This story is a follow up to Shadow Sphere. If you understand how shadows work then you will understand why the characters are alive and just what is going on. If you want I could write up an explanation of Shadows and post it some other time.
He walks
Mike sighed as he took in the view from the top of the blue heron bridge. The city was dull compared to the golden glow of the inlet below the bridge but he didn't care to him it used to be a paradise. As he scanned the horizon unfamiliar monuments reared their steam pressed steel frames to corrode memories. His loft ,which once dominated the sky line on the east side of the city was a long ago memory. In its place stood a bank with business offices reaching high into the silver lined sky. His heart felt sick as he thought of those well dressed respected citizens of the free republic soiling his home with their presence. Looking down at the same trash littered streets he prowled with indifference rather than the embrace of cultural acceptance.

The very air they breathe polluted the view he enjoyed in his youth, not that age was a factor in his life .To Mike, age was a phantom idea that lurked in the hearts of those who strove for perfection. He, on the other hand had long ago abandoned all hope in the systems ability to achieve perfection, thus he did not age. He grew wise instead. His mind grew stronger and his body kept the appearance of one not quite in his prime

Leaving the bridge he heads towards the business district in search of remnants of the place he once knew. On Blue Heron Boulevard he passes a quaint little art store .The sign in the window proclaimed half off all hand painted ceramics and jewelry. He shakes his head sadly at the woman sitting at the desk. Her hair is dull and stringy, her once pleasant face had begun its journey into old age. The radio, just loud enough to be heard played soft jazz music he watches the woman stand and walk towards the back of the store then she is gone from site he continues on.

The sun has nearly set by the time he reaches Australian avenue. This was once the site of the liveliest part of town. Clubs used to line the street ,there was a fountain at the end of the block before the municipal library .Small sandwich shops and cafes dotted the sidewalks with large colored umbrellas and chairs. He turned away in disgust as a woman in a loud flower print dress exited a pet salon in the shape of a bone ,on seeing him she hurriedly crossed the street clutching her little dog against her chest. Following her with his eyes he recognized the face of the building across the street. The Noir Exotica used to stand here. The new tenants of the building adopted the decorative black marble facing on the building adding their own little touches to transform the club into a chic department store. Inside Mike could see several people browsing the racks of over expansive clothing. Desphea would like this place ,mike sighed as he moved on trying not to remember the decrepit old woman at the art store.

Tucked ion a corner by the Library a dark little boutique stood nestled into the shadows of giant palm trees, the city's last effort to appear 'native'. The sign above the door called for further examination. In bold decorative script a name stood out from entwining floral design in blacks and golds.

Madame Le Triot's Fortune Seeker's Lounge and Coffee House.

Mike couldn't help smiling as stared at the items in the window. A large crystal ball , a dried and withered hand and the skull of a snake stood on pedestals surrounded by other not so defined items.The store wouldn't be open until eight pm. He smiled once more and kept moving ,thoughts of Madame LeTriot roiling in his head.