Friday, September 21, 2018

Guest Post from Author Laury A. Egan: When a Funny Guy Comes to Visit


When a Funny Guy Comes to Visit
by Laury A. Egan

Rarely does a writer have fun creating a book. Yes, there are special scenes, a bit of humorous dialogue, or a serendipitous turn of phrase that please, but mostly our job is hard work. Long hours sitting in front of a computer, long nights dreaming about what we’ll write the next morning on the computer, and clusters of notes around the computer that require eventual insertion. Most of what we do requires grit, tenacity, and a large dollop of obsessive-compulsive behavior. However, in stark relief from my previous novels, Fabulous! An Opera Buffa, was wicked fun from the beginning.
One summer day, while I was sitting on the deck, gazing serenely on the ocean, Gilbert Eugene Rose flew in for a visit, rather like Peter Pan arriving in the open window of the Darling house.

Immediately, Gil made me giggle. He was arch, charming, sweet, irresistible, nor would he be ignored, so I set down my iced tea and rushed to the keyboard, wherein he acted like a greyhound let off the leash. After telling me of his psychic reading by Madame Clara, in which he was informed, “It’s just a matter of time,” Gil explained this meant he would achieve his goal of singing in a professional opera production and finding his one true love.

Well, with Gill, things are never easy, and he soon finds himself hired for a soprano lead in a Mozart opera and the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, with a lesbian mobsterette, La Donna, requiring Handel in between. His madcap adventure—changing wigs and identities—becomes more complicated when La Donna reignites a dangerous feud with the producer of one of his operas. This lands Gil in the middle of Mobster Boulevard and me holding my hat, trying to keep up with his zippy tale. And there is also romance brewing with the hunky Hank—of course there is romance!

Where did Gilbert come from? This gay guy who sings opera and performs the occasional drag show? I have absolutely no idea except to say that the process was akin to channeling (either that or I have multiple-personality disorder in addition to obsessive-compulsive issues). Regardless of his origins, Gil made me laugh and provided a much needed antidote to our depressing times and serious relief from my literary endeavors. I hope readers will enjoy visiting with him as much as I did.

Laury A. Egan is the author of The Outcast Oracle, Jenny Kidd, and Fog and Other Stories. Her poetry has been issued in limited-edition collections: Snow, Shadow, a Stranger; Beneath the Lion’s Paw; The Sea & Beyond; and Presence & Absence. Her website: www.lauryaegan.com

Paperbacks and eBooks are available from Tiny Fox Press:
http://tinyfoxpress.com/product/fabulous/
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your bookstore.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

BOOK REC: QUEENPIN by Megan Abbott


I have to recommend QUEENPIN to anyone who loves hard-boiled noir crime fiction.

MY REVIEW 
I've read some of Megan Abbott's stuff before and really liked it. And then I read QUEENPIN and thought, "Oh my God, this gal can really do noir. She's like a female Raymond Chandler." This is one of those books I hated life for intruding and forcing me to put down.

I savored every hard-boiled word, every tough and muscular description, rooting for the long odds of a happy ending. I can't wait to read more Megan Abbott, especially in the vein.

EXCERPT
Because she was solid gold, fourteen-carat, barely burnished despite twenty years of hard molling.

But beneath it, I knew, beneath that gold and stardust, she was all grit and sharp teeth gnashing, head twisting, talons out, tearing flesh. She was all open mouth, tunneling into an awful nothing.

I hated her.

And I felt closer to her than ever.

Goddamn her.

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Monday, September 10, 2018

The Pull of Love


Below is an excerpt from The Couple Next Door, and it’s a scene where two lost souls—Jeremy and Shane—at last unite, under very difficult circumstances. See, Shane has been physically and emotionally abused by the man with whom he lives. Jeremy has been witness to it and has tried to be a friend, to help, to perhaps even be a savior. He’s tried to keep a respectable distance.

But the pull between these two men, as you’ll read, is just too powerful….

EXCERPT
Does my knowing the truth make me an accomplice? Does Shane knowing the truth make him an accessory after the fact to murder?

What, I ask myself for the thousandth time, have I gotten myself into? The answer comes to me in an image: Shane, smiling, the delight clear in his icy blue eyes when he first sees me.

A man. It’s always a man. If I could learn to live without men, I’d be happy, I tell myself.

Good luck with that.

