Dan Warthman received the Robert L. Fish award for Best First Short Story for “A Dreadful Day” (AHMM, January/February 2009). He introduced Jones and Akin, the characters in this month’s cover story, in “Pansy Place” in our January/February 2011 issue. I was immediately struck by the rapport between these two men and the way they work in unspoken coordination with surprising results.
1) My friend Bill visited me several times when I lived in Beijing. More than once, we went on Saturday evening to the Sanwei Bookstore and Teahouse to listen to live performances of traditional Chinese music. A woman was playing the guzheng, the music was mesmerizing, the place was hushed. And then a mobile phone rang. And the guy, who happened to be another expat, answered it. And talked. And then made another call himself. During the break, Bill said, I’m going to talk to that guy . . .