TITLE: Playing Hopscotch in the Dark
Mira breathed deep, imagining she could still smell a hint of salt from the ocean, 60 miles away. Huddled under the awning of Kurious Kat Koffee, she watched the raindrops become briefly visible in the warm light cast through the shop window behind her. Bright flares that disappeared as they hit the dark street.
The steady drip-drip-drip at the corner of the awning and the cold breeze kept her hugging the building. She looked over her shoulder into the light and warmth of the now-closed cat-themed coffee shop to see if she could spy her friend Story coming out of the bathroom. How many coats of lip gloss could one girl apply?
Across the street, the Jessup Family Printing storefront was dark, but a cold, greenish light gleamed on the long gray windowless side of the building that faced the side street. As Mira watched, the light flickered. A door opened - how many hours had she and Story been staring at this building? How could she not have noticed that door? - and Brody Jessup stepped out. Finally, she thought. She didn't want to imagine what he'd been up to, hanging out in the closed print shop until 8pm on a Friday night. In this part of town. Mira was pretty sure those women she and Story had seen stopping in for triple espressos hadn't been wearing patent platform thigh-high boots to go to the movies. Unless it was to the XXX Pleasure Palace theater two blocks down.