“Well, this is not how the city normally is,” Dr. Reilly explains. “Don’t get me wrong, I like Thunder and all the rest of the Derby events, but… Let’s just say we collectively lose our minds at this time of year. My fear is you’re going to get an erroneous first impression of Louisville.”
Ehrichto had been surprised to find the downtown area being set up for a crowd, city workers re-arranging sawhorses to block off certain lanes to traffic, and police milling about on foot, their cruisers parked haphazardly across otherwise deserted intersections. From signs posted in shop windows he’d figured out that “Thunder Over Louisville” began with an air show at 2pm and culminated after dark with a sizeable display of fireworks.
“Oh, don’t worry, this isn’t the first time I’ve been to Louisville,” he assures the doctor. “My family is from here, actually. But, now, it is the first I’ve been in town for this ‘Thunder’. I gather it’s quite a big deal?”
The doctor chuckles. “It’s only the biggest annual fireworks show in North America. Is that a big enough deal for you?”
Angels Fall by N. S. Beranek, forthcoming from Lethe Press.
The Thunder Over Louisville hype is not what brought Ehrichto to the hotel. He’d been stopped in his tracks by the sight that greeted him at Fifth and Main. For a moment he’d wondered if he was somehow on the wrong block, or if maybe they’d re-numbered the streets, any explanation at all besides the obvious and unthinkable, that they’d torn down the Conway Distillery building. But they had. All the buildings on that block were gone, replaced by an angular structure of light brown brick and soaring green glass capped by a rounded, corrugated steel roof. The building looked for all the world like a giant soup can laid on its side.
He was standing, staring at it in horror when a voice to his left said, “I know, right? It’s the only decent block in the whole damned city. I so cannot wait to get to Man-hattan.”
Bardo by N. S. Beranek, forthcoming from Lethe Press.
Cover of the latest issue of the quarterly company newsletter.
Be the Change. Always the goal.
When Ehrichto turns the corner at Fourth a double row of flowering pear trees makes him almost gasp aloud. He immediately forgets to take note of the new buildings among the old or the absence of businesses he once knew. All he sees are the trees, their fat white flower clusters nearly obscuring dark branches. He is overwhelmed by a sense of being home.
Ehrichto has not called Louisville that in a very long while.
By the time he reaches Broadway, he is trembling.
Bardo, by N.S. Beranek, forthcoming from Lethe Press.