Someone has something on me. I think I'm starting to understand how I could be losing a campaign that a dead guy won. Pictures have come in the mail, you see. Old pictures. Of me, of my family, our friends. My God, they must have found everything there was to find that was incriminating. There's Michael and me, he's avoiding bright lights and the red in his eyes doesn't look quite like your usual camera inspired redeye. There's Grandpa, maniacal Grandpa, with that crazed look on his face, leaning against a worn and battered jeep. If I look closely, I think I can still see the dents where it hit the house head-on. There's Star, how did they ever get that one? She avoided cameras like the plague and she looks older than she did that day she vanished from our lives. In this shot, she's leaning against David's bike, the bike she made hers and tied pretty scarves to. There's Edgar and Allen Frog and me in the comic book shop on the boardwalk, shortly before their parents moved them out of town. There's even a picture of me climbing the "Welcome to Santa Carla" sign, a can of spray paint in my back pocket; the back of the sign reads "Murder Capital of the World" and I know that anyone else who sees that will think I wrote it there, when I was really going to cross it out. There's no letter with the photos, only a small card that reads "I'll be watching, Mr. Seaborn. B. Summers." This Summers must know everything. The years in Santa Carla, the way I changed my name when Mom remarried, all the lies I've told about my normal, formal, all-American boyhood. My strength runs out of me as I fan out the pictures like a pack of dirty playing cards. I don't even have the strength to hold them anymore. Automatically, I reach for my cell phone, but then I realize that, for this conversation, it's going to need to be a landline.
Three time zones away, in D.C., the phone rings and rings and for a horrible moment, I wonder if Josh might have actually left his office and gone to bed, but then I hear his familiar, groggy voice. "Lyman here."
"Josh? It's Sam. We need to talk. I have a problem."