“Virgil is dead?!” Eddie shouted as he read his sister’s news story on the online local newspaper on his phone. “And all…sliced up…like that?”
He continued reading, his shaking hand making it difficult to read. According to Nancy’s report, Anne Petrovic, a pilot on the airstrip, saw Virgil by the airplane. “I tried to communicate with him,” she said. “I asked him what he was doing here, and I tried to get him away from the propellor, but he just ignored me. He looked like he was hallucinating, on drugs or something, because he was acting as if he was making love with an invisible woman or two. It was crazy. Even his zipper was down, with his…yuck!…erection sticking out. And he just let himself be cut up like that, as if he felt nothing!”
Then Eddie remembered seeing Virgil leaving the bar earlier that night, seeming to have his arms around two invisible women. According to Nancy’s story, the autopsy revealed no drugs in Virgil’s system, only about half a bottle of beer drunk.
The propellor turned off, as automatically as it had turned on, by the time it had begun to slice off the tip of Virgil’s nose and the edge of his protruding belly, Nancy’s story went on. A second or two before he fell down dead, he’d begun screaming in final recognition of what was happening to him. “He finally woke up from his trance,” Anne said. “Then he fell asleep again, so to speak, never to wake again.”
“All my friends are being killed in accidents,” Eddie whispered to himself. All of us who were with that woman we screwed…no, I don’t wanna think about that, he thought. “I do wanna talk to Chad about it, though.”
A few nights later, Eddie met up with Chad in front of that same dance club. “Have you given any more thought to what I told you in my text message a few days ago?” he asked Chad as they walked through the front doors.
“No!” Chad said with a sneer. “Look, I’m as shocked as you are that Virgil, Tor, and Ari have all been killed in freak accidents, OK? But they were accidents. You implying that something supernatural is happening to us in revenge for gang-banging that girl is, frankly, ridiculous.”
“OK, I agree that it’s incredible,” Eddie said as they approached the bar. “But don’t you think we took things a little too far with her?”
The bartender asked them what they wanted, and they ordered beers.
“Look, that bitch was a slut and she wanted it,” Chad said as he and Eddie each received a bottle of Heineken, then Chad gulped some down. “But even if what we did was wrong, why would our buddies’ deaths have to be related to it? They’re just coincidental.” He and Eddie paid for their beers, then Chad gulped down some more.
Sipping on his beer, Eddie hadn’t noticed that, sitting at a table on the other side of a dance floor half-filled with people, Nancy was watching him and his friend. I correctly made a mental prediction that Virgil was one of your friends, Eddie, she thought while sipping her glass of bourbon. Now I’m gonna see if you or your friend leaves with his arms around the waists of invisible women.
Ten minutes later, Chad gulped down the last of his beer. “I gotta go take a piss.”
“Wait,” Eddie said. “I’m worried about you walking off alone.”
“I’m just going to the washroom, Eddie. You wanna watch?”
“No, I’m just worried that–“
“The ghost-women are gonna cut my dick off? Don’t think so much. I’ll be back in two minutes.” Chad walked across the dance floor to the bathrooms, which were several feet away from Nancy’s table…not that Eddie ever noticed her there.
His eyes followed Chad all the way to the men’s room, as did hers. When the bathroom door shut behind Chad, Eddie’s eyes stayed on it, while Nancy’s returned to watching her brother.
Every second of those two minutes were agony for him. He more or less counted to one hundred and twenty as he waited to see Chad open the door and return. When Eddie had reached one hundred and twenty-two seconds, his heart started beating harder and faster.
The techno beat was pounding with a bland, repetitive, bass synth line of four notes. Then, Eddie heard a three-part vocal harmony on top of it.
“Hi, honey,” a female voice called out to him.
He turned his head to the right.
A hot blonde, a hot brunette, and a hot redhead were grinning at him.
He smiled back and stopped worrying about Chad.