“No!,” shouted Mike. “Screw this Spam Plan and winning friends business. Let’s just get the hell out of NYC! We can put our energy into leaving. There. Problem solved.”
“Easier said than done, Mike. They’ve locked down the city. All the exits are no longer exits. They aren’t entrances, either. Bridges and tunnels, those things aren’t for transportation, anymore. Manhattan is an island. You are from a swamp, so you wouldn’t understand,” Moira sniffed.
“DC is not a swamp. It is our nation’s capitol city.”
“Built on a swamp,” I said. “Moira’s point is that we can’t leave Manhattan. They’ll have soldiers posted at the bridges and tunnels, and I’m willing to bet they are shooting people who won’t turn around.”
“What about the birds?,” Jill wondered. “The birds can leave. They can just fly right out of here.”
“They probably have jets patrolling to shoot them down. Those birds are pretty hard to miss,” Jonathan said.
“The birds don’t have any reason to leave, right now. They are at the top of the food chain,” I said.
“Well, damnit, how are we supposed to avoid being bird food?,” Mike demanded.
“I think we can be invisible. We can be invisible and go make an army,” I said.
I rallied my reluctant troops back to the workshop to rummage around. There wasn’t much in the way of weapons making materials. Power tools need power to work, and they aren’t good for distance, anyway. Moira hot glued a jigsaw blade to a broomstick and announced, “This is one suck-ass spear.”
Mike frisbee-d styrofoam fake straw hats across the room. “Maybe we could tape razor blades to these?”
“And cut our fingers off when we throw them,” Jill said.
“Oh. That would be bad.”
“Yes,” Jill agreed. “That would be bad.”
“Here’s the stuff you wanted,” Jonathan’s muffled voice came from the back of the shop.
“One. Singular sensation. Every little step we take,” I said.
What I wanted were mirrors. Big, lightweight mirrors. They weren’t really mirrors. They were reflective aluminum panels that rolled up for storage. The Broadway Babies were based out of our theatre. They toured kiddy versions of adult musicals. The fake mirrors were from their production of “A Chorus Line,” which had been almost unrecognizable, since “A Chorus Line” is actually a very mature musical.
“So, what are we going to do with these?,” Jill asked. She grabbed one and shook it so that it made a “whubba whubba whubba” sound.
“We are going to make a big box on casters, put the mirrors on the outside. We’ll get inside and push it places. We’ll be invisible.”
Everybody looked at me with eyes full of pity and patience. Except for one person.
“The hell we will be invisible,” muttered Moira.
“You are right. We won’t be invisible. We COULD be if we were able to set things up just right. Magicians use mirrors for disappearing themselves and things all the time. You forget that I once worked load-in of a tour of David Copperfield’s show.”
“Yes, yes, we know. You had to sign an oath that you’d never reveal the tricks, blab blab,” Moira said.
“I really do agree that we won’t be invisible. But I bet we could confuse a bird enough to be able to get across the street to Manhattan Plaza,” I said.
“Doesn’t this constitute breaking your precious oath?,” Moira asked.
“You know, it could work,” said Jonathan.
“And then the people inside Manhattan Plaza will kill us and eat us,” Moira predicted.
“No, I bet they still have plenty of Spam over there,” Jill said.
We decided to do a quick door check and settle in for the night. It had been a long day. Our first day in our new New York, a New York that really was ours, with nobody to tell us when to go to somewhere or what to do once we got there. It wasn’t as liberating as we’d always thought it would be. Nobody said anything about going upstairs to look out the window, again.
Jonathan peeked through the front gate, into the twilight.
“Hey,” he whispered. “Somebody is out there, all huddled up.”
“Well, let’s get him in here,” Moira whispered back. “I’m not going to feel guilty about anything else, today.” We all nodded.
Jill positioned herself at the gate button. The rest of us grabbed the door crash bars. The gate crunched up, and we threw the doors open the second the gate cleared. The dirty, huddled person unhuddled and stared at us.
“Trish!,” we all gasped.