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This Shoal of Space:

Zoë Calla & the Dark Starship

(World's First E-Book—Published On the Web in 1996 For Digital Download)

a Dark SF novel originally titled Heartbreaker

by John Argo

Preface   Chapter 1   Intralog  Part I-Chapter 2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   Part II-Chapter 66   67   68   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   Outlog


Chapter 51.

"It is about time," Gilbert told his father's head. He'd found it in the water house, all that was left when the White Stuff got done with his old man.

The head stared back in shock, sealed inside a jar full of vinegar and moss-and-mustard green dill pickle juice.

Gilbert smiled in the semi-darkness of the Burtongale Building, where cruel gryphons perched—on high spires, under inky clouds that tossed a pelting rain this way and that, stinging with hail.

Gilbert rifled through his Dad's phone list. "You old fool," he muttered, "you almost gave the game away before I could get my dear sweet girl." Rain rattled on the green copper roof of the spire as Gilbert dialed the newspaper. The night operator answered, sounding tired because it was near morning, and her daytime relief would soon be there.

"This is Wallace Burtongale," he said.

"Oh yessir!" the woman said in a suddenly awake voice.

"Please ensure that the following message is put on the desk of ZoŽ Calla in the Obit Section of the City Room. Are you ready?"

"Yes! Yessir!"

"Miss Calla," Gilbert dictated, "I regret recent events, and wish to help you with a story. Please come to see me this morning in Room XV, East Tower of the Burtongale Building. Just come right up when you are ready. I will be waiting for you."

Gilbert thanked the operator and hung up, thinking of how he would touch ZoŽ Calla. How she would feel to his fingertips, that pale soft flesh like angel food cake that Frank MacLemore must have stroked with his nicotine-yellowed fingers and licked with his cocaine-whitened tongue. "I will be waiting for you, my Forever Love."


Copyright © 1990-1996-2014 by John Argo, Clocktower Books. All Rights Reserved.