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Get Me Outta Here!

October 25, 2022 by in category Infused with Meaning by Kidd Wadsworth tagged as , , , ,
Photo courtesy of Olga Guryanova on Unsplash

Get Me Outta Here!

by Kidd Wadsworth

We arrive at 6 am. I sign a piece of paper which informs me of the risks of my day procedure using phrases such as “unforeseen side effects, including death.” A plastic bracelet is secured around my wrist. Promptly at 7 am, I kiss my husband goodbye and follow a stern-looking nurse through a side door. She points me to a changing room.

“Nothing on underneath. Only the gown.”

I obey.

She takes my clothes, my shoes, my underwear. I am left barefoot in a nearly see-through gown I hold shut in the back with a tight grip on the gaping cloth.

“Lay down.” She points to a narrow bed on rollers.

Again, I obey.

Three seconds later, I have a tube in my arm. Another nurse takes my blood pressure and my pulse. “Did you have anything to eat in the last twenty-four hours?”


“Are you sure?”


“No cereal, no fruit, no bread, no banana . . . “The list continues. On and on.


“If you’ve had something to eat, I need to know.”

“No, I have not had anything to eat.” Does she think I’m lying?

“This form says that I’ve asked you if you’ve had anything to eat and you’ve said, no. Sign here.”

I sign.

Too late, I realize I didn’t read the form. As she walks away, I almost call her back, but that’s stupid—isn’t it? I mean, why am I so nervous? This is just day surgery.

They wheel me away down a hallway, into an elevator, and then into a room crowded with people. Surely this can’t be correct? This is minor surgery. What are all these people doing here? I count fourteen. Really? Fourteen?

Two nurses or doctors—let’s just call them people in scrubs and masks—strap me down to the table.

Why straps? Do they expect me to try to make a run for it?

“Just relax,” one of the people who had strapped me to the table says.

Does he really think the phrase, “Just relax,” makes people relax? I think unstrapping me might make me relax.

Above me lights, so many lights, perhaps fifteen or twenty, glow brightly, each one with a shiny metal hat to direct the beam. Moving my head slightly from side to side, I intently examine the fixture. Something’s wrong, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Then I realize that although the fixture is polished and highly reflective, I can’t see my reflection on any surface. Someone has deliberately designed the fixture so that I, the patient, cannot see myself strapped down to the operating table.

My heart pounds in my chest.

I gasp for breath.

Calm down. It’s only day surgery. This probably isn’t a horror movie. Surely, they aren’t going to harvest my organs and sell them overseas or implant an alien fetus in my uterus.

Yet, there is something about those lights, as if no one wants me to realize what a precarious position I’m in. Precarious? No, helpless! And the masks? Of course, they are wearing masks. That way I can’t identify them in a police lineup when I finally manage to escape and notify the authorities.

As every instinct in my body screams, “Get out! Get out now!” the nurse/doctor/whatever who had strapped me down, injects something into my IV.

I want to shout, “No!” But I don’t. Afterall, what can I do? I AM STRAPPED TO THE TABLE!

“Count backwards from a hundred,” he says.

I try to control my shaking. “One hundred.” I am so obedient. Why am I so freaking obedient?

“Please keep counting.”

“Ninety-nine . . .”

I’m an educated, adult woman. Why did I allow someone to strap me, nearly naked, to an operating table in a room full of strangers?


My doctor? Where is my doctor? Am I in the right room? What if there’s been some clerical error?

I realize I never read the name on my bracelet.

What if they think I’m someone else? What if they amputate my leg or remove my brain!

 I lift my head, straining to see the thin slip of plastic. I can’t quite . . .

I wake in recovery. Home by super. The operation is a complete success.

Nope, never going back.

Kidd Wadsworth is the author of the high fantasy novel: “The Death of Magic” which you can read for free by clicking here: https://www.scribblehub.com/series/588059/the-death-of-magic/

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The Legend of the Four Winds Butte by DT Krippene

October 13, 2022 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , , ,

The year 1905

Sam Buchanan and Jack Smalley tied their mules to a bush at the base of a tall butte. 

“Hey, Sammy,” Jack asked out of breath. “Can I bum some of your tobacco?” 

Sam finished wiping his brow in the high elevation sun and tossed him a palm-sized leather pouch. “All I got. Nearest provision is several days’ ride from here.”

