I talked with Frank about Screen.
“He’s got this plan to scatter his mom’s ashes.”
“What plan do you need? Don’t you just scatter them?”
“Not much he does is simple. He stuffs reptiles for fun. Screen’s a pretty complex guy.”
Frank and I sat on the stage during what was now called Club Dead Lunch. I made a point of not draping my arm around him or anyone else near me.
“His mother grew up around here. She loved the lakes. Screen wants to scatter her ashes in the lake.”
“Sounds simple and respectful.”
“But it’s illegal,” I said. “Some people are convinced the ashes pollute the water.”
“And Screen plans to ignore the law?”
“More likely break it as publically as he can. He wants a ceremony.”
“That would attract attention.”
“Which is what he wants. His mom was some kind of activist who spent much of her adult life antagonizing the man. Screen spent a portion of his childhood visiting her in prison. He wants a scene. Thinks she’d like that.”
“What’s are the details of this plan?”
Nearby members grew quiet to listen.
“He wants a flotilla.”
“That’s a group of ships. An armada?”
“No, that would mean armaments. He says rowboats, sailboats, kayaks, even paddle boards will do. There’s an island in the middle of one of the lakes.”
“His mom’s grandfather owned it when she was a kid. Used to camp on it. Screen becomes emotional talking about it. Thinks it’s sacred.”
“It’s got a hotel on it now.”
“Which pushes him towards despair.”
“So, he plans to take over the island?”
“That would no doubt please him. But no, he only wants his flotilla to circle the island.”
“And the ceremony would commence.”
I explained to Frank how Screen would give each Club Dead member a vial of ashes. He had written some commemorative words that would be chanted. Club Dead inspired him on that point. Then at the time of day when his mom died the ashes would be dispersed.
“And no doubt the police would pounce upon us all.”
“I don’t know about the police, but I do know that he intends to call the local newspaper to have a reporter on the scene.”
“Screen sounds mad.”
“As a hatter.”
“He’d fit right in with us.”
“But he won’t. Says he’s not a joiner.”
“But he wants our help.”
“All in the service of death.”