Finding Out About Elsie

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By Joel Fullerton

When Peter Staunberg arrived home from his morning run he was expecting two things. A joint and a large poop, and while prepared for the former, he greatly feared the latter. The sweat stains on his back, were slowly beginning to dry and his skin began to itch. Unlike most mornings something had seemed off this morning. Normally the run was simply another moment of his morning routine before going to the tireless and unending onslaught of mail at The Bradley Lane Building in downtown Manhattan. Today, his dreams had haunted him as he ran. The image of a woman standing in front of a subway train specifically. The dream had woken him suddenly, and earlier than he meant to. The run had been a satisfying distraction from the chaos of this dream, but reality had not calmed him as it usually did.

Upon entering the apartment, he disconnected the ipod from his hears, and ceased the dramatic ramblings of AC/DC that had been running straight into his mind. He pulled off his shoes, when a strange vibration shook the coat he had left draped on the couch from last night’s debauchery. Reacting instinctively, Peter removed the phone and checked the outside. A text. Well, that wasn’t so unusual. He dropped the phone casually on the coffee table, and grabbed his reward. The strength of the smoke pelted him immediately. Its sweet aroma encapsulated his mind and body in the gentle embrace, massaging his worried mind and soul.

Then in a moment his mind snapped back. The text. Right. Flipping open the phone his eyes came to rest on the clear and uncomplicated message that flashed across the screen.

“Elsie’s dead. Call me when you get this.”

Dead? The weight of hit dropped him to the couch. The only course of action was simple. First he would need to secure an ashtray. Then he would have to call Roberto, and find out all he could. His stomach and been right all along.

Today was not going to be an easy one.