Pinky was the first to laugh, followed closely by Kitty. But Gotcha was not laughing, “What the fuck was that?” he asked. “What just happened?” Then, looking at Kitty, he asked, “How did you do that?”

“Well, international dealer of shade, and Chinese bunk Viagra, I suppose there are a couple plausible possibilities. I’m a little ahead of time, or I can read your minds.”

Gotcha said nothing, Pinky laughed, and Kitty said, “I suspect the former. Otherwise, how do I know that the cop walking up the street behind me is gonna stop to give us some grief, but will change his mind, when he sees you. He will, instead, say, ‘Oh, hello, Mr. Kinsella. How are you?’”

That’s exactly what happened. Gotcha was courteous, but gave the flatfoot the bum’s rush, as Kitty and Pinky looked on, smiling.

“About a minute now,” Kitty said, answering Gotcha’s question before he could ask it. “It just started when I met you.”

Although he tried, Gotcha could not stop himself from asking the question, anyway, “How long have you been able to do that?”

“I don’t know, but I hope so, ‘cause it’s kinda freaking me out,” Kitty said.

“Can you control it?” Gotcha asked, belatedly. “Can you turn it on and off?”

“Oh, dear,” said Kitty, “Maybe I can read your minds, too. ‘cause you are both very relieved that I cannot read your minds, even though neither of you are actually gonna say that.”

The girl waited three seconds before bursting into laughter, and admitting, “No, I’m just fucking with you. That the two of you are relieved that I cannot read your minds is a slam dunk.”

“Yeah? What makes you think I’m  Witch?” Kitty laughed, pointing at Pinky. “I did not turn you into a newt.”

Laughing, Gotcha looked at Pinky and asked, “What makes you think she’s a witch?”

Pinky replied, “She turned me into a newt.”

“No, you are not taking me to the river and throwing me in, to see if I float, and I do not weigh the same as a duck,” Kitty declared, laughing.

Before Gotcha and Pinky could butcher the routine, Kitty walked away. “Stay rigt here,” she commanded.

She got fifty yards down the street and stopped. She watched Pinky and Gotcha talking, but hadn’t a clue that Pinky was filling Gotcha in on his Pinky thing. But when she walked back toward them, she knew, once again, what they were gonna say, before they said it. The closer she got, the more she knew.

Kitty repeated the experiment a half dozen times, as she walked a half circle around the two, on the Parliament Hill lawn. The results were always the same. She knew the conversation was gonna turn from the Pinky thing, to Pinky explaining his bastard son’s brilliant Commonwealth idea, and then to a discussion about Madonna, and Lance, and what they would be pitching to the royal runaways, out in Vancouver, on the morrow.

The witch walked back to the pair and told them both to, “Shut the fuck up and hand me your watches.” They complied.

She examined Pinky’s $20,000 Rolex, and looked at the clock on the Peace Tower.

Then she examined Gotcha’’s Rolex, and looked at the clock on the Peace Tower.

Kitty smiled at Gotcha, said, “Sorry,” and smashed his watched on the concrete, She picked it up and did it again, and again, until it was in pieces, then she stomped on the pieces.

“Problem, if you can call it that, solved.”

“That’s a $10,000 Rolex,” Gotcha said.

“No. It was not. Where’d you get it?”


The girl looked at Gotcha and told him, “Don’t you fucking dare lie to me, ever again. Where’d you get it?”


“Do you remember exactly where? What shop?”

“Not where, but from whom,” Gotcha said. “Yes, I do. It was just a month ago.”

“It wasn’t a Rolex. It was ten seconds fast. You buy it from a friend?”

“Of a sort,” Gotcha answered.

“No honour among thieves.”

“So it seems. That’s disappointing. I’ve known him for years. He’s the Fagin of Taksim Square.”

“Well, maybe whatever Oliver stole it, from whatever fat, drunk gringo, didn’t know that the fat, drunk gringo’s Rolex was fake.”

“I hope that’s the case.”

“Are you still selling fake rare, vintage wines at auction?” she asked.

“How the fuck do you know that?”

“Are you ashamed?”

“Not a bit. I only operate that business in China. The nouveau riche in China are all CCP cadre. They don’t know shit about wine.”

“Interesting,” Kitty said. “The rich stealing from the rich. Not exactly Robin Hood, but I guess it’s a victimless crime.”

Gotcha protested, “That’s where you’re wrong, pretty Kitty. It’s very much a Robin Hood endeavor. All the proceeds fund underground dissident groups, both on the mainland, and in Hong Kong.”

“I guess that’s what your Jesus would do, isn’t it?’

“Yes it is,” Gotcha said. “Yes it is. It’s a 21st century twist on turning water into wine.”

“is that where the bunk Viagra profits go, too?”

“It is. Gotta problem with it?”

“Fuck no. I’m no fan of the CPC.”

“CCP,” Gotcha said.

“Tomato, potato, what the fuck ever. It’s good work. For what it’s worth, I commend you for it.” The girl was very much aware that Gotcha was pleased as punch to be in her favour, and it was written all over his face.




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