by J.C. Keyser
The Cato Carrera Stories
|CATO SAW DEAD PEOPLE walking around the mall. Jean was dead, but he slowly limped past The Gap. Morales was dead, but he carried his tray of Japanese food to a table in the food court and sat down. Reese held his head up on his broken neck and chatted with a girl by the mall map. Cato stood and watched the dead people shop and eat. They were dead but had no wounds, or signs of death. They were all there, together, like they'd always been.
Jean tried on a hat, over where he'd been shot through the head. It fit snug, and he nodded at a mirror. The girl behind the Gap counter sold him the hat, like she would any other living person. Jean walked out and nodded at Cato, the price tag hanging from the brim.
"You crazy," Jean said.
Cato went down the escalator and sat across from Morales. Morales ate, filling his stomach that had been blown out by a grenade.
"I love my family, I love my men." he said, carefully lifting a sliver of beef into his mouth.
"I love them all."
The next night, Cato was in the mall again. Two more dead people had arrived. Bradley lay on a massage table by some carts. He had been thrown from the back of a large truck when a car filled with explosives rammed it. But he was here, getting a massage from an old Filipino woman Cato had seen years earlier at a rice shack.
"Shit feels good," he told Cato. "You know she's been doin' this shit for years."
"Doesn't it hurt at all?" Cato asked.
"Not anymore dude."