Dangerous Angels

Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block Read Free Book Online

Book: Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block Read Free Book Online
Authors: Francesca Lia Block
wandered through the angled streets that smelled meaty and peppery. The Chinatown museum looked like a movie set and inside was a dancing chicken—a real, live chicken that turned on its own tunes with its beak and did a slidy dance for seventy-five cents. Charlie Bat made the chicken dance and he played air hockey with Weetzie. Then, on the way home, he bought cannolis in Little Italy for all of them.
    The next day, Charlie took them to the top of the Empire State Building, and there was his city spread out in front of them. It reminded Weetzie of the time she and My Secret Agent Lover Man had hiked to the top of the Hollywood sign, and she had dreamed of Cherokee and he had been afraid. She wished that the world could be the way it looked from up here—that Charlie could live in a city of perfect buildings and cars and people if he was going to live so far away. The Chrysler Building looked like an art-deco rocket that had caught fans of stars on its way up, and the Statue of Liberty looked like a creature risen green and magical from the sea, and everything looked at peace in the blue, clear day. Charlie bought Cherokee a bottle filled with tiny buildings and blue glitter and water, and she shook it and laughed, watching the glitter come down, and Weetzie wished she could shake blue glitteraround all of them—keeping them sparkling and safe.
    By the time they came down in the elevator, they all had blue glitter on their eyelids and cheeks from the little bottle.
    Charlie took them out for Italian food and French food and Jewish deli and lobster. He bought them strawberries and whipped cream at the Palm Court in the Plaza Hotel, where musicians played to them among the peachy marble columns, mirrors, and floral tapestry chairs. He took them to galleries and shops in SoHo and the East Village and bought them gifts: flowers, Peter Fox shoes for Weetzie, and a Pink Panther doll from F.A.O. Schwarz for Cherokee. Charlie smiled, but he looked lost.
    “Are you okay, Daddy?” Weetzie asked.
    They had come to Harlem for breakfast. On the street, a man in a black hat had touched Charlie’s shoulder and muttered something about “Doctor Man,” and Charlie went pale and started to cough as he walked away. Now they were in Sylvia’s, eating eggs and grits and biscuits and sweet-potato pie.
    “I’m okay,” Charlie said. He was on his third cup of coffee and hadn’t touched his breakfast. “How’s Brandy-Lynn?”
    “She is okay,” Weetzie said. “She doesn’t like the idea of Cherokee having three dads.”
    “Well, it is a little hard to get used to,” Charlie said.
    “I think she really misses you,” Weetzie said. “You should come and visit.”
    “And how is that boyfriend of yours?” Charlie asked, trying to change the subject. “The one with the funny name.”
    “You mean My Secret Agent Lover Man.”
    “That sure is a funny name,” Charlie said.
    Weetzie laughed because Charlie had named her Weetzie and his last name was Bat.
    “What is Cherokee’s last name?” Charlie asked. “Is it My Secret or Secret Agent or Lover or what?”
    “Bat, like ours,” Weetzie said. “Cherokee Bat.”
    “She is a wonder,” Charlie said dreamily, looking at his granddaughter in her pink fringed coat. “Cherokee Bat…”
    Before she left, Weetzie asked Charlie how to end Shangri-L.A .
    “Maybe this girl tries to get back by taking drugs,” he said. “And she dies.”
    “That is such a sad ending, Dad,” Weetzie said with dismay. She knew something was wrong. The paint on Charlie’s apartment walls had cracked and chipped and his eyes were as dark and hollow as the corners of the room.
    Charlie sighed.
    “Move back,” Weetzie said. “It is no good for you here. You could work on the movie. We need you. In L.A. we have a fairy-tale house. We have pancakes at Duke’s, and dinners at the Tick Tock Tea Room. We have the sky set; remember, you used to take me to see it, and Marilyn’s star. And we have

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