I go into the kitchen, grab some oranges and a couple of protein bars from a drawer. It’s a meager breakfast, but it’s the best I have to offer.

Knock, knock, knock and Shane opens the door. His eyes are rimmed in red. He looks as though he hasn’t slept—like me. He wears a torn and faded navy blue T-shirt and gray sweatpants. I can see the outline of his cock through the loose jersey fabric. My mind wanders away from danger, scaling other exhilarating heights.

He looks breathtaking. All I want to do is hold him, comfort him, and go from there—proceed directly to his bedroom, do not pass go. Why am I thinking of sex at such a horrible time, when he has shared with me the truth of his history? Now is the time for talk, not lovemaking. Yet the lust persists like an itch right in the center of my brain. There’s only one way to scratch it.

It’s like he’s read my mind. He takes the fruit and the protein bars from me and turns away to set them on the arm of a chair near the front door. Then he comes back to me and enfolds both of my hands in his own.

The moment is too charged with something, some kind of electric connection, for words. Talking would break the spell. The silence is delicious and weighted.

His hands are warm, verging on fiery, feverish. He tugs me toward him roughly, and before I know what’s happening, I’m in his arms. This is no friendly “hello” hug. This is an embrace born of hunger, of desperation, of an animal need for comfort. His mouth seeks mine, starving, and the merging of our lips and tongues is like some kind of communion. It’s more than passion. It’s the uniting of two lost souls.

And with the thought of lost souls, I realize why we both feel such a connection. In his famished kiss, I can feel not only his need for me but also mine for him.

We stop only long enough to turn, to head toward the bedroom. Shane never lets go of at least one of my hands. I can almost feel his need to cling, to ensure I don’t escape.

I welcome it.

He kicks the door closed, and then he’s on me like some kind of jungle cat, ripping the few clothes I wore off, scratching me in the process. I will not see the claw marks until later, until they appear red and scarlet on my flesh. I will rub them, treasuring the memory connected to them. Now, though, there is only animal want and the desire, deep-seated, for human comfort that only oblivion can provide.

We tumble on one of the two beds crammed into the room together, so hungry we can’t stop devouring the other. Not just cocks but nipples, armpits, the crooks behind knees, the tender, sensitive flesh of our thighs, the smalls of our backs. Fluid—saliva, come, tears, all flow, and we exchange them. Greedily.
He mounts me. I mount him. We are in such a haze we almost forget the condoms and the lube.

Almost.

Time stands still as we fuck. As we suck. As we wait, breathless, and do it again.

It’s not until I am lying in Shane’s arms later, when our respiration and heartbeats have returned to some semblance of normalcy, that we speak.

I mince no words. “Why did he do it?”

BLURB
With the couple next door, nothing is as it seems.

Jeremy Booth leads a simple life, scraping by in the gay neighborhood of Seattle, never letting his lack of material things get him down. But the one thing he really wants—someone to love—seems elusive. Until the couple next door moves in and Jeremy sees the man of his dreams, Shane McCallister, pushed down the stairs by a brute named Cole.

Jeremy would never go after another man’s boyfriend, so he reaches out to Shane in friendship while suppressing his feelings of attraction. But the feeling of something being off only begins with Cole being a hard-fisted bully—it ends with him seeming to be different people at different times. Some days, Cole is the mild-mannered John and then, one night in a bar, he’s the sassy and vivacious drag queen Vera.

So how can Jeremy rescue the man of his dreams from a situation that seems to get crazier and more dangerous by the day? By getting close to the couple next door, Jeremy not only puts a potential love in jeopardy, but eventually his very life.

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Get Two of my Darkest Books, IM and MUTE WITNESS for an Amazing Price!




Through September 11, experience my dark side with this #BOGO deal. Buy my serial killer, IM, & get my child-abduction nail-biter, MUTE WITNESS #FREE


IM 

The Internet is the new meat market for gay men. Now a killer is turning the meat market into a meat wagon. 

One by one, he’s killing them. Lurking in the digital underworld of Men4HookUpNow.com, he lures, seduces, and charms, reaching out through instant messages to the unwary. When the first body surfaces, openly gay Chicago Police Department detective Ed Comparetto is called in to investigate. At the scene, the young man who discovered the body tells him the story of how he found his friend. But did this witness play a bigger role in the murder than he’s letting on?

