How He Did, and What He Said

Rune had followed Double-J and the guy (Mitch?) into the apartment’s living room. An unfamiliar song, strong bass line, bluesy. Tobacco smoke, stale beer. Double-J shuffled around a low table, weathered wood, a black-and-white checkerboard barely visible under plastic cups, eviscerated snack food bags, a yellow ashtray. Sat on a sofa in front of two large windows, television to the right, a pair of metal folding chairs to the left, in front of the kitchen area. Thin girl moved aside to make room for him, dark eye shadow, ring through right nostril, cigarette held between index and middle fingers of her left hand.

She lifted her chin in Rune’s direction, smiled. “Hey.” Friendly tone, inviting.

Rune waved, sat on one of the metal chairs. Guy who might be Mitch walked into the kitchen, Rune heard a refrigerator door open. Double-J asked a question, all Rune heard was do.

“What?”

Double-J frowned. “How’d you do today?”

Rune ran a hand back through the waves of his greasy hair. “Eh. Not so hot.” Licked his lips, looked up. “Francis asked where you were.”

Disgusted snort. “What you tell him?”

Shrug. “Said it wasn’t none of my business.”

Double-J’s eyes widened with surprised pleasure. “Think that’s the most intelligent thing I ever heard you say.”

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