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KEVIN GUILFOILE
CAST OF SHADOWS
3 of 6

possible that a few pocket tees were taken. Extra Large. The police noted this in their profile).

Northwood panicked for a few weeks. The bakery, True Value, Coffee Nook, fruit stand, two ice cream parlors, six restaurants, three hairdressers, and two dozen or so other shops, including the Gap, of course (but not the White Hen), began closing at sundown. More spouses met their partners at the train, their cars in long queues parallel to the tracks each night. The cops put in for overtime, and the town borrowed officers from Glencoe. If you were under 18, you were home before curfew. The Chicago and Milwaukee TV stations made camp for awhile on Main Street (news producers determined that Oak Street, where the Gap shared the block with a carpet store, parking lot, and funeral home, didn’t provide enough “visual interest” and chose to shoot stand-ups around the corner where there was more pedestrian traffic and overall “quaintness”), but there turns out to be a limit to the number of nights you can report that there is, as yet, nothing to report, and TV crews disappeared as a group the day a Northwestern basketball player collapsed and died of an aneurysm during practice.

The old routine returned in time. By spring, Anna Kat might not

have been forgotten–what with the softball team wearing the “AK” patch, the special appointment of Debbie Fuller to fill the vacancy of Student Council Secretary, and the three-page, full-color yearbook dedication all keeping her top of mind around campus–but Northwood became unafraid again. A horrible alien had killed on its streets; Northwood had been shattered, and the people made repairs. The town grieved and, like the alien, moved on.


Eighteen months after the murder, the detective told Davis (still calling twice a week) that he could pick up Anna Kat’s things. This doesn’t mean we’re giving up, he said. We have the evidence photographed, the DNA scanned. Phone ahead and we’ll have them ready. Like a pizza, Davis thought.

“I don’t want to see them,” Jackie said. You don’t have to, he told her.

“Will you burn the clothes?” He promised he would.

“Will they ever find him, Dave?” He shook his head, shrugged, and shook his head again.

He imagined a big room with rows of shelves holding boxes of carpet fibers and photos and handwriting samples and taped