Jack rolled a cigarette the length of his pinky finger and went into a coughing fit after the first drag. He took in the valley floor thousands of feet below. “Why are we here again?” 

Sam looked upward. “Heard from an old Indian the top of this rock is a holy place. Sometimes the natives leave offerings. Precious stones. Maybe some gold too. We could use it for a new grub stake.” 

“Damned thing must be two-hundred feet or more straight up. I ain’t no mountaineer.”

Sam walked several yards along the base and stopped at a clump of scrub bushes. He pushed aside dry thorny branches to find footholds leading upward. “Just like he said. Come on. Day is wasting.”

Jack took a final drag and tossed the cigarette butt to the wind. “Better be worth it.” 

The butte sloped inward, which made it like climbing a ladder. They pulled themselves onto a flat, pebble-strewn peak about six yards in diameter. Jutting in the center was a circular, chest-high stone monument etched with Indian symbols wrapped around its circumference. A bed of loose stones buried the lower quarter.

They both inhaled lungs full of air in disappointment to find nothing else. Jack spit off the rim. “Looks like that ole injun spun a tall tale.”

Sam ambled toward the petroglyphs for a closer look. He crouched to brush aside stones banked along its base. “Nothin.” He staggered to his feet and kicked the stone monument. 

The wind suddenly shifted and blew from the south. In the span of several heartbeats, it shifted again, this time from the east, then from the north a few moments later. It changed again and gusted from the west. A ghostly whisper of many voices chanted in a native language.

“What in tarnation?” Sam spun about in search of its source. 

Jack scrambled over the edge. “I’m gettin outta here.” With his boots on the top two footholds, he froze when the sky darkened. The winds gusted in a circle, drawing dust and pebbles in a cyclonic spin. Sam’s body went rigid.

A dust devil whirlwind formed above the monument. “Sam. Get away from that stone,” Jack shouted. The vortex twisted skyward. 

Terrified and partially blinded by grit, Jack clambered down, frantically feeling for footholds. He almost made it but lost his footing and tumbled down the angled wall. 

The year 2015

 Mary Aguilera propped her backpack against a rock at the base of Four Winds Butte. Butterflies tickled inside her tummy when she studied a posted warning with bold red letters in all caps. “Dangerous area susceptible to sudden high winds.” A smaller sign beside it bore the Bureau of Land Management symbol. “No Trespassing. Protected Native American Heritage Site. Permit required to access from the Western Shoshone Tribal Council.”

She sat on a boulder to catch her breath. Though born and raised in Denver, living four years at sea level to get her psychology degree from UCLA killed her elevation tolerance at eight-thousand feet, with another couple hundred to reach the top. 

“Where are you?” she muttered, impatient that her guide hadn’t shown up yet. With nothing else to do but wait, she let her mind drift to her master’s thesis progress at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. 


Mary, fascinated by paranormal legends, found Nevada was considered second or third of the most haunted states in the country fostered by the plethora of ghost towns. Most of its reputation centered on the many deserted mining sites, abandoned graveyards, and hotels dating to the early twentieth-century gold rush. 

The popular haunting histories had been written about Ad Infinitum. But mysteries behind the paranormal legends of local Native Americans were passed down by word of mouth and remained elusive through the generations. Mary decided to direct her research to a unique, little-known subject by exploring the origins of such tales and how the stories changed over time. To do that, she’d need some advice from her graduate school mentor, Professor Peter Wilkins. 

“You might consider western Native American petroglyphs,” Wilkins said.  

“Cave man drawings?” she asked.

“Not caves,” Professor Wilkins chuckled. “Drawn figures or etchings on cliffs or stone ledges.” 

“But still. Aren’t petroglyphs basically primitive rock art. Stick figure animals and such? Where’s the paranormal connection?” 

“Some are quite old, a few dating back thousands of years and believed to be a direct conduit to the spirits.” 

Mary took the next few days to research it. Most petroglyphs proved her doubts that most were simple pictographs and already well documented. About to give up and reconsider a new thesis subject, her eye caught an obscure footnote referencing a little-known petroglyph monument Native Americans called Four Winds Butte, located in the remote uninhabited ranges of East-Central Nevada. 

