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68 Mike Dixon

Passed by a bent telephone pole, crazycrooked like the lineman could climb to a waiting spaceship. K Tate made with a sling for the 'nades.

Wanted a bearing. On life. A few steps off the ground might help. Tumbleweed in barbed wire sounded like a cat being spayed. He saw a note.

Four steps up, meant for a giant to read. Industrial stapled, magenta. An eye, like the cheap logo for a mindpalm tealeaf reader. Eyecons.

K Tate: recon the eyecon. A kid underneath the lashes, lashed to the pole stapled arms. B&W kid, crew cut, striped t-shirt and stapled arms.

Looked closer, this was him? No, another kid. Tiny print, leaned in to read. Sling of grenades ting tang on metal rung, K Tate almost pees.

Someone went schizospazo with the stapler, circled the kid's right eye like spokes on a favorite bike. Caught the sun. Now, the faint print.

Have you seen Mike Dixon? Pencilled circles, tic tac toes, love notes from nutcases xoxxoo. Any info, call TRinity 5-7644. Then, more fade.

Squinting, eyehurt. c 1962 White Sands Paper Co. Then he got it, why the kid looked like him. A funny. A jolly jape, Uncle Dick O might say.

Mike Dixon. My K Dick's son. Too obvious? No, he just needed his bearing, his groundings. Stepped back down, silver streaks end of alley.

Industrial Wasted Toys, doors banged loose hingerusted. Time to take a look, set the jacketsling down, kept a grenade for ingrained luck.

Five bag smashing box thumping minutes later, K Tate found what he was looking for, a creepy doll vaguely Hawaiian with crazy green fuzz.

Epilepsy Trolls, nicknamed that because of some new symptom on top of all the other symptoms to get kids dopehooked, bright hair=seizures.

Electric pink, lime green, mushroom cloud orange, slushy blue, stand up hair, fried by electricity, exes for iii's. Kid had one in the pic.

Jammed into the front pocket of the shirt, the way he might have packed a deck of unfiltered Pall Malls if he had aged into his mid-teens.

Hell, kid disappeared into the erff (Uncle Dick O's phrase, he'd laugh through tertiary cigarette smoke, a yellowed Cheshire grin), the kid.

Yeah, looked maybe ten, eleven. Coulda smoked. K dad did, Lucky Strike Greens, pissed when they moved, couldn't buy them in Nebraska.

The KID, dammit. Hell, for all he knew, little Mike Dixon was smoking pot in back of the schoolyard, girlscoping, blowing off Grade 6 Math.

Epilepsy trolls didn't cause seizures back then, it's all this crap in the air, sanitizers, automatic buttwipers, took away the immunities.

Add the fact that kids could play pitchdark music videos inside their prescription glasses, no wonder everyone flopped from bright colors.

K Tate shrugged, looked around, nothing was stirring, not even a hound. There. In the cornerdark, a skid on wheels. Skateboard for a fattie.


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