Under the Shadow of the Moon p. 6

Danny, by day, returned to the space he once called his job to find a blackened husk. The Kino’s owner paid him one month’s salary in cash, shook his hand, and thanked him for the last few years of hard work. The owner’s final words to him were “you were a great employee.”

As darkness cloaked early in the city Danny went away and Grigori awoke to a light Halloween dusting of snow in Detroit. He covered his black pants and shirt with a dark flowing jacket that fluttered just above his feat when he walked. It was lined with a warm vest that had several hidden pockets for his tricks. His first treat would be to visit his new friend Duke.

Laura kissed his tender forehead so lightly her lips had barley touched the bruised skin. He had been out for the last half hour of her stay. While she knew he could not hear her from the strange concoction of painkillers and sleep aids in his drip, she thought it was important to stay by his side. Even if he could not hear her give thanks to God for allowing him to live, for giving him the strength to make it out of the building alive, and to be with her and the boys, she thought it was important that she say it.

“The devil” Duke mumbled in his drug induced state “where is the devil?”

She thought it was only another nightmare, kissed him one last time for the night and left to take the boys though the neighborhood for candy.

Grigori watched as the beautiful blonde mother and wife left Dukes room and walked to the elevators. He could see her go to the minivan, dig for her keys in the oversized purse, and finally start the car. When the break lights were only a distant blur he turned back to the bedside of his new friend Duke.

After two months in a cast and another six weeks with daily rehabilitation visits Duke was walking well with a cane. There were no more flaming doors to bust down or holding on the back of the fire engine at top speeds to a blaze. With his years of service and keen mind he was moved to the arson squad. He got to keep his title and pay grade for captain, and now reported to the Chief Arson Investigator. With his bum leg, he was slow to the scene of the incident, but always quick to determine what had happened.