“I mean you no harm,” the ghost said to Krator. The detective was about to be interviewed on the Police Kebab Reality Show over the Internet. His innocence or guilt hung in the balance. The ghost was merely the production assistant helping Adamine Krator accommodate to the expectations of popular media. “I’m aware of the proper protocol,” Adamine responded hoping to vanquish the ghost. The ghost, however, was persistent and refused to be discouraged. Krator was aware of the ghost’s aura of familiarity — it seemed uncanny how much the ghost looked like the murder victim even down to the bleeding wound above his exposed heart. “No,” Adamine thought, “not uncanny — it is part of the plan to shake my confidence and deceive a media saturated public.” The ghost spoke, “don’t be mislead by your own hubris. You are responsible for this unfortunate situation.”
An older man wearing a bowler hat fondled the boy in the dark movie theater. The boy was curious. It felt good so he let it happen. Strange events were taking place outside the theater that had nothing to do with the boy’s awakening. Fish fell from the sky. People said it was a miracle. Incidents of spontaneous combustion increased. The occurrence of mega-storms and floods raged across the globe. The boy continued to go to the movie theater and sit in the back row with the man who wore a bowler hat. When the boy left the theater he was always excited and inspired. He set out to become an artist and poet. He wrote psalms praising sex and spray-painted enormous orgasms wherever he saw a blank wall. He was having fun, but his efforts could not stop the Red Shift that was creeping through the city. He was arrested for defacing public property. The Shift took hold while the young man was incarcerated. People around him began to fade. They were replaced by machines that showed no mercy. In reform school, he learned to survive.
The images ran through Krator’s brain like a loop playing on an old movie projector. He could hear the clacking sound of the film moving across the lens. He remembered a part-time job showing movies in a run down porn palace. He was earning money to pay for an education. He heard his name, “Adamine Krator.” The ghost pushed him onto a makeshift stage. The Officers-of-Ceremony, Slap Happy and Arthur Freud, greeted Krator with lip smacking relish. The Police Kebab Show was being broadcast live.