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True love is hard to find.
The stroll from sidewalk to shoreline was longer than ever, formidable on a given day, crossing the rare beach in Jersey getting wider every year, erosion from the north dumping more white powder to the south and pushing water’s edge further into the Atlantic. But his trek was languorous, lilting, a relief after what he’d left by the street, in the motel shadows.
He’d been sprayed back on the pavement–must have been the beer, right?, nothing more–warm, salty, like the water here in dead summer, but tinged with a whiff of metal, like chewing a penny, got the nose twitching.… Read the rest
The greatest detectives have always had their particular methods and tools.
Perhaps you, too, have heard of the legendary Arabian trackers and detectives of the past. It was in 1952 that I happened to observe one such detective in action with all the tools of his trade which, by the way, were comprised of instinct, common sense, acute observation, knowledge of people and places, and, oh yes, a piece of string.
It was my second year in Kuwait, working as a journalist. I lived alone in a big house near an old market place, or ‘souk’ as it is known, with roofed alleys, where you could buy almost anything you wanted, from spices to the highest quality Persian rugs.… Read the rest
It doesn’t take much to fan the flames.
Sunday afternoon, the end of Dad’s and my weekend together, was fading fast. If he didn’t have me to Mom’s by six there’d be hell to pay. Dad was sitting in a chair, eyes closed. I started gathering up things, throwing them in the trunk of the car.
I tossed some water on the center of our fire and turned away. A moment later, I was yanked back by the collar of my shirt.
“What did you just do, Jackson?” My father had leaned over and his face was close to mine. The alcohol on his breath that meant I’d be the one in charge of getting us back on time was sharp in my nostrils.… Read the rest
Sometimes, even superheroes need to call 911.
Superman lay face down in the alley next to a Dumpster, a circle of dried blood staining his red cape. Detective Harbison gazed down at the body and decided that regular bullets could take down the Man of Steel just as well as kryptonite.
“Poor Markie!” The Latina standing beside him dug her plump fingers into her skirt pocket and pulled out a tissue. “He’s a good customer. He says, ‘Imelda makes the best coffee in town.’ Markie comes in my diner when he takes a break from work.” The alley where they stood was just behind the tiny restaurant.… Read the rest
Posted in Stories
Tagged with: l.a.
A searing portrait of hatred and regret.
As the 19th of April dissolved into the 20th, Samuel crept into an alley permeated by the stench of week-old garbage. Piles of rotting food, broken wine bottles, torn magazines, and a horde of other useless objects had spilled out of a large blue bin standing against a graffiti-stained brick wall. A stray black cat leaped out of the refuse and darted in front of his path. Christ, just what he needed.
Samuel knelt down in front of the church’s back door. The lock was primitive; it would be easy. He reached into his belt and removed two pencil-thin lock picks made of hand-finished clock spring steel.… Read the rest
Posted in Stories
Tagged with: arson