The Angel of Zero City: Part 4

The Angel of Zero City: Part 4

A Story by Andrew Colunga
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An urban-fantasy novella. It is an untold story between the chapters of its parent book: The Gauntlet of Maltese.

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Cavan DeMeco

 

 

Buster’s Block was a strip of comedy clubs east of the Italian District. There was everything, from ancient hangouts with cellar doors, to big venues with marquees and valet parking. Funny Bones was arguably though, the most historic and legacy creditable club of them all. Old comedians would tell crazy stories about dead comedians who had insane nights there.


It was a glorious autumn day in old Zero City. Well as glorious as you can get in a cage that’s too small for the animals inside. It had rained earlier in the week, but sunlight managed to peak through the gray clouds, hitting the city like it was a beautiful day even though the sky behind it was a Van Gogh of grayish blues and blackened clouds, one of those odd moments where it looked like God was artificially stage-lighting the world. Cavan DeMeco chuckled at it all.


The air was cool and breezy as he walked from Hell through the Central District, and he noticed the people who had umbrellas by their side in case it started to rain again. All they see is the possibility of rain, and if it doesn’t rain then they’ll have carried their umbrellas around for no reason, and that’s even more hilarious.


Cavan’s appearance was halfway between a physics professor and a greaser, with thick glasses, a leather jacket, a red scarf, and frizzy hair. He laughed again, and this time a pretty girl in a red raincoat noticed him. She looked away quickly, but it was too late, Cavan had noticed her. The stoplight changed colors and she quickly crossed the street. He stayed on course and made no attempts to enquire upon what amused her, for that would breach his schedule, and be an unfruitful investment of his time.


It’s not like she knows comedy any better than I do, Cavan thought. I could figure out what made her look if I put my mind to it. Let me see, I was laughing, and that caught her attention, but if she was looking to laugh too then she should’ve looked to where I was looking instead of at me. Did she want to see somebody laugh? Why would someone watch someone else laughing? There’s nothing funny about that. Otherwise the comedian on stage would be laughing every time the audience laughed. It’d be an endless cycle of laughing! Is that amusing to see other people laugh without the shared experience of laughing with them? What’s the point of it? Why did she look at me laughing? Am I funny when I laugh? Did I have spinach in my teeth? What could be so amusing about watching me laugh? Why was she looking!?


Cavan froze and people walked around him. His fingernails dug into his palms, and his hands clenched in his pockets. His neck tightened. His whole body tightened, and he had to remember, he needed to remember, where he was going and why he was going there in order to keep on schedule. Don’t let this get to you, he told himself.


Cavan took two steps forward and was soon back on schedule. If I’m not on time the trash man will be there, he thought.


A half-hour later on Buster’s Block, “Hey, DeMeco!” a voice shouted from under the Funny Bone’s marquee. Cavan looked ahead to see Barto Chiklis, the club’s floor manager, standing by piles of chairs and tables. Barto hoped that by starting strong he could avoid talking to Cavan, but that’s seemed to have backfired. Barto’s puggish face grimaced, but he lowered his bowler hat and marshaled himself to speak.


“Hey-hey Cavan. You’re a few days too early for amateur night,” Barto said. He wasn’t exactly scared of Cavan. To him, Cavan was somewhere between an annoying kiss-a*s who couldn’t take a hint, and a stringy maniac, who he wasn’t sure how dirty he’d fight or how many hits to the head it’d take to knock him down.


“Barto, my man! Oh you know, I hope I’m just in time for the festivities,” Cavan slapped one of the old tables and beamed at the building.


“Festivities?”


“Today the new booths come in! Right? Boy, I’m sure they’ll be sweet.”


“Oh-oh yeah! Yeah, yeah, but it’d be best to stay out of everyone’s way this afternoon,” Barto said.


“Boy, a lot of greats were discovered here: Marten Dip, Snap Peach, Artie Maul, Scott Goldsmith. Luckily comedy is recession proof, but these chairs ain’t a*s-proof. Am I right?” Cavan shot finger-pistols at Barto, and he returned a polite chuckle.


“Say, Barty-oh-boy, d’ya mind selling me a set of these old chairs, and a table? There’s old magic in these seats, and I’d sure love to have a piece of Funny Bones history. Heritage like this has got to be protected. Do you know what I mean?”


Barto nodded his head. “No doubt man, for sure. Well, you can have as many as you want as long as you can move them.”


“Alright, my man! Pleasure doing business with you!” Cavan put out his hand to shake, and Barto uneasily shook it. “Hey, I’ll be back with a van in a bit. Don’t let anyone roll these away. Alright?”


“You got it,” Barto nodded.


Cavan sped off, feeling light as a feather. Once he was out of sight, Barto wiped his hands on a handkerchief, and a black teenager named Nick walked out of the club carrying a set of old chairs. “Was that Cavan? Was he hoping to get top-billing on amateur night?” Nick asked, adding the chairs to the pile.


“Nah-nah, he just wanted to take a set of the old chairs and a table. Besides, that kid’s comedy is terrible, and he gives me the creeps.”


“He ain’t so bad,” Nick said. “I’ve got pure horror stories from that porno theater I used to work at. I swear to God I’ll never eat popcorn again.”


© 2014 Andrew Colunga



Author's Note

Andrew Colunga
This is a 19 part story. All of which are completed and are expected to be posted.

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Added on May 1, 2014
Last Updated on May 1, 2014
Tags: urban, fantasy, urban-fantasy

Author

Andrew Colunga
Andrew Colunga

Los Angeles, CA



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Artist and Writer from LA. http://wonderwig.deviantart.com/ http://wonderwig.tumblr.com/ https://www.facebook.com/GauntletOfMaltese https://www.facebook.com/andycolunga more..

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