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Revitalization, My Lovely, Chapter 4
July 1, 2005: When local development lovely Lara Tremor pulled into the parking lot of the Samaria Lounge it was already packed with cars. Though it hadn't rained for days most had license plates splattered with mud. Making it impossible to read the numbers.

The lounge and its adjoining motel, the Samaria Deep Six, were popular with pols and players from a wide swath of New Jorksacutt. Nosy reporters had a habit of cruising the lot. The feds made the rounds as well. Despite the interest of the latter, both lounge and motel were guaranteed bug free. Proprietor Nick Garbagapolous swept them twice daily. Using top of the line bug detectors, paid for with Homeland Security dollars. Courtesy of Governor Herb Kuspitor. Since the Gov often consulted with his aides at the Samaria Deep Six, vigilance (and funding) was needed lest terrorists attack him in the sack.

The Samaria lay just over the Slaugerton county line. Which was why dead political consultant Bob Slotsky had picked it as the place to meet Lara Tremor and Slaugerton Mayor Terry McConn. Earlier in the week Lara and McConn had murdered Slotsky in McConn's condo. After discovering Slotsky was wearing a wire. Now Slotsky was back from the dead and doing a shake-down. But he didn't want to risk a replay of die Bob die. Not that Lara and McConn had the foggiest about how to do a zombie.

At least Slotsky won't be wearing a wire, thought Lara as she entered the Samaria. Nick didn't just sweep the premises: he had security specialists using X-Ray gizmos at all entrances. Slotsky would have to negotiate his "reparations" (Lara's lip curled) in private. Just between friends.

The lounge was as dark as Lara's thoughts re Slotsky. She couldn't tell if he or McConn had arrived. Until McConn's hand fell on her shoulder.

"Lara!" McConn seemed in high spirits. Though just a few hours ago he'd been whining about how much he hated to meet with Slotsky. Hinting how only Lara should go. Saying he preferred to remember his old buddy as he was when alive. Asking Lara if she thought Slotsky would stink. No more than usual, she'd snapped. She hated it when McConn turned needy. But now he was pumped. His jowls quivered and his eyes glittered like chips of mica in a buckled sidewalk. Lara wondered if he'd been to the john one too many times.

Lara slid into a booth with McConn right behind. A candle in red glass lit their faces from below. After the waitron delivered their Zombies (McConn's little joke) Lara launched.

"Why so chipper Terry?"

"Do you like to sew?"

Now she knew he'd been hitting the blow.

But McConn was only making another ho ho. Letting it go, he filled her in on the real. He'd just come from a meeting with Alkar Y'hut, a real estate player from Grubana. A new face on the Slaugerton scene. Y'hut and crew, in the non-profit guise of Housing From Heaven, were buying up city slums. Flipping the HUD "rehabs" into the hands of straw buyers. Dummying up docs. Jacking appraisals. Banks were begging for the biz. Bundling inflated loans. Wall Street was buying. The FHA was picking up defaults. Everyone was happy. Only one problem. Not enough straw buyers. Y'hut was tearing out his hair. Till one of his underlings suggested using zombies.

Lara thought she saw where this was going. "If you're saying we should pay off Slotsky in phoney real estate, he already--"

"Hell no honey hear me out. The nitty gritty is this guy who works for Y'hut, he used to be an overseer at a jute mill back in Grubana. Working zombies. He knows everything there is to know about them. Including" McConn paused for effect "how to kill them."

Now Lara was interested. She moved closer to McConn and lightly walked her fingers over his jowls. It was a long march. Do tell she cooed.

"It goes like this. First you find out where they sleep. Then you sneak up on them and cut off their head. Finally-- and this is the important part because it keeps them from coming back-- you fill their mouth with salt and sew their lips shut."

"I wonder if Slotsky is staying in his old place" mused Lara.

"Did I hear my name being taken in vain?" said Bob Slotsky, lurching up out of the darkness. His face glowed like phosphorescent fungi on a stump in the heart of a midnight forest.

"Bob-O!" McConn half rose, all glad hands "Looking good!"

"Shove over" said Bob, plopping down in the booth next to him. Leaning past McConn, Slotsky leered hello to Lara. She gave a bored hiya. Slotsky had always bored her. Dead or alive made no difference. With one hand she lifted her Zombie to her lips, with the other she toyed with the salt shaker.

To be continued...

Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff

"If you convey to a woman that something ought to be done, there is always a dreadful danger that she will suddenly do it."

G. K. Chesterton, The Secret of Father Brown, 1927

Episodes of Revitalization, My Lovely

Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter One
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Two
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Three
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Four
Revitalization, My Lovely; Chapter Five
Revitalization, My Lovely Reloaded; Chapter Six
Revitalization, My Lovely Reloaded; Chapter Seven
Revitalization, My Lovely Reloaded; Chapter Eight

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Copyright (c) 2005 by Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff. This material may be freely distributed subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License. This license relieves the author of any liability or implication of warranty, grants others permission to use the Content in whole or in part, and insures that the original author will be properly credited when Content is used. It also grants others permission to modify and redistribute the Content if they clearly mark what changes have been made, when they were made, and who made them. Finally, the license insures that if someone else bases a work on this Content, that the resultant work will be made available under the Open Publication License as well.

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