Dzinski sat on his balcony, the sun halfway over the taller buildings across the way, and slanting in his eyes. He sipped his coffee and tore a heel of bread apart. He let the crumbs flutter down, watching them fall like snow. The sparrows swooped down and pecked at his offerings.
The phone rang. He let it.
It stopped and then started up right away. He groaned and stomped into the apartment.
“What is it?” he said.
The voice on the other end was melodious, but small and scared and it apologized too quickly. Almost out of habit. He imagined her cowering on the other end. His anger changed to embarrassment. He grumbled something he hoped would soothe the caller.
“I tried calling your office,” she said. “But you haven’t been in for the last three days.”
Dzinski scratched at his stubble, as if he could determine the passage of time by its length. His eyes went over the empty bottles standing on the kitchen table, and the few rolling across the cracked linoleum floor. Three days sounded about right.
“I’ve had some personal business,” he said. “But it’s done now. I’ll be at my office in two hours. If you care to come down then?”
The voice said it did. He thanked her and hung up. Dzinski stepped back out on the balcony. The little birds were gone. Three crows stood in their place, their black eyes cocked up towards him as he looked down.
He hurried back inside.