By Mike Knowles
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Additional resources for Grinder: A Mystery
The road through Quebec was straight for hundreds of kilometres. I drove beside Johnny’s powered-down cell phone thinking about home. pei had always been the island. The rental house was just that, a house. Neither could take the place of where I had grown up invisible to everyone. Hours after I left the motel, I found myself fighting my way through Montreal traffic. The barrage of cars felt like a scene from Star Wars — the one where the kid makes a T 45 run at the death star through a sky full of spaceships and laser beams.
I closed the phone and powered it down. I looked out the grey windows at the Mandarin restaurant twenty-five metres across the parking lot. It was a Chinese buffet juggernaut that filled up nightly and probably managed to have a chokehold on Yousif’s business. The old owner probably took his lumps from the buffet place and sold the failing business to a naïve person who thought there were many people out there who would choose straight Mediterranean cuisine over a buffet that covered each continent.
Someone who should have known better. Johnny was too out of it to cause trouble, so I went back to the wheel and guided us through the rapidly dimming light to a spot on the water where I could barely make out the lights from the dock. I yelled to Johnny as soon as I cut the engine. “What does Paolo want? ” Johnny groaned in response. He had managed to pull himself up to a sitting position against the side of the boat. His synthetic shirt had a sharp angular bulge near his neck. The unnatural distension was surrounded by a growing wetness.