Sadie turned into Caracol Drive. The old bar was long gone but the place still gave her the creeps. It had been photographed in a couple of magazines before it fell into ruin. After Aunt Connie died everything went that way. South. She included herself in that. The bar was a metaphor and vandals tore the place apart. They ripped remaining letters off the sign and took chunks of the shell facade. They were lighting fires inside and dumping garbage all over the parking lot. Sammy had a fence put up but by then it was too late.
Chocky bought it and burned it. At least that's what everyone said. He says he didn’t but no one could blame him. Or pin it on him. It was cheap fifties construction and would have cost too much to tear down. Everyone said he did it because of bad memories. Because of Uncle Johnny and the kids he molested there. Or because of Alva and the Colonel. But surely all that wasn’t El Caracol's fault. A place was made to pay for people's sins, just like the bar that burned before it and the barn that it replaced and the old adobe before that.
Now a wall and shade structure edged the parking lot and she pulled her white BMW up to the intercom and mailbox. The gate opened silently and she drove through. It was even nicer than the last time she was there. He'd built a huge sundial and cleverly illuminated sculptures out of salvaged tiles and scrap steel where El Caracol had been. Solar lights lit a walkway and a circular fountain sculpture traced the bar's distinctive curl in shimming water. The roses she'd planted where her Aunts' ashes were buried had grown.
Chocky met her in front of his place, the first in a series of small cabins that had once been Cozy Y Gardens Motor Court. His giant three-story sculpture loomed behind him, dark but for the apartments and deck on top where Sadie could see smoke curling from a barbeque grill and lights in both the converted school buses.
Full house? She gestured with her chin.
Booked through November.