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Here Today,
Dead Tonight,

A Luna Kravitz Mystery

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Inside the Book

The hall leading to the stairs was dark. The flashlight came in handy as we climbed the four floors to Margaret’s. Like the street outside, the building was very quiet for 10 PM on a Friday night. Too quiet for a Friday night.


When we reached the apartment, Luna pressed the doorbell. No answer. She pressed again. No sound from inside. Luna tried the doorknob, but before she could turn the handle, the door budged open a bit.


“It shouldn’t be unlocked,” she said nervously. “Margaret wouldn’t leave it unlocked.”


She pushed it wider,


“Maybe she heard us coming up….” I started, but Luna was already inside.


I followed and we stepped into the apartment. Immediately immersed in a black hole of stars and planets.


Suspended by a chain attached to the ceiling in the middle of the living room was an egg-shaped wicker seat.


The kind you can hang from a tree and pull your legs into and swing or turn freely.


The black walls were illuminated with dabs of Dayglo red, white and yellow paint, made to glow by a series of ultraviolet lights arrayed along the baseboard.


The ceiling above and the floor below the swinging seat was covered with mirrors. Glowing stars were the only source of light in the room. Sitting in that seat, you might feel yourself floating in space, surrounded by stars and the endless void of the universe.


“Margaret?” Luna whispered. Met with no answer.


Margaret’s apartment, 4B, faced the rear of the building, away from the street. Luna walked over to the kitchen window, which was wide open, and leaned out.


“Oh no,” she said quietly. She rested her palms on the windowsill and stayed hunched over and motionless for enough time for me to realize this wasn’t good news.


“What is it?” I asked. “What do you see?”


“We’re too late,” she said in a whisper.


I walked over to the open window in the dark and looked down.


There was a small patch of grass shared by two buildings. In the summer it might be filled up with tomato and pepper gardens the size of postage stamps. In every other season it very likely substituted as a communal garbage can. There were beer cans and plastic bags, and Margaret. Crumpled up like a sack in the courtyard.


There are only two kinds of people in the world. Dead and alive.

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