An excerpt in celebration of International Bat Appreciation Day

Hanging upside down on a wooden perch was an animal that Louise had never seen before. It looked like a silver fox with demon wings. Piper hastily opened the locked and reached into the cage.
“Be careful!” Louise warned. “You don’t know what that thing is!”
“I know exactly what it is,” the girl replied. The animal’s clawed feet embraced her hand tenderly as she wrested it from its prison. “The one I know is much older.”
Suddenly a door on the back wall smashed open. A man in his late fifties wearing a safari helmet and khaki clothes leaped into the arena. He was holding a shotgun in one hand and a whip in the other. Continue reading

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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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Piper celebrates Memorial Day

A steamboat sounded its horn as it departed the pier to collect passengers from New York City. Standing upon an outdoor stage beneath a giant seashell canopy, Sam Gumpertz was greeted by cheers, whistles, clapping hands, clapping feet, and even the clapping flippers of the Seal Woman.

Sam extended his hand to the three distinctive landmarks that ascended high into Coney Island’s unblemished blue sky: The Wonder Wheel, the Thunderbolt, and the hundred-foot bejeweled structure that towered above a new roller coaster called the Bobs.

“Welcome to another summer at Dreamland. Or at least what’s left of it,” Sam announced, bowing to the small crowd. Continue reading

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An excerpt to celebrate baseball’s Opening Day

It was a simple stone. No dates, no first name, no epitaph. Just the name “Ebbets” carved in capital letters on a rectangular stone slab. Flapper knew very little about the man she had slept with except that he once owned a baseball team that still played three miles to the east in a stadium bearing his name. Continue reading

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