forlornly, chin like gelatin, hissing into hands. Ada hugs her little sister and sings Toot Toot Tootsie Don't Cry. Everything's all right. Nothing hurts (until Oreste hollers). He bursts through the door, dancing like a cat with Scotch-taped paws. Before the guests can exhale their gasps they have to gasp again. Godfrey's voice tears through the public address system like a tornado ripping up Missouri. Booms to the roomful of ruined minds.

So who's on duty, Flub-a-dub or what? Holy shit, O'Gatty groans. Naughty, naughty, Security clucks. Excuse my French. But there's no one on the other end of the line.

The doorknob turns and Socco slouches through the door, bare feet cut and bleeding from the welcome mat. He sinks to his knees and does a most uncharacteristic thing--he reaches up for Dudley's hands. A melon on a vine--thick neck. Pretty Mary's gone. She climbed over the fence and ran away. Socco can't go on and doesn't need to: he's fallen asleep on the couch. The clicking of clocks made Godfrey jittery. The smell of their playhouse marriage overwhelmed him. It was brutally quick. As the rapist closed the door, Socco's cuckoo came out and the violence returned. Chester kicked Socco to the end of time, and that's when Pretty Mary began to run. He crushes out a cigarette on the Goddess of Love. Baseball cap at a cocky angle. Dwindling bicep flexes before the screen cast muscle shadows on the wall.

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