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5 Star Review: It takes advanced and gifted writing skills to successfully write a short story collection that will capture the imagination of the readers and hold their interest to the end. Two authors skilled at their craft have teamed up to bring you ‘The Arcane Arcade’.
Dr. Leonard Streitfeld had been John Wiessner’s eye doctor for many years. Len Streitfeld and Jay Dubya have written and rewritten the stories “The Chess Set,” “The Cups,” “The Incense Burner,” “Reflections,” “Stained Glass” and “The Black Magic Pen” many times until all sixteen tales appearing in The Arcane Arcade have evolved into their present quality literature form.
The Arcane Arcade collection is book crafted in the paranormal experience and have evolved into this great example of short story literature.
Here are my short descriptions, of each story in ‘The Arcane Arcade’.
- In “The Chess Set” the wealthy chess master is confronted by the Black Knight.
- In “The Cups”a snow globe scene pales in comparison to this coffee mug collection.
- In “A Christmas Doll”it is the gift of a ballerina doll that changes everything.
- In “Reflections”we are reminded that charity begins in the heart.
- In “The Dark Side”we witness “One perpetual nightmare that’s been moving in perpetual motion.”
- In “Photographs”we are reminded that a picture is worth a thousand words.
- In “Premonitions”is it a chance encounter, coincidence or something much more.
- In “The Combat Mission That Never Was”we learn “Heaven Can Wait but Hell Cannot”.
- In “The Skull”we read what happens to an unclaimed corpse that might surprise you.
- In “Stained Glass”it is the mystery surrounding the broken heavenly stained-glass window.
- In “The Image”conjures up the question is it “animal, vegetable, mineral, or strange thing”.
- In “An Incense Burner”New Orleans Mardi Gras turns into a veritable nightmare.
- In “The Dye Is Cast”as the song titled “16 men on a dead man’s chest, yo-ho, ho and a bottle of rum” pierces through the Bermuda Triangle fog.
- In “The Talismans”we examine the actions of one persistent seeker of wisdom.
- In “The Tattoo”finds Dennis in the throws of an inebriated ink nightmare.
- In “The Black Magic Pen”a writer’s dream of literary perfection and international fame makes the tools of his trade a necessary phenomenon.
I would have to say that the short story titled “An Incense Burner” is my favorite out of this well written collection. Let me bring you into the story here:
At 11:55 p.m., the New Age black magic medium prepared the ‘spiritual laboratory operational card table’, the very essential incense burner, the vital red votive candles, and the male voodoo doll was then dressed in similar white shirt and black pants, just as Jason’s principal adversary had been wearing at the coin club meeting. Newman then spread Rosco Scola’s former note scraps over the male doll’s body. The obnoxious, loudmouthed Coin Organization President had never conceived or realized that he had made an immense blunder by inadvertently leaving behind the hand-shredded documentation with his indecipherable, crude handwriting scribbled upon it.
As the den’s grandfather clock pendulum signaled the stroke of midnight, Jason snickered as the black arts’ prestidigitator began performing his ‘other world methodology’. The devil’s new metaphysical priest then roughly thrust the red-hot pin into the doll’s throat and next, the hex practitioner meanly and spitefully twisted the pin back and forth several times to dramatically emphasize his great enmity for his avowed enemy. Four more pins were soon viciously inserted, a separate representative one shoved into each of the doll’s arms and legs.
The incense burner was then wildly smoking-out dense fumes and billows, and a moment later a ghost-like cloud rose and wafted, and then the dark gaseous mass hovered above the voodoo operating card table. The fog formation slowly drifted towards the targeted doll, and when the fumes encountered the lying figure’s throat, the thick, hazy mass mystically swished into the doll’s voice box, and then the visible gas phenomenon suddenly disappeared from visual existence.
The unearthly ceremony was over at precisely 1:00 a.m. and the vital items that had been used for the “spiritual retribution communication” were again stealthily placed and concealed inside their respective storage hiding compartments. However, the five malignant pins still remained implanted in the doll’s anatomy.
“Languish in your anguish,” laughed the contemporary warlock to the tiny representation of corpulent Rosco Scola. “Your pain is my gain!” Jason Newman humorously rhymed. “Let’s see what happens to your throat and to your four doomed appendages. Ha, ha, ha!”
Did this voodoo from this self-learned witch-doctor work? I will let you discover for yourself.
Review by Theodocia McLean (Book Marketing global Network).
5 Star Review: Author Jay Dubya has a unique way of telling his short stories with psychological twists that make this collection a must have in your library of short stories. I am from the ‘Twilight Zone’ generation, so I love Jay’s short tales.
Let me share a quick thought from each story.
- In the“Holiday Hooligans” Chief FBI Inspector Joe Giralo and his men are confronted with some really bizarre holiday masqueraders. What will their mystery unfold?
- In “The Piano and The Organ” this story brings energy implanting to a whole new level; mystery of the haunted piano and phantom concert.
- In “Contemporary Illuminati” an heir’s lost inheritance turns-out to be an amazing surprise.
- In “Realty Reality” we see if the sins of the forefathers (or mothers) carry forward into the next generations.
- In “Doing Bristol” we go on a journey back to the character’s hometown in Hammonton. In this story time and space are altered as memories flood to the surface.
- In “A Photo’ Finish” here is a case that might be the trial of the century, or perhaps eternity.
- In “Sleep Paralysis” we get a glimpse into the mind’s reaction to sleep paralysis. Worse than a nightmare, a daymare, or even Transcendentalism.
