The End of the World

Two hours later Rudy walked out of the Key West Police Department and into the stabbing afternoon light. He gave his eyes a few seconds to adjust. The rest  of him would take longer.

Rudy hadn’t been arrested. He’d been detained. Cordially. An officer in a starched uniform got him a Coke and a comfortable seat and asked him all about Kastle Ann Keen. Where they’d met. How. The nature of their relationship. What he knew about her impending nuptials. His local address, permanent address, contact information.

He answered all their questions and more. He explained how she was going through grief in the wrong direction. That she went places with her eyes closed. Her thoughts on wearing fur during sex. As he talked, the department staff interviewing him expanded from two, to four, and finally to seven. He even took a shot at how binary stars and mutual gravity propelled him from his father’s ashes at a Sanibel beach on Tuesday to this little room in Key West on Thursday.

In the Uber back to the hotel he pulled up the online wedding announcement for the Saturday ceremony:


Kastle Keen and Dr. Philip Temple, of Paterson, NJ and New York, NY, announce their engagement.

Ms. Keen is the daughter of Tammerlyn Wedgewood of 10th Avenue, Paterson, New Jersey. She is a graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

Mr. Temple is the son of Dr. John and Evelyn Temple of Greenwich Street, New York. He is a graduate of New York University School of Medicine, specializing in Hematology.

The wedding will take place at 4:00 p.m. September 30 at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, Sanibel Island.

September 30 was tomorrow. She’d said it on the boat from Fort Myers. I have four days. But if the announcement contained a clue on how this constituted the end of the world, it was well-hidden.

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