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Cindy stood below the unlit neon of Fremont Street and thought about where to go next. Her list, while punctuated with a final stop, still required a place to start.
“I’m looking for an evil man,” Cindy said aloud to no one in particular. She looked up at Sally, kicking up a leg in glowing orange and purple.
The tall cowgirl smiled and rocked her outstretched leg. A glint of light flashed on her side pointing to the east. Cindy felt a warm glow. She followed the light until it revealed the full length of Fremont Street. Toward the end of her view, a janitor piled up plastic cups and paper. A few of the homeless pulled their shopping carts and panhandlers wandered across from one side of an alley to the other. Otherwise, the street was deserted and empty except for Cindy, Sally and Vegas Vic.
Cindy looked further down to the end of East Fremont.
“You think I will find him down there?” asked Cindy.
Sally only smiled.
The neon lining Sally’s skirt suddenly lit and erupted in a spark. A cascade of light rose up her dress and touched the video canopy overhead forming an arrow. The flashing arrow pointed to the southeast.
“Okay, I guess that’s a sign,” Cindy said surprised. She looked around to see if anyone had noticed. No one was around.
“Go toward the light,” she said in a deep-throated baritone.
“So your handsome boyfriend has the answers,” Cindy said. Sally refused to say, but the arrow began to move across the canopy confirming Cindy’s hunch.
The girl followed the arrow as it moved until it suddenly went out and immediately seemed to jump onto the shoulder of Vegas Vic. A single neon bulb fizzled on the tall man’s shoulder.
Cindy looked up at Vegas Vic. The tall cowboy attempted to wave. His hat seemed to touch the top of the canopy. He seemed too uncomfortable and slouched a bit. His smile betrayed his true feelings however, because it seemed to Cindy, the cowboy was glad to be standing and waving to the visitors of Fremont Street. Cindy moved closer and stood below Vic.
“I’m looking for the cheating, hateful, worthless, low life who killed my daddy,” Cindy said below the tall cowboy’s feet. She laughed at the thought she was living the lyrics of a Country song. Soon the smile drew back and a tear formed in her left eye. “I don’t suppose you have seen him?”
Vic just smiled. Sunlight reached the top of his hand and a short puff of wind moved his hand back and forth. Not sensing any direction from Vic, Cindy looked back down the street. Nothing moved.
Cindy glanced in the window of a Hawaiian trinket shop. She adjusted her waist and smoothed down the shimmering sides of her pink A-Line dress. Noticing a small flaw, she picked off a bit of lint from her left sleeve. In her reflection, beads of sweat were spotting her forehead. She reopened the purse, pushed aside her list, fingered the pearl handle of the revolver, and retrieved a small, white, lace handkerchief. She dabbed the water drops from her forehead, then flicked a hand up to her bangs and gave them a lift. She took a long look. It would have to do.
In the window, an advertisement for a condo timeshare proclaimed, “The Love You Make is The Love You Take.” The couple featured in the poster looked happy enough, if not a bit glossy and fake. Looking past the poster to her reflection, Cindy took notice of a man standing in the doorway below Sassy Sally smoking a cigarette. Sally rocked her leg. The man stared through Cindy and blew out a stream of smoke. Cindy chose to ignore him as she took in the empty street
“Hey girl,” the man shouted. Cindy refused to hear. The man shouted again, “Over here.” This time Cindy chose to listen and turned her head toward his voice. She cocked her head to the side.
“Yeah you,” he shouted. He motioned for Cindy to come across the street.
Cindy half smiled and waved her hand sideways.
“Now, don’t say no. I haven’t met you yet,” he said.
Cindy glanced up at the tall cowboy. Vic wasn’t saying much. His big hand pointed at his ear and his neon lights were off. The neon on his handkerchief flickered and his smile seemed hint it wouldn’t hurt to listen to the scrubby man across the street.
“You think he’s got the answer?,” Cindy asked Vic.
She took another look at the face under the canopy. The man was calloused with a certain cockiness, as if he knew she would eventually cross the street and talk to him.
“Typical guy.” Cindy rolled her eyes at the thought.
Cindy looked at the front of the Glitter Gultch.
Of course, she mused; a topless bar.
It was the sort of place her father would have hung out in. It was definitely the sort of place where Todd L. might be found.
A quick breeze sent a chill across the perspiration on her forehead. The lights on the spur attached to Vic’s boot flashed and a cool mist dropped down from below his boot. Along with the mist, a pink glow slowly illuminated Cindy from below his boot.
“A bit of pixie dust?” she asked the neon cowboy. He seemed to wink.
“Well, Mr. Cowboy, I’ll take your word for it. And I appreciate your protection.” The cowboy just smiled.
Cindy looked back at the man standing in front of the Glitter Gulch. He looks like a thug, she decided. The lights above Cindy flashed across the canopy pointing to the strip club. Cindy watched as the man looked up.
“See, that’s clearly an invite,” shouted the man.
Despite her misgiving, she decided to play it sweet. Maybe this guy can help her find the mysterious Todd L.
Cindy pulled her purse closer to her side, placed her hand on her hip, and started walking slowly toward the man. He adjusted his weight, cocksure, and dropped his cigarette to the ground. He crushed the butt and eyed the girl walking toward him.
“Come to papa,” he thought. “This is too easy.”
© 2018, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.