For Comparetto, this encounter is the beginning of a nightmare—because this witness did more than just show up at the scene of the crime; he set the scene. Comparetto is on a journey to discover the truth—before he loses his career, his boyfriend, his sanity… his life. Because in this killer's world, IM doesn't stand for instant message… it stands for instant murder.

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Dreamspinner Press Publications


MUTE WITNESS
"The abuse of a little boy turns a community against a loving gay couple, and nobody comes out of it unscathed."

Mute Witness is a hard book to classify. The publisher files it under mystery/thriller, but there’s also some romance and a more than generous dash of horror—of both the real life variety and, in one instance, the supernatural. If I could make up a genre for Mute Witness, it would be redemption. The book’s all about finding redemption and how love can lead us there.

BLURB
Sean and Austin have the perfect life: new love, a riverfront home, security. Their love for one another is only multiplied when Sean’s eight-year-old son, Jason, visits on the weekends.

And then their perfect world shatters. Jason goes missing.

When the boy turns up days later, he’s been so horribly abused he’s lost the power to speak. Immediately small town minds turn to the boy’s gay father and his lover as the likely culprits. What was a warm, welcoming community becomes a lynching party out for blood. As Sean and Austin struggle to stay together amidst innuendo, the very real threat of Sean losing the son he loves emerges. Yet the true villain is much closer to home, intent on ensuring the boy’s muteness is permanent.

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Read the First Chapter of SKY FULL OF MYSTERIES


Greetings from southern California! Here's your exclusive opportunity to read the entire first chapter of my new book, just to whet your appetite for the story to come. I'm hoping that, once you've read it, you'll want to read more (hint: buy links are below, too).

BLURB

What if your first love was abducted and presumed dead—but returned twenty years later?

That’s the dilemma Cole Weston faces. Now happily married to Tommy D’Amico, he’s suddenly thrown into a surreal world when his first love, Rory Schneidmiller, unexpectedly reappears.

Where has Rory been all this time? What happened to him two decades ago, when a strange mass appeared in the night sky and lifted him into the heavens? Rory has no memory of those years. For him, it’s as though only a day or two has passed.

Rory still loves Cole with the passion unique to young first love. Cole has never forgotten Rory, yet Tommy has been his rock, by his side since Rory disappeared.

Cole is forced to choose between an idealized and passionate first love and the comfort of a long-term marriage. How can he decide? Who faces this kind of quandary, anyway? The answers might lie among the stars….

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(Also available in Italian, German, and French!)

Chapter One SKY FULL OF MYSTERIES

After they made love, they were polar opposites in how they reacted.

Cole, barely minutes after coming, would be asleep, mouth open and snoring, body lax. A baby who’d just been fed. Rory looked down on him as he sat perched with his back against the headboard. Despite—or maybe because of—the spittle that ran out of one side of Cole’s mouth, he felt a shock of warmth go through him as he gazed at Cole, wondering how he’d gotten so lucky. Although Rory was a few years younger, he was a nerd with glasses. He wasn’t bad-looking; he just wasn’t all that noticeable in a crowd. How had he snared a guy like Cole, with his perfect runner’s build, his dark brown wavy hair, and the perpetual five-o’clock shadow that accentuated, rather than hid, the angular planes of his face and his sharp jawline. Rory snickered in the darkness at Cole as a snore erupted from him, almost loud enough to shake the glass in their bedroom window.

It was always like this—maniac in the sack until he came, and then it was lights out for Cole, as though he’d been drugged.

Rory, on the other hand, always felt energized, pumped up, alive, as if he should hop from the bed, go outside, and run a mile or three. Or make a meal. Or write the great American novel. Or catalog his collection of books alphabetically, and then by genre.

Tonight was no different. They’d just moved into the one-bedroom apartment in Chicago’s Rogers Park  neighborhood. The neighborhood, the Windy City’s farthest east and north before heading into suburbia, afforded them a chance to live by Lake Michigan without the higher rents they’d encounter closer to downtown.

They were young and in love, and cohabitating was a first for both of them. Rory felt they were already having their happy-ever-after moment.

The apartment was a find—a vintage courtyard building east of Sheridan Road on Fargo Avenue . Their unit’s bedroom faced Lake Michigan, which was only a few steps away from their front door. A lake view, high ceilings, crown molding, formal dining room with a built-in hutch, huge living room with working fireplace, and an original bathroom with an enormous claw-foot tub were just a few of the amenities they were delighted to find—all for the “steal” monthly rent of only five hundred dollars.