- In “Rich Man, Poor Soul” the story presents an interesting concept; if you received a decree from heaven’s archangel allowing you to go all the way back to your childhood and start over, to correct the wrongs of your life, would you?
- In “Lost Identity” the predicament is compelling. Was the memory loss due to a violent crime or something else?
- In “Family Resentment” the tale reminds us that family ties don’t always bind.
- In “Growing Young” we learn that nature’s secrets can be held among many; now even including you.
- In “Corporal Teleportation” we learn about a personal time/space travel experience, now referred to as ‘Corporal Teleportation’ as opposed to ‘Time Travel’.
- In “A Ride Through the Wharton Forest” the question comes to mind. What if Mr. Wharton’s scheme had become reality?
I would have to say that out of the thirteen stories, The Piano and The Organ story was my favorite. Let me share just a little.
“I must admonish myself for being a snobbish elitist and a hypocritical religious anarchist for the past forty years of my morally-prejudiced life. From relevant circumstances that would evolve upon Joanne returning from choir practice on the following Thursday night, my defective soul would miraculously undergo a marvelous transformation that could best be described as a cathartic, spiritual Renaissance. As a result of my interactions with the living room piano, I now passionately espouse the rigid mandates of St. Peter and his edict-oriented papal descendants. I eagerly attend Catholic Mass each and every Sunday and have absolutely astounded my wife by voluntarily joining the St. Joseph church choir as an inspired baritone. Without further digression, here is how my whole unbelievable ‘soul metamorphosis’ synthesized with my heart switching from sin to grace.
On Thursday night, April 23rd, I was waiting for Joanne to arrive home from her standard choral routine. My wife parked her Ford Fairlane inside the two-car garage, and soon I heard the right-side electronic door descend to the cement floor. After entering the house through the laundry room portal, Ginger appeared exceedingly exhausted, and my beloved spouse presented herself to me in a heightened, upset and agitated state of mind.
“What’s the matter? Did one of your choir members pass away?” I bonded with my spouse in a low, respectful, reverent tone of voice. “Clearly something bad has happened.”
“I have a very important matter to tell you about that I’ve been withholding for several months,” Joanne uttered, almost crying. “John, I’m actually scared to death.”
“Okay, I’m a good listener. Take ten deep breaths and then say what’s bothering you,” I wisely advised. “That’s what I always do when a hostile, antagonistic client screams and yells at me on the phone over a major stock market loss.”
Joanne heeded my recommendation and went on to inform me that the organ in the larger elevated den was the principle source of her becoming overly distraught. According to Ginger’s account, one Tuesday in March when I had been at Joe’s Maplewood for a weekly Rotary Club meeting, the organ commenced playing the radio ballad “Devil or Angel” without skipping a note.
I hope that I have intrigued you enough to pick up a copy of this book, so you can find out what is going on with this organ.
I love this author’s imagination. I encourage you to read this book and all his many genres location on his Amazon’s Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jay-Dubya/e/B004G76264
“Jay Dubya is author John Wiessner’s pen name and also his initials (J.W.) John is a retired New Jersey public school English teacher and he had taught the subject for thirty-four years. John lives in southern New Jersey with wife Joanne and the couple has three grown sons. John is the creator of fifty-two books.”
Book Review by Theodocia McLean (Book Marketing Global Network).
5 Star Review: The Psychic Dimension (Part One) are a group of very well written short stories that deal with fictional psychic and paranormal experiences.
Author John Dubya has divided this book into 26 novellas. Let me briefly describe five of them.
Corporate Sabotage: “Three government men were casually discussing the amusing theory that their boss Chief Inspector Joe Giralo was indeed one hundred percent psychic, or perhaps one hundred percent “psycho.” But as the trio would soon discover, the astonishing case of “Corporate Sabotage” virtually confirmed their suspicions about their boss’s seemingly paranormal cerebrum.”
Music Psyche: “It has often been said that music soothes the soul, but Dr. Thaddeus Gilmore, eminent professor of Psychology/Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, recently found-out through a revolutionary research breakthrough
The Table Drawer: “Where did you get that weird table that’s now up in the computer room? It looks like it was obsolete decades before John Wilkes Booth had entered Fords Theater and evilly assassinated President Lincoln!”
A Day to Forget: “A Day to Forget: Ever since adolescence, Jack Cooper hated anything associated with frivolity and revelry. The shy man didn’t like football games because of boisterous crowds, deplored raucous celebrating, and despised rock and roll along with rap music, and the man vastly abhorred obnoxious, irritating behavior at New Year’s Eve parties. Anything noisy from Fourth of July and Halloween parades to carnival and circus atmospheres greatly disturbed Jack’s super-sensitive psyche and sent his volatile emotions completely out of kilter. The only things that the “mercurial man” really dearly loved were peace and quiet.”
Each story is independent from each other which makes this the perfect book to carry with you to read on the go. For the sake of this review, let me focus on two stories.
In the story of Triple Jeopardy, Inspector Joe Giralo and his wife Gina go on a senior citizen’s bus tour. Their first stop is at the Michigan Grand Hotel, where their vacation takes an unexpected turn. Let me quote:
At nine-thirty a loud frantic rapping upon Room 132’s door rudely interrupted Joe Giralo’s peaceful coffee consumption. The FBI man opened the portal and the occupant was somewhat astonished to perceive the normally debonair suit-and-tie head hotel manager impatiently standing in the hallway.
“Mr. Giralo,” the exasperated hotel executive exclaimed all out of breath. “I’m Giles Martin, the Grand Michigan’s chief operating officer. May I come in?”
