[A woman at a Transit Road restaurant told troopers someone tampered with her car. The investigation revealed it wasn't the woman's car; hers was a few parking spaces over.]
Lorraine's head was steady but her mind swirled like a snowglobe in the hands of a tweaker. She thought she was walking steady and straight. Maybe. She couldn't tell if she was peaking or crashing.
But there was Jack on her car, dirty white face and tattered holiday scarf around his non-existent neck. She stopped and started rummaging around for her keys, looked up with a start and moved off to the side when a car following the arrows honked at her, finally dumped everything out on the trunk of her car, images swirling as she pawed through the pens and keyrings and notes and extra sunglasses and gum and Rolaids rolling toward the edge. Red Reno Hilton die; car keys. She held them in her mouth and swept everything back into her bag, bent over and picked up what'd fallen, found two pennies and a paper clip and threw those in, too.
Lorraine's brain spun faster in the bright sun, reflected and magnified off the parked sea of white vehicles. Her key wouldn't fit into the lock. She turned it over, tried again. Turned it over, tried again. Turned it over, licked it off, tried again. Jammed. Fuck. She turned around, leaned her ass against the door. Gloria; she had to get home.
She saw a pair of well-fed state troopers sauntering toward their patrol car. She weaved over, steady as a rock. "Officers! Hey, officers! I can't get into my car. Someone tried to jimmy the lock. Can I use your slim jim?"
"Ma'am, we can't let you use official state equipment. Which vehicle is yours?"
"That one." She ran. "This one, right here. See? The lock's messed." She pushed her sunglasses up on top of her head, squinted, put them back over her eyes.
"That's your car."
"Yes! With the Jack In The Box ball." She started mashing the key against the lock. "It's fucked up."
"Well, somebody is. Ma'am, that's a squad car. I'm going to need to see some ID."
Lorraine's world spun as her purse dropped to the ground, contents spilling over the asphalt.