The apartment, which would eventually be filled to bursting with a hodgepodge of furniture and belongings, ranging from family antiques supplied by Cole to Lost in Space  action figures from Rory, was now a scene of chaos with moving boxes everywhere, almost none of them unpacked.
They’d spent the whole day moving and were exhausted when they were finished. Even though it was August, by the time they were done dragging the boxes out of their U-Haul truck, through their building’s courtyard, and then up to the tenth floor via the rickety but thank-heaven-reliable elevator, the skies above the lake had gone dark. They ordered stuffed spinach pizza from Giordano’s, just south of them on Sheridan, and feasted on it, melted mozzarella on their chins, on a couple of beach towels they found at the top of one of the boxes.

And of course, Rory being twenty-three and Cole twenty-six, with their blossoming love all of six months old, they did find the time and the energy to make love, once on the beach towels and once in their bed. Rory knew there’d be more of the same come morning’s first light.

Ah, sweet youth.

But getting back to postcoital  bliss, Rory now found himself feeling restless as he lay beside the snoring Cole. The moon was nearly full and they’d yet to put up blinds, so it shone in the bedroom window, casting the room in a kind of silvery opalescence. Rory thought the boxes and the furniture—Cole’s oak sleigh bed and Rory’s pair of maple tallboy  dressers, plus an overstuffed chair they’d found in an alley just before moving—all had a kind of grayish aspect to them, almost unreal, as if he were observing his own bedroom as a scene from a black-and-white movie. Maybe something noir… with Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray . Rory smiled and turned away from Cole. Just a half hour or so earlier, with the overhead light fixture shining down on them, Rory thought the movie would have been a porno, with himself cast as the insatiable bottom.

He chuckled to himself.

He tried to relax, doing an old exercise he’d learned from his mom. Starting with his feet, he’d wiggle, tense, and then allow that body part to go slack to relax. He worked his way up his whole body, wiggling, tensing, and relaxing as he went, until he reached his head.

And—sigh—he was still wide-awake.

Behind him, though, as if he had eyes in the back of his head, he noticed something odd.

It was like there was suddenly a waxing and waning of light.

Rory turned and looked toward the uncovered window. He couldn’t quite see the moon, but it seemed like it was brightening and darkening, brightening, then darkening….

But the whole of this August day, it had been clear, with nary a cloud in the sky. Rory wondered if a cloud bank had moved in, obscuring the moon and then revealing it as the wind pushed it away. He could see this in his mind’s eye but couldn’t quite believe it.

The light was simply too brilliant. At its brightest, the whole room lit up, as though he’d switched on the overhead fixture. Rory was surprised Cole didn’t awaken. Or maybe he wasn’t so surprised after all. Rory had spent enough nights with his “great dark man” to know his slumber habits. When Cole drifted off, which he did effortlessly and with amazing speed, there was little that would wake him. Rory thought they could have a New Orleans jazz band march through their bedroom and all Cole would do, at most, was maybe turn over… or snort a little.

He lightly kissed Cole’s cheek, undeterred by the scratch of Cole’s scruff, and slid from the bed to peer out the window.

The lake was a great black expanse. The sky was only a few shades lighter than the water below it, with a slight yellowish tinge due to all the city lights. And the moon, just shy of full, shimmered, a lovely yellow-gold, completely unobscured by clouds. If Rory squinted just right, he thought he could just about make out a face in the surface of that moon….

The sky simply had no clouds to offer that night.

Rory stepped back from the window and glanced back at his slumbering man. So why was the light getting brighter and then darker? He turned to the window and peered outside again. If not for the city’s light pollution, he was certain he’d see entire constellations of stars. He allowed his eyes to adjust a bit and saw more detail below, along Fargo beach. The water was not exactly black, after all. The waves, small and unimpressive due to the lack of wind, still managed to toss up a few whitecaps, especially near the shore, which looked grayer in the darkness. The beach, and the island of boulders just a few laps beyond it, took on more definition, enough that it made Rory come to a decision.

If he couldn’t sleep, he might as well take the opportunity to go outside, enjoy the warm breezes and what appeared to be a deserted beachfront.

