By O. Lucio d’Arc


Chapter 7

EVERYONE IS SHOCKED at The Doldrums. Thom Fole’s death – !!!murder!!! – has everyone super upset, as you can imagine. A fucking severed head! Give us a break.

Pipes and glasses are filled and re-filled. Everybody tries to be cool, but they are lemmings at the cliff.

At one point Magnum stands up, closes his eyes and recites in a hoarse voice:

Late at night the electric appliances
sing to each other little folksongs
and they hum when they don’t know the words
or when someone comes into the room.”

And then he sits back down.

Thom Fole’s parents come that night from Kenosha, Wisconsin, and claim his body, both pieces. They don’t stop in to see the folks at The Doldrums. No surprise.

The Doldrummers tell the cops and anybody who asks that they know nothing, and that is no lie.

Diz and Carole and Scott Free hug a lot. They are distraught, cried-out, wasted.

Carole wants to go to bed. Get out of her jeans and slip on a big Grateful Dead tee and sleep the whole mess away.

So she does.

They have a memorial service of sorts for Thom Fole in the morning, over breakfast on the floor in the living room. Spanish omelets and Mexican hash. Goddess rest his soul in the Summerland. Amen.

But Carole is scared. This wasn’t a traffic accident. This was a fucking beheading. Random or targeted? She doesn’t know. Everybody else is a little edgy, but going with the flow. Like a Seinfeld show, they talk about nothing, and that is the way they cope.


Oreste P. D’Arconte, who writes fiction under the name O. Lucio d’Arc, is a retired newspaper publisher and a weekly newspaper columnist. His short stories have appeared in the Murder Inc. trilogy of anthologies and he has had his poetry published in several literary magazines. A resident of Attleboro, Mass., he also wrote a hardback history of the Attleboro YMCA in 2017.