The next person in line had approached the table during their conversation. The customer, a tall man in a long denim coat, was holding a sleeping child against his shoulder, but wasn’t carrying anything for
to sign. Gary
“Your little guy there must be pretty tired,”
said, filling time until Alex could hand him a book. Gary
“He’s just dead,” the customer agreed, “but I’m a huge fan of yours and I wanted to get something autographed.”
“Well once these folks wrestle a book free, we’ll hook you right up.”
“Oh that’s all right. I brought something with me.”
Instead of reaching into his coat, the man released his hold on the boy’s shoulders, causing the child to fall back, still connected to the man by the arm he held across the back of the boy’s knees. As the child completed his descent, the man turned slightly, changing the boy’s trajectory enough that he landed in the middle of the table, scattering books everywhere.
Gary and Alex jumped back from the table, attempting to distance themselves from the eviscerated corpse laid before them like a sacrifice.
“Just make that out to Ted,” the man in the long coat demanded.