He dressed quickly and silently—even though he knew he needn’t have bothered since Cole was beyond waking—in a pair of cutoffs  and a D  octor  Who T-shirt. He slid his feet into flip-flops, grabbed his keys off the dresser, and headed for the front door.

Other than the steady whoosh of traffic on Sheridan Road to the west, the night was quiet. Rory wished he’d checked the time before heading out, but judging from the silence all around him, he’d guess it was the wee small hours of the morning, maybe 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. This was Chicago, after all. There was usually someone stumbling around, even in blackest night.

But his street was empty. The tree branches and their leaves cast shadows on the silvery pavement beneath his feet because of the moon’s brightness. His footsteps, even in flip-flops, sounded extra loud as he headed east, toward the beach.

At the end of the street, there was a cul-de-sac where cars could turn around, and beyond that, a set of stone steps that led down to the sand. Rory stood at the top of the steps, looking out at the sand and water, the pile of boulders just offshore  that Cole promised he’d swim out to the next day with Rory. A white lifeguard chair, empty, sat crookedly in the sand, leaning as it sunk to the left. The moon shone brilliantly on the water, laying a swath of golden light upon its gently undulating surface. If Rory looked at this light just right, perhaps squinting a bit behind his glasses, he could almost imagine the light rising up, like an illuminated fountain, from the water’s surface.

He took the steps quickly and was on the sand in seconds. He kicked off his flip-flops and sighed when he felt the cool sand squishing up between his toes. He looked around once more, paying particular attention to the concrete that bordered the beach, to assure himself he had the gift of a city beach all to himself.

And he did. He did!

He tore off his shirt, set it down, and then removed his glasses, placing them on top of the T-shirt. With a little cry, he dashed toward the water, a small laugh escaping his lips. He stopped briefly at its edge, gasping at the icy cold of the waves, even this late in the summer, as they ran up to meet him, lapping and biting at his toes. And then he took a deep breath, waded in up to his knees, and paused to consider if he really wanted to go whole hog.

What the hell.

He waded in a little farther, until the bottom dropped out from under him suddenly and instead of the water reaching to the top of his thighs, hit him just above his belly button. It was freezing! And Rory knew there was only one solution: get full immersion over as quickly as possible.

He raised his hands over his head and dove as a wave rolled in toward him. The world went silent as he went under, the murky depths of the water almost black. He held his breath as long as he could, swimming outward. His mother’s voice erupted in his head, scolding, telling him to go back to shore because it was late and there was no one around. What if he, God forbid, got a cramp?

Rory shushed his mother and continued to swim toward Michigan or whatever was directly opposite, hundreds of miles away. He swam until he felt his lungs would burst.

And then he surfaced, shaking the water from his hair. The first thing he noticed was how full immersion had done the trick—he wasn’t exactly warm, but the water temperature was at least bearable.

The second was the light on the water. It had changed to a strange pale radiance, a shifting, silvery opalescence that, in addition to his recent underwater swimming, left him nearly breathless.
He trod water and hazarded a glimpse up at the sky, expecting to see the moon and perhaps that bank of clouds that had managed to elude him earlier.

But the moon was gone. Or at least hidden.

Is this real?

Rory couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He actually slipped under for a helpless moment because both his arms and feet stopped moving. He came back up quickly, sputtering and spitting out lake water, gaze fixed on the sky.

“What the fuck?” he whispered.

Was what he saw natural? Like, as in a natural phenomenon? What was above him appeared like some membrane, formed from smoky gray clouds, but alive. It rose up, mountainous, into the night sky. As he peered closer at the form, it seemed to almost breathe, to expand in and out. And within the gray smoke or fog, figures seemed to be spinning. They were black and amorphous, like shadows brought to life. The fact that the cloud—or whatever it was—cast an otherworldly silvery light from below didn’t make the figures any more distinctive.

This can’t be real. I’m back at the apartment right now, sound asleep next to Cole. That pizza really did a number on me. Rory knew his notions were simply wishful thinking.

The membrane or cloud or whatever one wanted to call it was as real as the moon had been above him.

The black figures, spinning, began, one by one, to drop. They were too far distant for Rory to hear any splashes, but he could plainly see that some of them were disconnecting from the membrane or cloud or whatever one wanted to call it and plopping down into the placid surface of Lake Michigan.

