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This is the seventh chapter of my month-long work of fiction, NOV.

It’s the same walk back to Novelty for Frank and one, on the same street, past the same buildings darkening with the hour and with the prospects of the neighbourhood’s residents. Bars are getting brighter as stores are dimming out. Every so often there’s a light they have to stop at to let Toyotas, Hondas, Hyundais, Renaults, Dodges, Chryslers, Fords, Mitsubishis, and their mostly lone occupants go past. At one of these, one turns to Frank and puts a hand on his chest and leans him against the brick wall behind. One scans Frank closely, reading his face like instructions for assembly.

Frank looks back steadily, weighing one in ounces and grams. This is a fun game but Frank will keep some cards hidden.

“Describe me,” one says. Continue reading