Its discovery began with a 1905 prospector who wandered into a mining camp after days of hiking with a bloody cloth wrapped around his head. He collapsed on the ground and began ranting of a native curse that killed his partner before dying on the spot from his injuries. No one paid much heed to it until the early sixties, when a naturist hippie couple stumbled onto the site and disappeared. The only evidence left behind was backpacks and camping gear scattered in a chasm thousands of feet below the ridge. 

The BLM declared the site off-limits after the local tribal council took umbrage of any non-natives trespassing on a sacred place. Still, it didn’t stop the occasional curious hiker from climbing to see the petroglyphs, only to vanish like the others. The last interloper to disappear was over a decade ago. Including the prospector from over a century ago, fifteen people disappeared in total. 


Professor Wilkins hemmed and hawed when she mentioned Four Winds Butte. “I’ve heard of the monument. Given the history of disappearances, approval to visit the butte requires a permit from the BLM and the tribal council whose land it’s located.”

“So, it’s possible to get approval?” 

Wilkins sighed. “I doubt you’ll get it. But I know how dogged you are when you set your mind to it.” He flipped through a personal address book, then penned a name and phone number on a sheet of paper. “This a retired BLM agent I got to know years ago. He also happens to be a member of the Newe Western Shoshone.”

Mary gushed with excitement. “He’ll help me get access?” 

“I wouldn’t count on it. But he’s been to the site several times and will be the best source of information.”

Mary arrived a couple weeks later at John ‘Redfeather’ Monroe’s office in a brown paint-peeling double-wide where he volunteered on the edge of a wilderness area. She wrinkled her nose at the pervasive presence of desert dust and metallic taste of Monroe’s rusting file cabinets. 

Monroe scratched an ear and set aside Professor Wilkins recommendation. “Pete must either be jerking your chain or thinks you’re something special.” 

“I’m hoping the latter.” Mary recited her notes to verify accuracy. “According to archived data you provided the BLM, the monument is estimated to be at least three thousand years old, but the patterned lines and shapes are more complex than simple pictographs. Do you think it’s a language of some kind?”

“There isn’t anything in the form of a native written language, especially that far back in time.”

“What can you tell me about the origins of the curse?”

 He scratched the stubble on his chin. “I was a lad when my grandmother told me a story of powerful wind spirits who resided inside the butte and took offense of anyone who defiled the land.” 

“Like those who disappeared.” 

“Our elders assume most who are ‘not of the people’ to be disrespectful of the land.”

Ouch. “Did your grandmother say anything about who created these complex petroglyphs? A particular time or inciting event that led to a spiritual presence?” 

Monroe smiled. “Now therein lies a fundamental difference of interpretation. To you, a spiritual presence is believed grounded by historical events. To us, the land fosters the spirits, not a specific incident.” 

“Was there any legend passed down of others who disappeared before the prospector in 1905?” 

“Possibly, but I think if so, the stories would certainly survive through the generations as a warning to the peoples. It’s only speculation, but we think the prospector was the first non-native to enact the curse. All the subsequent disappearances left no smoking gun as to what they saw. We can only assume they suffered a similar fate.”

Non-natives. “I’ve read varying hypothesis of what became of them, the more popular one being their bodies torn apart and scattered to the four winds.”  

Monroe pursed his lips in thought a moment. “That may be true. Any bodily remains would likely disappear beneath desert sand, if not eaten by wildlife first, leaving only nondegradable items as evidence.” 

Gross. Mary scribbled in her notebook. “You mentioned non-natives, or those ‘not of the people.’ Dr. Wilkins said you and others of the local tribes have been on the butte a few times.  Have any your people touched the monument?” 

“Shamans were known for many generations to climb there and honor the wind spirits. Not so much anymore. I doubt anyone has been up there in recent years.”

“Most of what we know of the site is based on your accounts.” Mary tapped the tip of her pen on her lip. “Have you—placed your hands on the monument?”  

“As part of my work with the BLM, I volunteered to take pictures and sketch the symbols. But I never touched the monument itself.” He chuckled with a wink. “I’m only part Shoshoni. European blood has diluted my heritage, so I didn’t care to test the theory.” 

“But you believe the curse is real.” 

“Most of what I know came from my maternal grandmother, passed down through the generations. Embellishments tend to taint a story over time, but the evidence strongly suggests that something haunts the butte.” 

“Anything else you can share?”

He scratched his chin in thought. “Well, it’s not common knowledge, but when my grandmother spoke of the curse, the legend claimed a new petroglyph etching would appear on the stone monument representing a soul taken by the wind spirits.” 