“Why of course!” the surprised Inspector replied, closing the door behind the unexpected visitor’s hasty entrance. “Is everything okay? You do appear to be more than a trifle alarmed!”
“I understand that you’re an experienced inspector with the FBI. Our dependable desk records indicate that much, Inspector Giralo, and I’ve already verified that formerly confidential information through our local island police department, which incidentally also drastically needs your immediate assistance.”
“Mr. Martin, in all due respect, exactly what is wrong?” the now thoroughly interested hotel guest asked. “What’s of so much paramount importance and concern?”
“A most serious epidemic of colossal proportion has broken-out among the horse population here on Mackinac Island,” panic-stricken Giles Martin boisterously disclosed. “Just about all of our six hundred horses are terribly sick with colic and influenza symptoms, and our town veterinarians are going crazy attending to all of the afflicted animals. And besides that,” the agitated and worried hotel manager impulsively expounded, “the entire transportation system on the island has been shut-down. This is a colossal nightmare dilemma in progress Inspector Giralo; an unimaginable worst-case scenario and its basic origin, or should I say ‘its real cause,’ we certainly find exceptionally baffling. That’s why I’m here to both request and solicit your skilled expertise.”
Inspector Giralo’s experience and instincts are aroused and it looks like their vacation might be interrupted. To see what happens, pick up this book.
Now let me share a small portion of the short story Contemporary Illuminati.
Aunt Genevieve had revealed to my mother on several occasions that I had been her favorite nephew, and so I always believed that I was in competition for a massive inheritance with my adversarial cousins David and Stephen Wilson, who both perceptibly appeared to be artificially cordial towards me at venerable Aunt Jenny’s Baltimore wake and funeral that had been held in early May of 1992. A full month later, I received a legal letter from Otto Hernandez, Esquire, informing me that I was to attend a meeting for the purpose of the “Disposition of Mrs. Genevieve Curtis’s Will”, and the family conference was scheduled to occur in downtown Baltimore at 11 a.m. sharp on Wednesday, July 1st. Naturally, from previous conversations with my mother, I was quite excited about the prospect of being the principal heir to Aunt Genevieve’s rather lucrative estate.
Flash forward: The lawyer next opened the louvered brown door and removed a five-foot-high, antique-looking, standing lamp from inside the dark enclosure, which he then gracefully carried with both hands over to his huge mahogany desk. “This Sir is what your deceased Aunt Genevieve wishes for you to have,” the suave-but-encumbered estates’ lawyer quite diplomatically and almost-apologetically communicated. “Mrs. Curtis declares and directs in her last will and testament that you should amply admire and appreciate this marvelous, extraordinary lamp of Egyptian design, especially the unique brass head of Queen Nerfertiti that’s now conspicuously ornamenting the lamp’s exquisite canopy.” I momentarily glanced to my left and incidentally observed that my three cousin companions were alternately snickering and chuckling at my rather peculiar inheritance, and even Mr. Otto Hernandez seemed quite out-of-character being amused at my unexpected gift that I had traveled 110 miles from Hammonton, New Jersey to gratefully acquire.
Why did Aunt Genevieve leave John this ornate lamp? Was the gesture a cruel joke or was it something more? If you always wanted your long-lost great aunt to leave you something in her Last Will and Testimony, this story may or may not change your mind.
With each story comes an internal struggle where there are decisions to made and consequences. Each one of these stories could be their own book in their own rights. I hope you find these Novellas as interesting a read as I did. Review by Theodocia McLean
5 Star Review: The Psychic Dimension (Part Two) is a group of very well written short stories that deal with fictional psychic and paranormal experiences.
Each story is independent from each other which makes this the perfect book to carry with you to read on the go. I find short story the hardest books to review because the content is broad.
I am going to attempt to share a tidbit from each story in order to show you the unique quality of each complex story lines. With each story comes an internal struggle where there are decisions to made and consequences. Each one of these stories could be their own book in their own rights.
The thirty-four novellas presented in The Psychic Dimension; Part II are works of pure fiction. The stories’ themes deal with paranormal and psychic experiences.
Let me share a synopsis of the novellas in this book. I enjoyed reading them all, but some of my favorites are: “The Attic Television”, “The Music Portal”, “The Rip Van Winkle Club”, “Like Clockwork” and “A Photo’ Finish”. Let the author know your favorite selections once you are finished reading.
Multiple Choice: Some quizzes are design to test one’s memory, others are of a competitor nature, while some have a hidden message. Intro to the short story: “As veteran Agents Salvatore Velardi, Arthur Orsi and Dan Blachford entered Philadelphia FBI headquarters at 600 Arch Street, the three black-suited government detectives had been casually discussing the amusing notion that their distinguished boss Chief Inspector Joe Giralo was indeed one hundred percent psychic. But as the chatty trio would soon discover, the astonishing and confounding “Multiple Choice Case” would become a perplexing development that would virtually confirm their speculative suspicions about their boss’s seemingly uncanny paranormal abilities.”
The Attic Television: Some antiques bring us joy, others bring back memories, but could an attic TV bring back history right before our eyes? Intro to the short story: “John P. Walker was a self-confirmed recluse. He shied away from having close friends, thinking that they Intro to the short story: would be more interested in his prolific Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account than in the distrustful man’s true companionship. There were hundreds of acquaintances in his computer e-mail address book, but his dependable friends could be counted twice on a thumb-less hand. ‘A secret is only a secret when it belongs to me,’ the slightly paranoid man reckoned. ‘As soon as it is shared with one other person it’s a secret in jeopardy.’”
