He’ll want to crush you personally

crush-you-personally“Tonight?”

“Hey, you were surprised to see the map there still, right? You think he’s gonna leave it there forever? No, we advance his timeline with audacity.”

“You’re sure he’ll bite?”

“You’ve convinced me.”

“Me? I’m not sure of it myself; how did I convince you?”

“You have a writer’s ability to paint a picture with words. I’ve visualized Dubin through your eyes. If you challenge him in a tangible way, he’ll want to crush you personally. He won’t let some rent-a-goon plug you. He made the threat personal, didn’t he?”

I had to admit that it felt really personal. Boy, this capturing desperate criminals is fun. You should try it some time. Like, maybe the next time they ask me you can have my turn.

This is an excerpt from Through the Fog. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

Think like you’re fleeing

I realized I wasn’t walking any more, but standing across from the street that turns left away from the church. Couldn’t see the name and couldn’t remember it.

No, follow the curve. Think like you’re fleeing. Fast as you can, no thinking.

Church Street, Galway, Co. Kerry

I passed a little alcove, a three-walled wide spot that had lighter patches of stone as if there had been doorways there once upon a time.

“Ssssss.”

No, I didn’t shriek like a little girl when I heard the noise behind me, but I sure did jump.

I landed facing almost back the direction I’d come. A shadow divided itself from the darkest spot in the corner of the alcove.

This is an excerpt from Into the Fog. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

So, they don’t think I killed him?

running-away-in-EireI was stunned. “So, they don’t think I killed him?”

“Course not! Ridiculous. But when they found your passport and license in his pocket, they had to at least ask, right?”

I tried to digest that. It was chewy, and not very tasty.

“So, I’ve been running all over the country, hiding from the police who would have protected me from those thugs here in Galway?”

“It would seem so,” offered Mossie.

This is an excerpt from Through the Fog. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

Beloved Irish History Expert Visits Galway

Irish historyRob patted the paper. “You should read it. Compliment is the word.”

The headline was “Beloved Irish History Expert Visits Galway” which could have been better if it were accurate. And shorter.

The facts in the article were accurate, but it read more like a resume written by my mother. Apparently, according to the article, the Irish people consider me one of their own, and would gladly entrust me with their nation’s most valued historical artifacts. Assumptions about my run-ins with the late Michael O’Quinn, known by one and all to be a rabble-rousing pseudo-patriot of the worst kind, furthered the assumptions that I was some kind of history-saving hero. “Death before dishonor” was the general tone of the article.

This is an excerpt from Into the Fog. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

White as a sheet, eyes wide in fear

Pally was silent.

Dope headed for the house. Since he had my arm twisted behind my back, I headed for the house, too.

Just before we entered the light from the door, a large sliding glass affair, Dope let my arm go and Pally stepped up next to me, as if they’d been like that all along. Dope slid the door open, and we stepped into a lavishly furnished living room where a tiny little man sat in a chair three sizes too large.

“What’s that on his face? What happened? He was not to be harmed, fools! This is not how we solicit assistance from our friends; it is most certainly not!”

During his tirade, startlingly violent in tone, he’d slipped from the oversized chair, crossed to Dope, and started slapping his face for punctuation. He almost had to jump, but he slapped, nonetheless. I expected Dope to snap him in half and use the sharp end for a toothpick. Nothing doing.

He was white as a sheet, eyes wide in fear.

Irish-cottage

This is an excerpt from Through the Fog. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

I’m so glad he doesn’t want my guts for garters anymore

“Wonderful. Great. I’m so glad he doesn’t want my guts for garters anymore.”

“Oh, no fear; he’s still looking for a good pair, made right out of your very own. But not just yet. You’re a sort of a distant dream, if you take my meaning. No; he’s got other concerns at the moment.

“You’ll recall a certain document he had in his possession?”

Did I.

A spectacular map of the voyage of Brendan, patron saint of voyagers and Irish icon. Concrete evidence that an Irish religious traveler had set foot in the New World nearly 1,000 years ago.

Too bad it was a fake.

“That’s in other hands now. Official hands. I couldn’t get it for him even if I wanted to. And, trust me, I don’t want to.”

“Och; not at all, Martin. We’d much prefer that oaf doesn’t have such an important icon of our nation’s history. He’s much too secular.

“We want you to get it for us.”

This is an excerpt from Into the Fog To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

I pretended to be a post

Since everyone was feeling chatty, I thought I’d jump in. “So, where are we going, exactly?”

Dope pretended to be a post. Pally looked at me suspiciously like I was trying to trick him into telling me where we were going. Then he pretended to be a post, too.

I pretended to be a post. No sense making the natives restless.

The sunlight flickered on and off between the high clouds. We passed the Van Nuys airport and wound through the valley on the San Diego Freeway. Why is the 405 in LA the San Diego Freeway? When I lived in San Diego, only freeway was 5, north to LA.

When did I live in San Diego? Wasn’t only childhood; I remembered the freeway as a driver, not a kid.

Aaah; gone again.

We took Howard Hughes off the freeway and headed south on Sepulveda. That’ll take us right through the airport. Which means I’ve been there, maybe, or how else would I know South Sepulveda runs through the center of the airport?

I started racking my brain for what was south of the airport. Didn’t really matter; this car was made for traveling, and if we were going to Mexico it wouldn’t have mattered to Dope and Pally.

It also didn’t really matter, because we weren’t going through the airport, we were going to it. And I knew who Shannon was. Shannon was an international airport.

We were going to Ireland.

Chapeltown, Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, Ireland

This is an excerpt from Through the Fog. To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.

Polite words served up with a straight razor

close-shave“Ah. Doctor Martin. You’re early, or I’d not have been moving about so close during your grand entrance.”

As usual for Dubin, polite words served up with a straight razor.

And unfortunately, as usual for me, incoherent babbling.

“My what? Early? For what?”

“I don’t have time for you to sort things out on your own, my good doctor, so I’ll elaborate, boring as it is. Your bumbling associates have traded your skills for their skins.” He looked around, and one of the four, no five, large over-coated gents moved an ancient oak chair closer. Another shoved a smaller chair behind me, pushing it against the backs of my knees.

I dropped onto the chair. Dubin sat, and continued. “I’ll begin our conversation by ensuring I have your attention.” He beckoned with a finger, and another of the thugs pulled out an iPad.

This is an excerpt from Into the Fog To read the whole story, get your copy at Amazon.