A volcanic wind blew in from the northeast all week, a direction from which it rarely blew, and bore clusters of nascent thunderstorms upon its wings.

“Shit,” said Carl Escobedo, worksite manager for Joyeuse Construction. “Another storm brewing. Pack it up, people! I want those holes sealed well enough that this place floats like a cork!”

His boys, as annoyed as he was at the constant disruptions the storms brought to their renovations, nevertheless did as they were told. As he was putting a tarp in place over a glassless window, Escobedo was approached by one of his carpenters, Richat.

“The boys are getting kind of anxious, boss,” Richat said. “All this rotten weather when we’re trying to work, and on this of all places…they’re starting to say it might be something unnatural.”

“Yeah, it’s unnatural all right,” Escobedo snapped. “Unnatural bad luck that’s pushing my bottom line on this job into the red. Just get everything sealed up and punch your card.”

“If you say so, boss.”

That day’s storm was a humdinger, with three hours of roiling lightning and torrential rains. When it cleared, around 3pm, Escobedo’s crew returned to work…without their boss. Thinking that he might have been caught by the storm and forced to take shelter inside, they unsealed the place.

No trace of Escobedo was ever found aside from his Joyeuse ballcap, hanging on an antique doorknob.

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