The Timeless Sports Car: Sometimes we wish for frivolous things, other times we wish for extravagate things, and then there are times when we wish for the impossible. Intro to the short story: “Henry Johnson was very content with his station in life. The man was a successful lawyer in his hometown of Hammonton, New Jersey and was looking forward to early retirement. Johnson had married his high school sweetheart Lois and the couple had three grown sons, Howard, Harry and Hugh. ‘Howard is now ready to take over the family law firm,’ Henry Johnson thought as he stepped out onto the Bellevue Avenue/Horton Street pavement from his Attorney Office, ‘and Harry is a prominent doctor at Jefferson University Hospital in Philly. And young Hugh is a prominent real estate developer in Saddle Brook up in North Jersey. What more could a 59-year-old man wish for?’”
Parallel Developments: Twins typically have a unique psych super power that the rest of us with siblings didn’t inherit. Frank and Fred Davies will stretch the limits of parallel developments. Intro to the short story: “Twin brothers Frank and Fred Davies were 1981 graduates of Hammonton High School, North Liberty Street, Hammonton, New Jersey 08037. From their early youth the twins were complete opposites both in demeanor and in physical prowess. Fred Davies was always an extrovert and a competitive athlete while his twin facsimile Frank had a shy personality genuinely punctuated with humility and modesty.
In June of 1987 Fred graduated from Philadelphia’s Temple University with a law degree and Frank evolved out of New Brunswick’s Rutgers University with a master’s degree in biology research. In the fall of 1991 during a dual ceremony Frank and Fred ironically married twin sisters Lois and Eleanor Cataldi of Bridgeton, a large town situated twenty-four miles southwest of Hammonton.”
Window of Opportunity: They say that opportunity only knocks once, but I dare say it is more often if we live with an open mind to the possibilities. Intro to the short story: “The May Installation Meeting assigning new officers for the Hammonton, New Jersey Lions Club had just adjourned and afterwards, two recently appointed minor functionaries were discussing their basic roles with an elderly club member in the upstairs bar of Rocco’s Town House on North Third Street. The all-too-garrulous District 16-C Governor had already departed the premises and Liontamer Mitchell Spencer, Tailtwister Michael Giberson and feeble Past President Julius Stetson were standing at the tavern’s bar casually engaged in a genial conversation over their after-meeting cocktails.
“It’s good to see new blood coming into the club and accepting active roles,” eighty-two-year-old Julius Stetson praised the local Lions Club’s two new energized recruits. “I was a charter member of the club way back in 1963,” Julius informed his respectful listeners before sipping his cold Southern Comfort on the rocks, “and we had only a dozen members when John F. Kennedy was the country’s President, mostly businessmen owning stores and properties up on Route 30.”
The Music Portal: Ones occupation doesn’t always coincide with one’s aptitudes, abilities and creative side. Intro to the short story: “Up until four months ago I had regarded my very ordinary life as being a dismal failure. My mediocre occupation ever since I was fresh out of high school has been that of a dissatisfied shoe salesman at Brock Shoes Outlet in Berlin, New Jersey. For thirty-one miserable years I would loyally commute each working day from my French Street home in nearby Hammonton, a flourishing agricultural community located twelve miles east of Berlin and also conveniently situated midway between vacation destination Atlantic City and bustling Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the distances being thirty miles in either direction from my house to the East Coast gambling Mecca and to Benjamin Franklin’s City of Brotherly Love.
Soldier of Misfortune: Soldiers endure physical, emotional and mental fatigue on and off the battle field so the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms their service provides. Intro to the short story: “Dr. Angelo DeMarco had recently retired as the head psychiatrist at New Jersey’s Ancora State Hospital so that he could devote his full time to expanding his private practice, which was located inside a second-floor office suite at the southeast corner of 2nd Street and Bellevue Avenue, Hammonton, New Jersey. The psych’ physician was perusing a letter received from Noreen Pearson, the wife of a twenty-five-year-old Army Corporal, and the distraught enlisted soldier had been complaining to his spouse of severe migraine headaches, of terrible repetitious nightmares, and also the afflicted young serviceman was often heard uttering “indiscernible gibberish” during his erratic nightly sleeps.”
The Rip Van Winkle Club: Who ever said marriage is work, was not joking. Couples can live in denial, disillusionment and even delusion. It is important that we are careful for what we wish for. Intro to the short story: “William R. Stuyvesant unhappily lived with his domineering wife Gertrude in a magnificent Tarrytown, New York manor house situated on a palisade overlooking the majestic Hudson River. William often confidentially compared Gertrude (to male associates) to Dame Van Winkle, Rip Van Winkle’s shrew of a wife who lambasted, browbeat and belittled the poor lethargic farmer every day from dawn until midnight. That is where the comparison between Gertrude Stuyvesant and Dame Van Winkle ends. William R. Stuyvesant was filthy rich and neither he nor Gertrude had to work another day in their lives to maintain their expensive tastes, selfish hobbies and extravagant lifestyles.”
Fantasy Book Land: Vacation is a time of renewal and relaxation. Although some turn out better than others. Intro to the short story: “Frank and Betsy Lanier were glad that the busy and hectic summer season was over at their well-established sixty-year-old South Jersey family business going by the all-too-familiar trade name of Fantasy Book Land. Finally, it was time for the couple to enjoy a well- deserved and relaxing fall hiatus, a getaway Columbus Day weekend. In South Jersey, the deciduous tree leaves were resplendently beginning to transform into their autumnal hues and to the needed-to-be-rejuvenated Laniers, a much-anticipated tour bus trip up to New Hampshire’s White Mountains represented a most welcome departure from the continuous daily grind of adult responsibility.
