Night times. Night man in the nightmare house.
The Kid blew orange smoke from wheezing mouth. The house didnotfalldown.
But he almost did.
He had read Motorman. Read it twice, The Kid. It’s short on almost everything. It’s not a novel, he’d told Beagle. It has no pulse.
He thought about Moldenke, but what he thought was mysterious.
“Listen up, jackass.”
“That Moldenke,” said Beagle.
That Moldenke, it is written, is puzzled, it is stated, by almost every phenomena.
He is likened, please note, to a rat.
Also: a brightly burning candle with a shortened wick, destined to burn low and give off gas.
The phone rang in The Kid’s blue apartment.
“Listen, kid, give up this Moldenke business.”
“Hello? Can I help you?”
“Don’t be a jackass.”
Bunce is the key; only the key is made of jelly.
And the lock is broken.
With concentrated thought, The Kid tried to drown out the midnight drone, which itself was drowning out the scuttling of the night man as he ranged about the room. Bunce, he told himself, is in control. Of the lighting and of Moldenke. He tells Moldenke to do things, like put his hand in his pocket.
Reflexively, The Kid put his own hand in his pocket.
He rummaged around, and brought up air.
Beagle had sent The Kid a questionnaire:
The Kid considered these questions, unanswered.
The world of Motorman, the two suns, the air.
The dying wind.
The artificial, the month, the mock war.
The resemblance to something like sky.
Bunce wants blood. Or might want it.
Like the night man with Weetabix hair.
The unpinning threat of violence.
The Kid called Beagle.
He hung up the phone.
Two days later he flicked on the TV. Beagle facing front:
“There’s a lot of weirdness, kid. A lot of odd shit. Don’t let yourself brood. Maybe you’re not meant to understand, huh? You thought of that? So there are jellymen, so what. Maybe you misdialled, huh? Maybe you got the wrong number? The wrong face in the crowd? Stop shouting out names in the hope that someone will turn around. Move on, Moldenke.”