Estrella stopped outside a stockade fence. A sign in bright yellow stage room lights stretched across the top. “Mark Caten’s Marvelous Monstrositys”.
She clenched her teeth and the lights popped in quick succession.
I can’t go in there.
It is a vile and unholy place.
I don’t. I can’t.
I should set it aflame and let Ambrose Smith fend for himself to get out of here.
But I can’t do that.
I wouldn’t want anyone doing that to me.
Estrella walked through the archway below the burnt out sign. She walked through the crowd who chittered and chattered excitedly about the amazing monsters on display.
She kept her mind blank and still.
She stopped at the ticket counter.
A young man with sloopy black hair and too many tattoos stood behind the counter. Estrella quietly thought that he didn’t look like a reliable sort. Certainly not someone you’d want handling your tickets or money.
He took a sip of water from a glass tumbler.
“Mmn!” He swallowed his water. “Bodacious hair! You color that yourself?”
“uhhm, it’s my natural color.”
“Hot! Hey! Can I take a picture of you?”
“No. I don’t like pictures.”
“Awww, I was gonna put you on my wall and everything.”
She kept her thoughts still. ‘Your bedroom wall?”
He burst out laughing. “Naw! My Facebook wall. Get with the times, babe. Oh. You wanna buy some tickets?”
“I need some information.”
“Well, the best exhibits to go to are—”
His glass of water started to boil.
“I am not interested. I’m looking for a vampire.”
“Vampire. Maaan. It seems like all the hot chicks go for that bozo lot. What do they got I ain’t got?”
There were too many answers to that question. She decided not to go there. “He would be considered a new exhibit. Or maybe a return exhibit? His name is Ambrose Smith.”
“Ambrose Smith…Ohhhh! I know him. He’s that radical dog that jumped ship on Caten what was it last year or…last month…or…wait. This isn’t July.”
The water boiled with ferocious energy. He somehow failed to notice it.
“Caten has…reacquired him. Where would he be?”
“He’d be at the Davisburg location.”
“And if he weren’t?”
“Means he jumped ship again, that radical dog.”
“Is there nowhere else that Caten would have taken him?”
“Naw. Just the Davisburg. Unless…” He cast a fishy look-about, before waving her in closer. “Us peons aren’t supposed to know this stuff, but my ex-girlfriend…well. She’s got mad crazy skills when it comes to figuring things out.” He waved her in closer and whispered, “Now, don’t go telling anyone that my ex-lady told me what I’m about to tell you, but see. Caten has this secret facility where he takes his problem projects.”
The water boiled over the sides.”Projects? Do you mean extraordinaries?”
“That’s what the PCers call them, but boss man Caten calls them projects and a whole lot of other things. Besides point. Point: This place is like top top top top TOP secret. Only he and his weird dog of a hunter know where it is.”
“But your ex knows too.”
“Hot day in the morning, she does! It’s this small dink-away city. It’s not even on any maps. Not that I go memorizing maps. My ex told me it weren’t on the map and I believe her.”
“Where is it?”
“It’s…” He counted on his fingers. “…like twenty five miles east…no. West of Pinkerlee. It’s called Addinton. I bet you’ll find him there. Just don’t tell anyone that I told you.”
The water simmered into stillness. “I won’t. And thank you.”
Sammy left town and transformed into his dragon self. “Looks like I’m going to move on to the next place on my list: Addinton.”