“I’m glad we’re again going with Ralph’s Bus Tours up to New England,” Betsy said to Frank as the husband pulled his black Mercedes into the Cape May Senior Citizens’ Tour Bus Terminal parking lot. “The change in scenery will be most appreciated. We’ll be able to forget our identities and duties for the next four days and be just two ordinary anonymous vacationers seeking asylum from grueling drudgery and accountability.”
Superstitions: Superstitions can be used as a tool to guide, avoid pitfalls or just amuse us. Intro to the short story: “Real estate broker James Brewster was elated, not because he had just completed reading Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book How to Win Friends and Influence People for the fifth time, but because in March of 2009 the wheeler-dealer had shrewdly purchased a three-year-old beachfront three-story home (with an elevator servicing each suite) on the Boardwalk and 16th Street in Ocean City, New Jersey for the ridiculously-low sum of 1.5 million dollars, acquiring the residence as a vacation home but more importantly, owning and leveraging the dwelling principally as a seasonal investment-return rental property.
‘I didn’t even need Dale Carnegie’s sound advice to negotiate this handsome bargain!’ Brewster joyfully reasoned. Being a born-opportunist, the risk-taking entrepreneur wanted to take full advantage of the in-progress economic recession and then in three years, capitalize on the presumed 2.25 million-dollar value of the three-year-old beach home should the country’s money cash-flow scenario improve back to normal.”
Trestles, Overpasses & Blue Skies: A change of scenery may be good for the soul but it can come with its own peculiarities. Intro to the short story: “Inspector Ned Carson sat at his office desk on the third floor of Philadelphia’s Race Street “Round House,” casually watching vehicular traffic flowing in both directions across the Ben Franklin Bridge connecting Pennsylvania with New Jersey, the span being a mile-long distance across the historic Delaware River. Carson’s reverie was instantly broken when his office partner Detective Timothy Ransom entered the room carrying two fresh cups of coffee and then respectfully handed one of the steaming Styrofoam containers to his thirty-year-veteran colleague.
“Tim, every March right before spring arrives on the calendar, I get the strong urge to get out of the congested city and use a week of my treasured vacation time to go either hunting or fishing with you,” Inspector Ned Carson mused and said. “But I gotta’ confess that our good wives have been quite understanding in allowing us to participate in some valued male bonding at suburban bars, and Jenny trusts me when I’m away from town at a distant convention with you for a week or so.”
The Evil Force: Conventional wisdom regarding the forces of good and evil might not extend beyond our Galaxy. Intro to the short story: “I, Colonel Cliff Dawson am accurately recording this incredible account into my personal electronic journal and not into the official ship’s log for reasons that will obviously be self-explanatory later on in this narrative. Captain Jeremy Parker and I have been on a courageous ten-year space mission exploring outer space and methodically charting our landmark discoveries for the International World Coalition. Our well-publicized mission was described in the world’s media as “an awesome enterprise” and quite basically, I’ve always been attracted to the prospect of being one of the first ‘daring humans’ to find intelligent human-like life thriving elsewhere in the nearby Milky Way Galaxy.
Our lengthy expedition started out from Earth in the year 2534 A.D. and it is now, according to our ship’s reliable instrument panel May 5th of 2542. The Newton III is now ready to lift off and leave the planet that Captain Parker and I have labeled EL-741, which is an Earth-Like sphere rotating around a Sun-Like star that my cohort and I have named Mater Seven.”
Rapid Crystals: Technically from any age, is only as good as the inventor, installer and the user. Intro to the short story: “Harry DeLareto sat erect upon his black leather swivel chair behind his desk in his walnut-paneled Elwood, New Jersey insurance office. The broker was preoccupied making a ten percent depreciation adjustment to the ‘inflated claim’ submitted by the Nesco Volunteer Fire Department that had recently and ironically burned to the ground in a raging inferno.
On Harry’s desk were random additional claims from Mrs. Rhonda Leonetti of Atsion, who had just been involved in an automobile accident, Arthur Noto of Hamilton Township, who had recently collided his motorboat with a Mullica River marina dock and another one from Jennifer Friel, a Sweetwater resident who had experienced severe flooding into her house when the normally tranquil Mullica River had overflowed its banks during a torrential three-day downpour. As DeLareto was fumbling through the assorted bureaucratic paperwork that was frustrating his mental health, the gentleman’s very capable secretary Nancy Davenport suddenly buzzed his desk from the adjoining room.
“Harry, Mr. And Mrs. David DeLaurentis had to cancel this afternoon’s appointment because their son Alfred has crashed his motorbike into a barn on a blueberry farmer’s property over in Hammonton and they’re now at Atlantic Care Hospital in Pomona. The boy’s all right but that’ll definitely be another injury insurance claim appearing on your desk within the next few weeks,”
Dream-On: Night dreams inhabit our subconscious but their effects can bleed through into our daily lives. Intro to the short story: “Hammonton, New Jersey resident Samuel Charles Dexter was both depressed and despondent. His recent divorce from his ultra-dominant wife Sharon left the man’s mind in an emotional state of shambles. Sam’s friends at the Vineland, New Jersey plastics manufacturing company where Dexter was employed as an accountant suggested that the numbers guru should seek professional therapy counseling. One of his fellow co-workers had highly recommended Dr. Adam Neville, a reputable psychiatrist whose practice was at the corner of Landis Avenue and Third Street in downtown Vineland. Samuel Charles Dexter honored his June 7th, 2010 “get acquainted appointment” and was cheerfully escorted into Dr. Neville’s office by Miss Emily Jensen, the psychiatrist’s secretary and bookkeeper.