That’s new information. 

Monroe opened a drawer, extracted a moth-eaten folder, and spread photographs of the monument on his desk. “When I compare archived photos against pictures I took when I went there, I didn’t see any additional etchings.” 

Like the archived photos she’d studied earlier, these were somewhat blurry, as if slightly out of focus. “These the best pictures you have?” 

“Unfortunately, yes. After the last person disappeared, the BLM had a couple of scientists scan the butte for anything unusual. They weren’t permitted beyond the base for safety reasons, but they registered a strong electromagnetic field emanating from the peak above, which may have affected the quality of the negatives.” 

A factor straight out of an episode of The Twilight Zone. “As part of my research, would it be possible to visit the site to get a first-hand impression? See if new digital photos are affected?” 

“You need a permit from both the Shoshone tribal council and BLM. You’ll have to hire a qualified native guide to supervise, and they won’t let you climb to the monument itself.” 

That wasn’t going to yield much of a perspective. Unless – “You wouldn’t happen to be qualified, would you?” 

Monroe palm washed his face and chuckled. “Pete warned me you’d probably ask that.” He stared in thought out the only window opaqued by crusted dust. “Damn you, Pete. You owe me for this,” he mumbled. He extended his hand. “Next week Tuesday, pending permit approval. Meet me at the base of the butte .”

To be continued on October 31st.

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Puppy Love

May 30, 2022 by in category Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic tagged as , , ,
Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

The slip of paper you draw from the basket has a 4 written on it, black ink on a white scrap. This is stupid, you tell yourself, but it’s not really. You want to be here, one of six lucky people who will choose which of the littermates they’ll take home with them. 

You have your eye on the puppy with the black patch over its right eye, the brown and white pattern blending over the rest of its face. You’re in love with that dog, and you are disappointed that at fourth in line, you will lose out. The Australian shepherd you picture jogging with you in the park will belong to someone else instead.

A friend tipped you to this giveaway. “They don’t want a dime, just good homes for the pups,” he told you last week. 

You’ve been wanting a dog for months, since the new apartment you found allows pets, especially dogs. Done your research, talked to any dog owner you’ve run across, and settled on the shepherd as your dream breed. And now this stroke of luck—to get one for free.

And so you stand with the five other people who hold their slips of paper. Three men, three women, and you think that’s a nice balance. The guy with #1 on his slip has a boy of about eight with him, and the boy has his favorite picked out. It’s not yours. Thank god.

“Taco,” the boy calls to one of the pups. He’s already named him. 

But you have too, not that you’ll admit it to anyone. You don’t want to jinx your chances by saying the name aloud, even in a whisper to yourself. Still, you know it’s perfect. So you stand with the others, bouncing on your toes because you are so anxious.

“We’re ready,” the owner of the litter finally calls. She’s standing in the pen where the pups are rolling and wrestling, full of the energy that only young dogs can possess. She smiles, but you can see the glisten in her eyes. This must be hard, to part with these babies.

The boy has Taco wrapped in his arms and then he and his father are gone. The older couple with matching gray in their hair step forward for #2. They reach for the black patch, but that’s a feint, passing the pup by for another. A couple who you guess are in their forties are next. They hem and haw, talking with the kennel owner, pointing at one then another of the youngsters.

Hurry up, you want to shout. At last they make their selection—yes! Not the black patch.

Now it’s your turn. You hand your slip to the kennel owner, who looks younger now that you’re standing next to her in the pen, with three puppies left. The energy of all six has dissipated, but a trio still romps around your feet.

“Why are you giving them away?” you say. You guess at the answer. 

She looks at you, at the two other people waiting outside the pen, then down at the squirm of dog flesh. “Someone stole the bitch—the mom—shortly after she gave birth. She’s not a high-priced dog, so we’re puzzled. We nursed these guys after that.” She runs a hand through her hair and sighs. “I love ‘em but need a break.” She leans over the pups. “Which one?” she asks, back to business.

You almost blurt, the black patch, but another pup catches your eye. You squat down to the pup’s level and reach for it. The brindle colors are less striking than on the one you’d chosen, but there’s something in the pup’s gaze that draws you. The dog scampers to you and licks your nose. You sit back with a laugh, and the dog is in your lap.

“She chose me,” you say. “Guess this is the one.”

