The next day, Wade called both Mikey and Juan and told them to keep quiet until he could think of something to do about Garrett (since he was the evidently the brightest crayon in the box). This meant no telling, especially Seth and the pigs—Wade didn't know how much he stressed that aspect of the matter, but he knew he had stressed it to the point that he repeated it many times over the phone to his two colleagues. He also told them he'd call them at least twice a day to check on them. Everything's Eventual, Wade thought about a Stephen King anthology he read four years ago in 2002. "Eventual" meant good in the title story.

But things hadn't been good.

Mikey wasn't answering his phone anymore. One day had passed, and Wade was more than worried when Big-Ass Mikey had acted like he was away on vacation. When Juan had told him that Mikey wasn't answering his calls either, Wade was now more paranoid than a claustrophobic on coke. He drove his red Honda Accord to Mikey's house on Orange Street that evening, knocking over the gnomes on the corner of Mikey's driveway. He knocked on the front door for nine minutes, forgetting the possibility that no one might be home, and then began to peer through the windows. No one home. Just as he thought of breaking in, his Nextel went off. He pulled it off of the clip on his belt and checked the screen. MIKEY'S CELL, it read.

"Yo!" Wade shouted. His hand was shuddering, heart pumping like a piston. "Where you at, Mikey?"

"I'm at the police station," he said. He was calm—a little too calm for comfort. "I've been here since mornin'. Where are you?"

"At your house! And can I ask you why you're over thurr, at the police station, man?"

" came by and—"

"And let me guess," Wade interrupted. He almost dropped the phone out of his hand. "You told 'em, didn't you? Asshole!"

"Hey, man, that's his dad, Wade."

Wade's mind went haywire. After said that, he did drop the phone. It fell in the grass next to the steps. After he fished for it, he put it up to his ear and said, "What else did you tell 'em?"

"I had to tell them the truth. I told them that you was responsible for Garrett Heyward's death."

Wade's bottom lip dropped; if he were an animated cartoon, his lip would've dropped down to his feet. Big-Ass Michael Hoff the Lying Two-Timing Snitch, he thought. He then thought of A Nightmare of Elm Street movie where Freddy Krueger's tongue came through the phone—he wished he could put his arm through the his Nextel and choke Mikey the same way.

"I also told them that you threatened to kill me and Juan if we didn't help kill him," Mikey added considerately.

"Hey, motherfucka," Wade bellowed, "I was outside when y'all said he was shakin! Whatever happened to Seth's dad is you and Juan's fault! I specifically said not to hurt 'em! Oh man, you betta get the story straight wit them!"

"Well, the cops are after you, and since you said you're at my house, they there shortly."

Wade immediately pulled the phone away from his right ear and pressed the red END button. Before he did that, he heard a shrill laugh—he didn't know if it came from Mikey's end or from the neighborhood, but it wasn't Mikey's laugh. It sounded masculine, hideous and high-pitched. Nevertheless, he ran to his Accord and left, breaking the same gnome that he knocked over when he arrived at Mikey's house with the left hind tire.

Take that, you bigass rat.