The Causeway – Chapter 3
DEAD COPS, LIMOUSINE TRUNKS, AND PETER, PAUL AND MARY
“Breaking news. Several casinos in Las Vegas filed for bankruptcy today as an unprecedented amount of longshot sports bets came through for big spenders. The casinos were unable to pay the full amount owed to the bettors, and were forced to file for chapter 11 and close down business. A single casino survived what’s come to be known as The Gambling Apocalypse of 2013, a small shop next to McCaren airport called Uncle Ray’s Sports Book. The owners of the bankrupt casinos are crying foul. One former casino executive, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that sports books all over the city were taken completely by surprise by the heavy influx of long odds bets. Hundreds of big money bets came in just minutes before the events took place, and the bookmakers did not have time to adjust the lines accordingly. He went on to say that he hopes the state of Nevada will conduct a thorough investigation of the timing and circumstances of these events, for what just happened is statistically impossible. Gary Schneider, one of the bettors who was able to be paid before the casinos ran out of money, responded by saying ‘nothing is statistically impossible, there are only things that are very, very unlikely.’ We’ll have more as this story develops. Back to KRIP, your home for news, weather, and all the greatest folk songs of the sixties.”
“How many roads must a man walk down…”
Charlie sat in the back of a limousine, trying to wrap his mind around what just happened. How did Officer Snyder know who he was? Why was he so hell-bent on revenge for things that clearly didn’t happen? Why was the police station empty? Shouldn’t it have been bustling with activity? Shouldn’t there have been someone on duty, manning the phones, the dispatch, the jail? There wasn’t even anyone in the jail cell. No drunks spending the night sleeping off a bender, no junkies or thieves or gang members or teenagers arrested for downloading movies. There should have been someone there.
“The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind…”
And then there was this mysterious businessman from CTC Industries who conveniently showed up to save Charlie’s life. Not that he wasn’t grateful, Charlie was moments away from being executed. Though it was disconcerting to sit in the back of a limo while his savior happily stuffed Officer Snyder’s body in the trunk. Was he whistling back there? Was Charlie really about to go on a job interview immediately after such a traumatic experience? Was this really part of a time travel paradox?
“The answer is blowin’ in the wind.”
No. That was stupid. Charlie refused to let his mind go down that road. Charlie was an expert in this area, and knew for a fact that time travel was impossible. Even if it was, the power requirements would be so enormous that it would black out California’s power grid for one measly little two hour trip back in time. That would be a steep price to pay for a little extra sleep. Yet the more Charlie ran Snyder’s words through his mind, the more it seemed he was referring to time travel. No, no, and no. Officer Snyder was simply crazy. Period. End of story. He was looking for someone to blame for the death of a family member or wife or ex-partner or…
The mystery man opened the driver’s side door. “How you holdin’ up, Chief? I imagine you’re a bit confused. I suppose that’s only natural.” Words failed to form in Charlie’s mouth. He wanted to say so much, wanted to ask so many questions, but all he could do was stare blankly at the stranger with his mouth hanging open.
“Tell you what. I’ll drive us back to HQ where you can clean up and compose yourself. I’ll have to make a pit stop to empty the trunk, of course, but it shouldn’t be more than five minutes out of the way.”
Charlie’s jaw started to move up and down. It seemed the speech center of his brain was slowly re-establishing contact with his mouth. Soon he would be capable of grunting in confusion. The mystery man started the limo and casually drove off as a row of police cars passed them in the other direction, filing into the parking lot of the receding police station.
“After you regain your faculties and put on a nice, proper suit, I can take you up to meet the head honcho. Man, has he been dyin’ to meet you.”
Charlie decided to stop trying to apply reason to this day. He stopped wondering why all these complete strangers were so interested in him, whether they wanted to murder him or give him a job at a company he had never heard of that was claiming to provide the impossible. He stopped trying to apply logic to this chaos. He just leaned his head back and drooled on the black leather seat in the back seat of the limousine.
“…The answer is blowin’ in the wind.”