Because of its immensity, Rory was unable to determine if the thing above him was close by or distant. It could have been hovering directly overhead. Or it might have been as far away as downtown or even the western edge of Indiana. Perhaps it was some industrial disaster thrown up by the city of Gary ? Perhaps it was a military experiment, a new kind of aircraft?

And of course Rory, ever the science fiction geek, came to the last supposition almost reluctantly, because it terrified him—perhaps it was some sort of alien vessel, a UFO in everyday parlance. The kind of thing Rory had both dreaded and hoped to bear witness to almost all of his young life.

He stared at it in wonder, lost for a moment in time. He hoped he’d gain more clarity on what the thing was, but the longer he stared, the more confusing it became. Was it some freak of nature? Some hitherto unseen cloud formation? Was it really a spaceship beyond his or anyone’s wildest imagination?

Whatever it was, he was certain it was warming the water around him, which led him to the conclusion that it must have some powerful energy to heat up a body of water as large as Lake Michigan. What had been cold, now felt almost as warm as bathwater.

And that scared Rory just as much as this monstrously huge thing in the sky above him. What if the water continued to heat up? What if it reached the boiling point and he was poached alive in it?

What if the black, shadowy beings he witnessed spinning within the mist meant him harm as they dropped from the cloud? What if they were, right now, swimming toward him, all bulbous heads and soulless gray eyes?

He shuddered in spite of the warmth of the water around him. He leveled himself out, lowered his face to the water, and began the fastest crawl he could manage toward shore, which suddenly seemed impossibly far away.

And a new fear seized him as he paddled, panting, through the dark water—what if something as prosaic as drowning claimed him? Would they ever find him?

What would Cole do when he woke at last, to find himself in bed and alone? What would he do as the sun rose, lighting up their little love nest, and there was no Rory?

Rory didn’t want to see the thing anymore. Just looking at it induced in him a feeling of dread so powerful, it nauseated him. So he kept his face in the water, only turning his head to the side every few strokes to grab a breath of air, until he neared the shore. He squatted low, panting hard, in the shallows and at last hazarded a glance up at the sky.

It was empty.

Save for a muted orange glow from light pollution and the moon, now distant, there was nothing in the sky. Rory crawled from the water and plopped down on the damp sand at the lake’s edge.

Had it simply been a hallucination? Or maybe there had been a cloud bank, a thunderhead maybe, and his sci-fi geek’s mind had transformed it into something much more wondrous? And much more threatening?

He shivered and rubbed his hands up and down his bare arms to warm himself. After a while, when he felt he was ready, he stood on shaky legs, the comparison to a newly born colt not lost on him, and staggered over to where he’d left his T-shirt and glasses. He yanked the tee over his head and put the glasses—chunky horn-rims —onto his face. He’d been wearing glasses since he was five years old. It felt more natural with them on than without.

It crossed his mind for half a second that his blurry vision had been a contributor to what he’d seen—or not seen; he was already doubting himself—but even with the glasses restoring his vision to twenty-twenty , the view of the sky above remained placid, dark, unremarkable.

He scanned the horizon for a while, still looking for something he’d lost, but saw nothing new other than an industrial ship way out there, at the very edge of what Rory imagined was the world.
Perhaps the ship would topple off the edge and into the mouth of a waiting giant membrane that looked something like a cloud with lights and spinning figures inside?

Rory thought he should laugh at the notion but couldn’t quite bring himself to. He walked slowly across the sand. It wasn’t until he got halfway up the steps to the street that he realized he’d left his flip-flops on the beach.

He hurried back to claim them. As he was stooping over to grab them, he noticed a dog running toward him. It was a black Labrador , or something like it, because it appeared as if it was some kind of charging shadow.

It rushed by him without slowing to sniff or in any way regard him. “Hey!” Rory called after the animal, which ignored him. Rory looked around to see if there was a frazzled owner, leash in hand, running after the dog, but the beach was empty.

When he looked back, the dog was gone.

Could it have been one of the dark figures that dropped from the cloud?

Rory froze at the middle of the stairs. The thought chilled him. The whole idea of his sanity suddenly came into question.

He hurried up the rest of the stairs and headed back toward his apartment. He hoped Cole hadn’t awakened and gone looking for him.

As he neared the courtyard of the building, he decided, unless he couldn’t avoid it, he would keep this whole weird episode to himself.

As he headed for his front door, he thought things would look better, more rational, in the light of day.

Right?

###

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(Also available in Italian, German, and French!)