And as you hug the youngster, you whisper in her ear. “Roo, let’s go home.”

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A Royal Pain

August 30, 2021 by in category Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic tagged as , , , ,

I botched it. 

I am swimming back to the pier where I somersaulted off moments ago. Three people wait for me: Tunis, Vi, and Wally. They could have followed me into the water, but my stumble as I approached the pier’s edge must have spooked them. I was all arms and legs desperately searching for balance.

“Super bad,” Wally yells as I pull myself from the foaming breakers. “No points for you.”

Tunis and Vi giggle. They are sisters. Wally is my brother, who takes on the role of my tormentor whenever our parents are not present. Which is now. We are all four at the pier hoping to catch sight of the phosphorescence that will add a ghostly aura to the waters of the bay once the sky darkens.

But jumping off the pier comes first. Each turn into the water gets graded by a secret system that only Wally knows. My score almost never approaches his, just like my height is always three inches less, and my age is two years behind.

I walk back out on the wooden pier, listening to the creak of my weight on the planks, the slosh of the waves beneath me, and the call of the gulls overhead. It is the finest part of summer vacation, hanging out on the pier, waiting for the night.

“Eeew,” Vi says, pointing at my leg. “Eye worms.” Tunis does a fake scream and runs to the far edge of the pier.

I pluck off the tendrils clinging to my right leg. “It’s just a jellyfish.”

“Fish puke,” Wally corrects. “Only you would find it.”

Straightening back up, I adjust my suit and stride to the end of the pier. It’s thirty feet out—I’ve paced it. This time, as I near the edge, someone dashes past me and cannonballs into the water with a whoop.

Tunis and Vi applaud Wally’s sloppy but cool exit. “Five,” they say, each holding up a hand with five outstretched fingers.

I stick my tongue out. “Show off,” I shout at my brother. 

When I look at the sisters, they take a step back. Have I scared them? They are new this year to our strand of Carolina beach.

“You go,” they say, almost in unison. They aren’t twins, but they could be, so alike they move and smile and talk. So immature at seven and eight to my eleven years.

“Follow me,” I command, and retreat several feet from the jump-off to get a running start. Rising on my toes, I pause to let the ocean breeze ruffle the edges of my still-damp hair, and I drink in its salty nip. I could stand here forever, but my audience is waiting.

“Ya – hoo,” I cry, sprinting. I make a perfect, magnificent arc and knife into the bay. When I surface, treading water in the deep drop-off, the sisters are not applauding. That was at least an eight, I think. Instead, they are pointing. At me. Wally is back on the beach, headed toward the pier.

A fat moon is rising at the edge of the world, where the sea ends. What do the girls want? Then I look at the water, the swells lifting me gently in the fast-approaching darkness. I am engulfed in a glowing blue—not only the water that surrounds me, but my hair, my skin, is tinged with an otherworldly color. 

Wally has walked to the edge of the pier and stands with Vi and Tunis. They all stare at me. 

“She’s queen of the blues,” my brother finally says, laughing, and with another whoop, joins me in the water. 

I savor the title. It’s the closest thing to a compliment he’s given me in the last two weeks. 

A Dianna Sinovic story will be included in Until Dawn
A Supernatural Anthology

Dianna’s stories are also included in the following titles:

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Take Two

July 30, 2021 by in category Quill and Moss by Dianna Sinovic tagged as , ,

Ramsey had exactly four dollars and thirty-three cents in his pocket. He knew because he’d just counted it out, to make sure he hadn’t dreamt a fifty tucked away in the far corners of his Levi’s. But no fifty; just the four crumpled singles, plus the loose change. And a seashell, small, striped, and whorled. Ramsey tried to recall why he had the shell—and where the rest of his money had gone.

            His fingernails were grimy, and he needed a shave. Or maybe a shower and a shave. And if someone offered him a paper cup of coffee at that moment, he wouldn’t have turned them down. 

            Those were his thoughts at twelve-thirty that morning. The time he knew for a fact because the bank across the street from where he stood said so, in a blinking green display. The bank’s ATM beckoned him, an oasis to replenish his meager pocket of money, if only he had something to withdraw.

            Ramsey crossed the street anyway, drawn to the lighted cash machine. This was not a good place to hang out at that hour, on that street in Philadelphia, a dim array of storefronts shuttered for the night. The alleys sometimes echoed with the moans and cries of unknown deals gone bad. He always passed them quickly, keeping to the shadows when he could.

