The last time Hicky visited this patch of dead-end-ville he’d told himself it was definitely the last time, yet here he was again, standing in the rubble and remembering why he’d detested his father so much. It wasn’t just the lying, even though that still burned and registered a high slot in his own big book of resentments. And the fact that she – that woman forever to be known only as ‘she’ – had sat idly by and pretended that nothing was happening, nothing was out of order, God was in his Heaven in this th ebets of all possible worlds. So they were idiots, and mean, practically the only qualifications for high office in these latter days. There was also the matter of the little sister who never was, wiped from the scrolls and eliminated from conversation, history and memory. How does a person disappear like that? And here he was, returned again, vowing once more to find the facts buried somewhere in this concrete heap of wasted life and wasted time. Hicky got down on his knees, rolled up his sleeves, and started digging.