An excerpt in celebration of Easter

Piper and Bess had grown even closer since Houdini had left to dazzle Chicago with his feats of daring and wonder. On Easter Sunday, Bess had taken her into Manhattan where she and two hundred-thousand other people flaunted their new spring clothing in the parade along Fifth Avenue. Seated in his customary chair as though he’d never been gone, Houdini lowered the paper and smiled.
“Come give your uncle a big birthday hug,” he said, opening his arms wide. When they embraced, she couldn’t tell if she sensed tension between them or if it was just her imagination. After all, how could he have known for sure that it had been her in Margery’s parlor? The only thing he could possibly have seen was a pair of glowing stars, which wouldn’t be out of the ordinary in a weird room like that.
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An excerpt in honor of National Ferris Wheel Day

Before them, the Wonder Wheel rose one hundred fifty feet into the air. The sign at the center of the wheel was dark and none of the bulbs on its perimeter were lit. But Piper could make out the twenty-four enclosed cars as if it were the middle of the day. Eight of those cars were suspended from the wheel’s outer frame, like those on a traditional Ferris wheel. The other sixteen cars, however, hung from inner spokes so they could slide back and forth on tracks as the giant wheel rotated. Piper felt the wind pick up and heard it whistling through the spokes. Choronzon shoved Piper down the entrance ramp. Continue reading

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An excerpt in honor of National Bootlegger’s Day

Piper took one step and almost twisted her ankle. She wasn’t used to walking in heels and stumbled twice more crossing the street to the Adonis Club.

It was Saturday night and a line had already formed at the door. But it moved quickly. When Piper reached the stairs, she was barely able to navigate the creaky steps down to the entrance. She rapped twice on the door and a small window slid open.

“What’s the word, doll?” A dark eye blinked at her. Piper opened her mouth and froze. The window slammed shut.

The people standing in line at the top of the stairs began to grumble. Piper thumped twice on the door again. The slot opened a crack.

“You again?” the eye said. “You got a spruce caboose, kid, I’ll give you that. Now haul it back to your dapper’s house this second or I’ll…”

“Bee’s knees,” Piper said with a plastered smile that looked like it belonged on a ventriloquist dummy.

The eye scanned her from head to foot.

“You ain’t old enough to be here.”

“Tell you what, you show me your liquor license and I’ll show you my birth certificate.”

The eye narrowed.

“You’re a real bearcat, ain’t ya?”

The peephole closed. Piper thought she had blown it until she heard the click of the doorknob.

“Welcome to the Adonis Club!” Continue reading

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Jim Zeigler and Aleister Crowley share the same pretext

Using the same logic that Jim Zeigler argued to defend Roy Moore’s alleged acts of pedophilia, Aleister Crowley justifies his intention to seduce the teen-aged Piper by saying. “I ask you, was the mother of the Christ-child any older?” Continue reading

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An excerpt in honor of National Stop Bullying Day

National Stop Bullying Day, which is referred to by some as “Unity Day,” is observed annually on the second Wednesday in October. This annual designation is intended to bring awareness of the need to stand up against and put an end to bullying. In this excerpt, Piper helps Sal Gamache against a bully who is trying to steal an amulet that has great significance to him. Continue reading

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An excerpt to celebrate National Rhode Island Day

National Rhode Island Day is one of those obscure national days that no one has ever heard of, including people from Rhode Island. Celebrated on October 5, it recognizes Rhode Island as the last colony to join the Union. My son attends college near Providence, RI, where a pivotal scene … Continue reading

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An excerpt to celebrate Piper’s birthday!

The freaks sat at the long wooden table and banged on it with their forks chanting, “Make a wish! Make a wish! Make a wish!”

“My friends, you’ve all given me everything I could ever wish for. I’ve never felt more accepted in all my life. I can’t think of anything that would make me happier.”

But still they chanted. So Piper closed her eyes and thought about the one thing she wanted. When she opened them, she blew out the candles. The Curiosities all hooted and applauded. Continue reading

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An excerpt in celebration of National Hot Dog Day

The smell of the butter-toasted buns drifted from the orange and white lobby of the fast-food restaurant, luring the two companions in for a taste. Sal fished out a couple of dimes and gave them to the boy behind the counter who handed them two hot dogs and two orange drinks in return.

“Nathan’s may be a New York institution, but Nedick’s is far better,” he said, biting into his frank.

Piper looked at the hot dog and gave him a skeptical look.

“What’s the difference? A hot dog is a hot dog.”

But when she sank her teeth into the bun and its tasty contents, Piper’s mouth exploded with glee. She savored it for a few seconds and then with a full mouth she declared, “If they served Grape Nehi, this place would be heaven.” Continue reading

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