In the Altered States of America, warped perceptions are king and melodrama runs high. In this original series from Brooklyn-based illustrator Mike Reddy and writer Matthew Newton, a new short story is published each day throughout the month of July.
It happened once before, the night Cheat City Heat won the Tri-Boro Intramural Classic. Maynard’s beloved Vespa had gone missing around midnight, during what many claimed was “the bloodiest sports riot since Pistol Pete’s Mayday Massacre,” leaving the young man sick with grief over the well-being of his motor scooter. Each hour he phoned police desperate for their help in recovering his prize possession, but 911 rang busy for weeks after marshal law was declared. When the blackouts came Maynard still went out each night with his headlamp and baseball bat, scouring the abandoned store fronts and bomb-cratered parks for any sign of his black beauty. It was nowhere to be found. After months of fruitless searching he decided to hunker down for the long and lawless winter ahead, promising himself to resume the hunt in spring when the weather broke.
Six months after order was restored, and the Intramural Riots became a historical footnote, Maynard received a phone call. It was a police officer from Fishkill, a small town 30 miles outside the city. Maynard’s scooter had turned up at the Evergreen Motel, a notorious crack and prostitution den off the interstate. It was discovered by a cleaning woman named Brenda. She found the scooter in a shower stall at the Evergreen, mummified in toilet paper and half submerged in backed-up sewage. It took months to remove the smell of feces and petroleum jelly, but Maynard managed to restore the bruised and battered machine to its former glory. After that it rarely left his sight. Except for that one New Year’s Eve when he accidentally parked outside the Home for Troubled & Angst-Ridden Juveniles. But Maynard still refuses to talk about that night.