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The Dead Don’t Dream
by Gordon Linzner

Tamotsu Hirokei’s aide – a short, thin, ageless, almost sexless woman in an
elegant, wine-colored kimono – slid aside a rice paper panel at the far en of the waiting room. I grew increasingly self-conscious in my ill-fitting suit jacket and mismatched turtleneck.

“Mr. Hirokei will see you now.” She bowed, then stood to one side so I could pass.

I walked forward gingerly, partly in awe at my proximity to so much wealth, but mostly because the polished mahogany floor offered little traction for my socks. None of the visitors’ slippers lined up in the foyer fit my oversized feet.

Entering Mr. Hirokei’s private quarters, I failed at first to make eye contact with my client. My attention was riveted by the panoramic view of Central Park from his penthouse window. Under clear, almost cloudless skies, I could see north to the 110th Street end and beyond. The once verdant rectangle looked nostalgically restful in the early morning glow, despite large scruffy patches of wasteland. Over the past few months, this gem of Manhattan had become a no man’s land, causing real estate values to plummet along Fifth Avenue and Central Park West…and, to a lesser degree, here on Central Park South.

Tamotsu Hirokei cleared his throat.


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