“Mr. Dexter, you say in your letter of introduction you’ve been having peculiar dreams lately that seem to be compounding your mercurial emotional instability,” Dr. Adam Neville diplomatically commenced his narrative.”
Ship of Fool: In some cultures, photography has always associated with the interruption of and thus mirror into our soul. Intro to the short story: “Philip Greco was born and raised in Hammonton, New Jersey but in the 1970s the elderly gentleman absolutely loved vacationing for a full week every August in sun-kissed Ocean City, Maryland. Phil Greco had memorized every commercial retail business in the inlet’s five-block section of the boardwalk starting from South First Street right up to North Division where the Route 50 Bridge over the bay channeled automobile traffic into town. Trimper’s Rides, the Red Apple Treats Stand, Dayton’s Chicken, Marty’s Playland Arcade, Sportland Arcade, Dumser’s Ice Cream, The Purple Moose Saloon, Thrashers French Fries, the Alaska Hot Dog Stand, Dollie’s Popcorn, Bull on the Beach Roast Beef Sandwiches, the Atlantic Hotel, the Glassblowers Shop, Fisher’s Caramel Popcorn, Lombardi’s Tower of Pizza, Dealers Choice Poker Game Arcade, the Candy Kitchen Shop, the Psychedelic Shop, The Sea Shell Emporium, The Dutch Bar, Telescope Beach Pictures and the Courtesy Gift Shop all held dear spots in the visiting South Jersey man’s heart. And during his annual week-long hiatus Greco loyally patronized all of the mentioned popular boardwalk establishments.”
Stairway to Heaven: I have often wondered if the details of heaven is in the eye of the beholder. Intro to the short story: “I had suddenly died in my home’s master bedroom’s bathroom while I had been staring into the vanity mirror after finishing shaving. A sudden pain spread from my left arm to my chest and the last thing I remembered as a human being was collapsing upon the brown-tiled floor. There is no doubt in my mind that my body had ceased functioning and that my awareness had slowly exited my form and then transferred into a strange energy-spirit state. I don’t remember any spectacular catharsis when my soul had been ejected from its human shell.
Next, I can remember, I was somehow cognizant of hovering over my lifeless corpse and a moment later my senses were aware of my wife’s delirious screams as she frightfully bent over to touch my neck feeling for a pulse. ‘So much for her being a veteran R.N.,’ my still intact consciousness sarcastically thought. ‘She does really love me after all!”
The Better of Two Lives: We all encounter crossroads in our lives where the choice we make enhance our lives or causes ripples of regret. Intro to the short story: “People make many crucial decisions from several years after exiting their mothers’ wombs right up to entering their cemetery tombs. Men and women usually encounter at least a dozen crossroad events in their lifetimes where important choices are made, some good, and perhaps some not so fortuitous as originally planned and hoped for. Major decisions about marriage, who to marry, career choice, real estate acquisitions and investments complement a person’s numerous minor preferences such as which high school sports to play, who to ask to the senior prom, which college to attend, and what kind of house should be purchased. Such a plethora of mental challenges affect millions of Americans daily and continue to reap rewards and consequences throughout their mortal lives.
Richard Henderson was no exception to the law of human choices. The jack-of-all-trades and master of none had always desired to become a successful businessman, be a renowned author, and finally, thrive as a loving husband to a devoted wife who fully believed in emotional reciprocity. Those very noble aspirations represented Henderson’s wishful goals and lofty ambitions, but quite often, obtained results seldom match the sincerity of initial intent. Richard Henderson’s youthful fantasy and excessive idealism rapidly deteriorated into shattered hopes and crushed dreams.”
Youth Revisited: As we age, we encounter youth all around us. Stark reminders of distance experiences and a shorter road before us. Intro to the short story. “One August 2001 Monday morning Frederick Richard Barker drove his sky-blue Buick LeSabre east on busy Route 30 to the Blueberry Crossing Shopping Center. The retired Hammonton, New Jersey brick and stone mason was a seventy-year-old health fanatic who was fighting a valiant battle against the onslaught of everyone’s eventual common nemesis, old age. Fred parked his recently washed automobile in a convenient space and then strolled from the asphalt onto the pavement and ambled into the Health Tree Nutrition Store to purchase a re-supply of Vitamin E and a new bottle of potent Multi-Vitamins and Minerals.
“Hi,” Fred politely addressed the preoccupied young girl standing behind the counter presently attending to the needs of a demanding customer. “Where’s Sharon? She usually takes good care of me.”
“Mrs. Bertino is in New York attending a health products trade show,” the conscientious girl answered before ringing-up the fastidious customer’s acquisitions on the cash register. “She’ll be back in town on Wednesday unless my boss begins that Pocono Mountains vacation she’s been talking about.”
The Hotel Delaware: Leap Year holds luck for the few and mystery for the masses. Intro to the short story. “Superstitious people believe and attest that strange incidents often occur on February 29 of every Leap Year. I had never placed too much credence in that unscientific claim until Tuesday, February 29, 2004, which unfortunately is a date I will certainly remember forever. Let me fully explain my accursed dilemma so that all will comprehend the true nature of my misery. The courtesy of another person’s sympathy and understanding will be greatly appreciated. I realize that my tale will seem both illogical and incredible to anyone interpreting it, yet I believe I must share its veracity.
