Chapter Three



In the two years since his wife and son’s death, Adam Lutz was beginning to get a slight sense of normalcy. He thought about his loved ones multiple times a day, but he was at least able to get into a cadence of work and life that worked for him. His coworkers were very helpful. He was in therapy twice a week in the beginning, but now twice a month sufficed. He developed a couple of OCD habits, which seemed to bring him comfort.

Pioneer Square is full of lower rent office buildings and businesses. Many startups and companies looking to be as frugal as possible dot the landscape in the square. Adam’s office was located in the open area directly across from Occidental Park between Main and Jackson Streets known as Nord Alley. It was an older building with a lot of character, exposed brick, and earthquake safety upgrades. Many of the buildings in the area are still sport uneven flooring and earthquake shoring devices in the walls after the big quake in 2001.

Adam typically caught a bus from near his house in Capitol Hill and got off the bus at 1st Avenue South near Yesler. He would walk down 1st and would cut over to Washington and then through Occidental Park. He always had a couple of pieces of gum in his mouth and in systematic fashion would throw it into the street at Main. He tried to hit one of the large square vents in the sidewalk. Sometimes the gum would fall through. Sometimes it would rest on top. And other times it would roll across the street.

Ned who was in Occidental Park most days Adam was walking through got very interested in Adam’s gum-throwing habit. He liked that he could get a large sample of one person’s gum. He didn’t pick it up the first time they crossed paths, but after a third, fourth, and fifth day of expelled gum, Ned couldn’t resist and started religiously collecting it. Adam was a good find and enabler for Ned.

Adam was oblivious.

Chapter Four


(c) 2013 – 2015 – Darin Hartley