“Will he talk to us?” Eddie asked. The guitarist held his shotgun at the ready and kept looking around the mezzanine.
“Sure he will,” Adrian said. He put away the lens, unscrewed the cap of the gas can and began to back around the man on the chest, pouring a trickle of gasoline on the floor as he went. The petroleum stink snapped Mike out of his reverie.
“How did you lose the last bass player?” he asked.
“We didn’t lose him,” Twitch said. “He died.”
Mike gulped and tightened his grip on the M1911. “Drug overdose?” he asked hopefully.
Eddie shook his head. “Impaled on his own bass.”
“Stand back or get gas on your shoes,” Adrian warned. “I need a perfect circle.”
“Or what?” Eddie asked. “You might fall asleep?”
Mike stepped back and watched Adrian finish his circle, then light it with a matchbook he produced from his pocket. Flames rose from the circle of gas, and when Adrian waved his hand over them, they rose even higher.
“Makes you feel better about the tambourine, though, don’t it?” Twitch asked. “I mean, when was the last time you heard of a tambourine player murdered with his own instrument?”
“A tambourine could be sharpened,” Eddie said sourly.
“Murdered?” Mike asked.
“Of course,” Eddie snapped. “What kind of idiot would impale himself on a bass guitar?”
“If there was such an idiot,” Twitch observed, “he’d surely be a member of this band.”