A Leap Year has three hundred and sixty-six days on the annual calendar, one more twenty-four-hour interval than that which exists in a normal year. Greenwich, England scientists and concerned astronomers have adjusted the mechanics of the moon and months to interface with the Earth’s revolution around the sun because a quarter of a day is lost each normal year when coordinating those particular solar system relationships. To accurately adjust for the quarter-day time discrepancy in the Earth’s elliptical orbit around the sun, February 29 was created on the post medieval Gregorian Calendar (developed in the 1580s by Pope Gregory), which we still honor today after the old Julian Calendar (developed in 46 B.C. under the reign of Julius Caesar) had been discarded.”
The Bad Old Days: Farming takes knowledge, decision and hard work. Some work the fields, cranberry bogs and then there are those who provide the world with fresh blueberries. Intro to the short story. “Last September was very stressful for Hammonton, New Jersey peach and blueberry farmer Richard Jacobs. An irrigation pump caught on fire and the first responder to arrive on the scene was his brother-in-law Charles Garrison. The fireman attempted entering the pit where the pump was situated but the mechanism exploded. Charles Garrison suffered massive burns all over his body and died at a local hospital hours later.
The dead man’s family hired an uncompromising high-profile lawyer who immediately sued Richard Jacobs for three million dollars. The plaintiffs easily won the legal case on the grounds that the irrigation pump should have been fenced in so that access to it by the now-deceased Charles Garrison could have been prevented. Richard Jacobs’ insurance covered only half of the exorbitant settlement and to make matters worse, the grower could no longer obtain insurance coverage because of his deteriorating credit and poor financial predicament. The result of the expensive litigation had caused additional friction to surface between the bad-luck farmer and his disconsolate wife.”
A Grave Undertaking: Missing person investigations sends shockwaves through any community that has the misfortune of mysterious disappearances. Intro to the short story. “The Hammonton Police Department and the New Jersey State Police were baffled by a wave of a dozen missing persons disappearing from the somnolent South Jersey agricultural community, a town noted for being “The Blueberry Capital of the World.” Chief-of-Police Michael Falcone had summoned Detective Fred Arico and Patrolman Samuel Galletta to his downstairs office in the newly constructed Hammonton Town Hall on the corner of Central Avenue and Vine Street. The recent “missing persons’ phenomenon” had become a popular topic reported and discussed on Philadelphia and Atlantic City television news broadcasts. Chief Falcone felt personally embarrassed at his department having to solicit outside professional help to engage in solving the complex case currently under investigation.”
The Steel Pier: Tourists still flock to the Atlantic City famous Steel Pier in New Jersey. Intro to the short story. “Atlantic City, New Jersey’s famous Steel Pier was the Queen of Resorts premier showplace for entertainment from its original construction in 1898 (as a Quaker repose) through its heyday during and after World War II, leading up to the fabulous “Golden Years” of rock and roll music. In fact, the unique extension into the Atlantic was a favorite destination for vacationers right through the era of popular variety shows that were prevalent during ‘50s and ‘60s pioneering television programming. The revered structure that jutted out over a quarter mile into the ocean had obtained its classic name from the “steel framework” upon which the Pier had been erected. Over the decades many big-name stars had performed live shows at the landmark building including the legendary John Philip Sousa, Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Ed Sullivan, Bing Crosby, Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin, Perry Como and comedian Eddie Cantor.”
Live Free or Die: Although the motto of New Hampshire, this story is not there but it is perhaps a story about a soul caught between heaven and hell. Intro to the short story. Frederick Allen Griffith shuffled into Dr. Augustus Pietropaolo’s office at 1237 Paradise Road, Hammonton, New Jersey feeling despondent, sluggish and quite lethargic. Mrs. Elysia Fields, the office receptionist, greeted the new patient and checked his name off her long list. Fred felt a tad insecure in that he was the only person sitting in the large waiting room. The fact that there were no magazines, newspapers or pamphlets on the end tables for him to scrutinize made Griffith feel even more uncomfortable.
“You’re a little early for your scheduled appointment,” Mrs. Fields stated with a forced smile. “Dr. Pietropaolo will be available to analyze your issues shortly. Nobody has problems any more. If I may use the euphemism, everyone who comes here has issues! Anyway, the Dr.’s presently reviewing the records of another eccentric client, or should I say ‘unique patient.’ Now Mr. Griffith,” Mrs. Fields added as she took a glimpse inside Frederick’s confidential folder, “you’re here to discuss your recent four-day bus trip up to New Hampshire, is that correct?”
Ignorance Is Bliss: The statement Ignorance is bliss is far removed from reality. Intro to the short story: “Ever since his wife Eleanor had died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease in March of 2006, James Jefferson Gillespie has been extremely despondent and has gone through the motions of everyday life as a pathetic loner. The twenty-eight-year-old chemist thought that a change of scenery would certainly diminish his great melancholy, so he visited his Hammonton, New Jersey Bellevue Avenue travel agent and booked a two-week autumn vacation to Athens, Greece. James felt that he needed some fresh stimuli to regenerate his sagging spirit. A stay at the luxurious Grande Bretagne Hotel, conveniently situated in central Athens, was sure to alleviate Gillespie’s recent chronic introverted disposition.
‘Eleanor’s been gone for nearly two whole years now,’ James sadly reflected on his tragic loss, ‘so perhaps it’s time for me to meet and date someone new! I haven’t had much luck doing that around Hammonton since everyone’ in town knows me or knows about me at the bowling alley, at the restaurants and at the all-too-false singles’ bars. Yes, October seems like a terrific month to be touring the sights of Athens,’ the self-pitying fellow reckoned. ‘Maybe my two-week hiatus in Greece will miraculously alter my lousy success at romance. And Room 610 at the Grande Bretagne Hotel seems to be a good luck omen. My three best bowling game scores added together equal that number!’”
