Scene 7

STORYTELLER: As it happened, I didn’t recognise any of the other bodies personally, but my knowledge of film, music and popular culture trivia came in handy. I pointed out that a gunshot homicide was Steve White, drummer for The Style Council and that that torso belonged to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, best known for the role of Elaine Benes in the hit 90s sitcom Seinfeld. And there was . . . something else.

STORYTELLER: I admit that I expected Dr. Zemeckis to be impressed. But she just seemed shaken. “My God,” she said. “I can’t believe I didn’t recognize Steve White. I used to have the biggest crush on him.”

STORYTELLER: There it was again! Some vortex, perturbing the quiet of this secular resting place, countervailing upon the patterns of my complex, ginko-enhanced stamina.

STORYTELLER: “This must be hard for you,” I managed to say.

STORYTELLER: “Mr. Quarles, is it just your routine work-out, this afternoon at the gym? Or are you registered for a class?” Before I could criticize her for assuming I could be more flexible about the expectations I set myself, Dr. Zemeckis spoke again, now with a voluptuous urgency, almost of arousal. “Mr. Quarles, you and I both know you have no need to hit the gym today. I’ll need you to assist me . . . in reanimating the corpse of my girlhood crush!”

STORYTELLER: “You’re insane, Dr. Zemeckis! You crave ecstatic, radical experience that evades any kind of moral evaluation!”

STORYTELLER: “This important research could bring back the friend you so cherished! How can let that opportunity slip by?”

STORYTELLER: Suddenly I realized I had another motive for not wanting the drummer brought to life.

STORYTELLER: I had fallen in love with Dr. Zemeckis.

STORYTELLER: “Well?” she said, in a fierce whisper. “My laboratory isn’t far. Our first task is to smuggle out the body. Will you help me?”

STORYTELLER: There was a metallic shudder and the light changed. The door at the top of the stairs had been flung open.