            Next to the bank’s ATM, on the building just to the left, a smaller, illuminated sign advertised: Books. Ramsey didn’t see any books in the windows of that narrow slice of real estate. A grid was pulled down over them, protection against random thievery. He turned away, but stopped when an interior light blinked on. A chain rattled behind the door, and the entrance opened.

            A man a few inches taller and a few years older than Ramsey had one hand on the door handle. His dark eyes observed Ramsey beneath bushy eyebrows. Stepping back, he gestured for Ramsey to enter. A ring on his hand glittered a ruby red. “I’ve been watching and waiting for you,” he said. His words rolled over Ramsey like waves crashing at the Jersey Shore.

            “Me?” Ramsey’s voice squeaked into falsetto range. His hands trembled.

            “Please come in, Mr. Ramsey.” He waited for Ramsey to pass through the door, then shut and locked it. Again with a gesture, the man indicated that Ramsey should follow him. The room smelled of dust and crumbling paper, the walls lined with bookshelves from floor to ceiling, the lights high above them shining faintly onto stack after stack of books.

            At the rear of the shop, the shopkeeper, or Ramsey assumed it was the shopkeeper, slipped behind a massive chrome and glass counter. Ramsey faced him across the expanse and wondered why he was there.

            “Reade,” the man said, and pushed a paper cup of coffee toward Ramsey. “Conlan Reade. Do you take cream or sugar?”

            “Just black,” Ramsey managed to say. He stared into the cup, the tint of the dark brown liquid mirroring the sepia quality of the shop. “Thank you.”

            “A special Colombian blend,” Conlan Reade said. “I hope you enjoy it.” He smiled as Ramsey took a sip.

            It tasted of dense jungle growth and the wild brilliance of tropical flowers.

            “You’re open kind of late,” Ramsey said, savoring the coffee. It had been how many days since his last cup? Looking down at his jeans, he noted that they were as grimy as his hands felt. Was he sleeping on the street these days? Why couldn’t he remember?

            Conlan Reade set down his own cup and spread his hands. “At this hour, I’m only open for you, Mr. Ramsey. As I told you at the door, I’ve been waiting. Your book came in.” 


            But Conlan Reade had stepped away from the counter, leaving Ramsey alone with his thoughts. And try as he might, he could not recall ordering any book anywhere. He had no home anymore, he knew then, no comfortable, quiet place to read.

            “Here it is,” Conlan Reade said. He placed a thin, hardback volume on the glass of the counter.

            Ramsey put down his cup and reached for the book, then pulled his hands back before touching it. His face flushed. “I’m kind of down on my luck,” he said, wiping his hands on his jeans. 

            “Don’t worry about it,” Conlan Reade said. He handed him a towelette from a container that Ramsey hadn’t noticed. “I think you’ll like the book.”

            After cleaning his hands, Ramsey once again reached for the book. Another Life to Live. He leafed through the pages, curious as to why he would have ordered that title. He remembered how little money he had with him, sighed, and put the book back down.

            “Thanks for ordering this,” he said. “I don’t think I can afford it right now, though. I’m so sorry.” Again his face flushed.

            “It’s surprisingly inexpensive,” Conlan Reade said. He punched a few keys on a small calculator. “Only four dollars and thirty-three cents. I’ll wrap it up for you.”

            Ramsey laid out the money, folded the receipt and slipped it into his now penniless pocket. He felt the seashell and pulled it out. 

            “I might as well give this to you, too, Mr. Reade. I have no use for it.”

            Conlan Reade examined the shell, using a magnifier he placed over his right eye. He handed it back. “You’ll be needing this,” he said. “Hold it to an ear when you are in need of direction.”

            Not wanting to argue, Ramsey pocketed the shell. It was small, after all; no trouble, really. 

            “Good luck, Mr. Ramsey.” Conlan Reade walked him to the door of the shop and shook his hand. 

            Two blocks later, Ramsey turned a corner and halted under a streetlamp. He removed the wrapping from the book, and tossed the paper into a nearby receptacle. Tipping the cover to the light, he read the author’s name: A.L. Ramsey.

            Once upon a time, he’d answered to Arthur Lewis Ramsey. 

            Ramsey opened the book and began to read. 

More of Dianna’s short stories can be found in the following books.

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