The Magic Flight

   The short ride over here had been a nearly straight shot with no one else on the road. Wide roads wet with snow, skinny footpaths sheltering under trees, low concrete buildings.
   A tiny shop beside the restaurant had sold me more booze. I’d pocketed the bottles and gone inside. That one kid had watched me come in. I’d sailed in and come to rest at a table by the window. Taken a mouthful of white alcohol and let it roughen the insides of my cheeks.
  “Hey bro.”
   I cough. Eyes fill up. Goddamn Bao slaps the table and guffaws. I have to push the fucker away.
  “Memories are golden when shared with a friend!” he says. Doesn’t drink.
  “Ni shi nar de ren?” she says.
   Golden hair, flat. She stares at the table.
  “You can’t be here.”
  “What, who’s the—? Jesus, kid.” Because he did startle me. He looms beside the girl.
   Now, I have my banger. It’s a toy like everyone else’s, converted. You work it by hauling back a lever then pulling another one out of the way, but I have never used it, not on a person.
   I point out the front window. “What’s that!” I yell, and while they’re not looking at me, I get up. “Did you see that too?! Quick!” I say. “Get after it!”