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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 15 page 20


“I’m waiting for a toasted western special,” I protested.

He turned and called to the cook, “Louie, forget this guy.”

He was in his late 20s, early 30s, it was hard to tell, he hadn’t been shaving recently. He wore a suit jacket over jeans. It might have been a good quality jacket at one time but it looked and smelled like he never took it off.

“What do you want to see Lobo for?” he asked as we crossed the street.

“I’ve got a message for him.”

“What's the message?”

“I’ll tell him personally.” There was an edge to my voice because I was hungry and I was getting fed up with this guy.

We reached a spot where the street was a bit dark on account of somebody blew the streetlight out. I kept my hands in my coat pockets. We walked alongside a spiked iron fence till we came to a swing gate that opened onto a laneway between a pair of shadowy buildings. I could see the backside of the Grimlight building at the end of the lane.

“Go ahead,” he told me, gesturing for me to pass thru the gate.

But I had logic on my side. “You’re the one who knows where we’re going,” I said. “You go first.”

Now, what happened next caught me off-guard. It’s not that I didn’t expect him to be carrying a weapon, of course I did. Some people will go to any length to avoid paying their pledges. But I was mentally prepared for him to make his move later, in the laneway, not out here in full view of the street.

He heaved me up against the gate and I felt the railings dig into my ribs. He thrust his face up close. “Who sent you?” he demanded.

“The alumni association.”

“What? What are you talking about?” With a flick of the hand and a click of steel he held a blade to my throat.

“I came to remind you of your alumnus pledge, Lobo.” From the first moment I saw him I knew he was Lobo.

The guy was extremely excitable and unpredictable and anything I said seemed to escalate his anger. He started to press the knife blade into the surface of my epidermis, just enough so that I knew I was bleeding. I could feel a trickle running down to my collar.

“Don’t lie to me,” he screamed. “Drake Looby sent you to kill me.”

“Not true!”

“I’m going to put your head on a spike.”

“Don’t do it, Lobo,” I declared. “That would be the second biggest mistake you ever made!”