The Cruisers: Ship Cruises tend to a tantalizing idea until reality sets in. Intro to the short story. “Frederick and Amy Pearl loved to travel internationally, especially enjoying leisurely sea cruises throughout the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The residents of 227 Tilton Street, Hammonton, New Jersey preferred taking weeklong ocean and sea voyages to partaking of exotic winter vacations flying to tropical destinations. The medical doctor and his nurse wife believed in working hard and playing hard when not preoccupied with their demanding professions or being busy babysitting their four energetic pre-teen grandchildren, Dan, Karly, Sierra and Lindsey. On December 28th, 2008 the Pearls’ oldest son Joseph, a South Jersey insurance and real estate agent, drove the general practitioner and his devoted wife to Philadelphia International Airport.
After checking through Terminal C’s tight airport security without too much inconvenience, Fred and Amy boarded their American Airlines jet bound for sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico, where a seven-day cruise on the luxurious and well-appointed state-of-the-art liner The Winds of Fate had been booked in early May. Six hours later the delighted sea odyssey tourists were sipping delicious pina coladas aboard the ship’s top deck and partaking in the standard gala “bon voyage celebration.”
Ice Ages: Impressionable young minds are the engines that drive our future. Intro to the short story. “In early December of 1975 Jeremy Ingram had been an impressionable seventh grader at the Hammonton Middle School where he was greatly influenced by his effervescent social studies teacher Mr. Charles Galinas. The New Jersey history instructor had mentioned to his usually lethargic fifth period students the amazing story of Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890), a German entrepreneur that had become exceptionally wealthy making lucrative business investments in Russia during the Crimean War.
Schliemann had accumulated sufficient expendable wealth to enable the industrious businessman to retire and then energetically pursue his greatest childhood ambition: to prove to the world once and for all that Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey had been actual historical events and not mere myths as had been widely believed throughout the Nineteenth Century civilized world. Soon his scientific archeological expeditions confirmed to cynics that Level VII-a in Asia Minor was “the Troy of Priam” (that he had against all odds) discovered.”
Like Clockwork: A skeptical heart along with a cynical attitude can close the door to the improbable. Intro to the short story. “My spirit has been petrified ever since I had experienced what my senses have perceived as a supernatural phenomenon! My consciousness has never been so paranoid in my entire life as it is right this very minute. After I regain a degree of confidence, I plan to seek professional counseling to help my desperate soul grapple with my current unbearable mental predicament. Let me explain the entire dilemma in detail. I promise to be completely thorough in rendering my accurate description of certain events that seemingly defy scientific explanation.
During my very smooth and comfortable United Airlines cross-country flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles International Airport, my alert mind could not stop thinking about the one-year anniversary of my twin brother Richard Sullivan’s unexpected cardiac arrest death on April 14th, 2008. Richard had been an extremely successful lawyer back in Hammonton, New Jersey and both his devoted wife Karen and myself greatly miss his companionship. Besides my wife Susan, Rich had been my trusted confidante, friend, loyal supporter and expert financial adviser. My only brother’s keen insight into evolving stock market trends was uncanny, and his shrewd decisions about often-speculative investments were accurate at least eighty percent of the times he had shared his terrific Wall Street recommendations with me.”
Chiropractic Dreaming: With the chaos behind, relaxation comes in the form of the invigorating therapeutic aqua-bed. Intro to the short story. “Every calendar year the time period of February to mid-April is very demanding and stressful for middle-aged Harold DeFelice of 763 Fairview Avenue, Hammonton, NJ. The very thorough and efficient Certified Public Accountant had just mailed the last of his clients’ 2008 Federal Income Tax returns at the Third Street Post Office on Wednesday morning, April 15th and now it was time to drive his brand new tuscan red Nissan Maxima to has scheduled appointment at Advanced Chiropractic, 425 White Horse Pike, Atco. Harold preferred patronizing Advanced Chiropractic over its Hammonton counterpart because the Atco office had the latest and most modern professional equipment, so in DeFelice’s sage estimation, the seven-mile west drive on four-lane Route 30 was indeed well-worth the additional time and effort.
‘Most of my five hundred customers really go crazy in the six weeks prior to the April 15th tax deadline,’ Harold thought as he passed a tractor-trailer while ascending the Route 30 Ancora Railroad Bridge. ‘They persistently call me about deduction trivialities and about every complicated minor change in the tax code as it specifically pertains to them. But now I can relax, get my back and hips adjusted and be pampered by some excellent electrical stimulation, be massaged by the very satisfying roller bed experience and of course babied by my favorite chiropractic indulgence, the invigorating therapeutic aqua-bed.’”
Animal Music: Music is all around us and influences in unusual ways. Intro to the short story: “Any fiction writer aptly knows that the absolute ultimate in creativity that the human mind can produce occurs when the dynamic subconscious engages in dreaming and in imagining totally surreal situations during dreadful nightmares. But when ambitious short story and novel authors attempt organizing eccentric tales (that are analogous to capturing fantastic dreams on paper), the writers’ manuscripts almost always fall pathetically short of the authors’ noble aspirations. Unfortunately, most dreams and nightmares are not fully recollected, but if they could be, then there would exist thousands of additional excellent “soul-inspired” works available for readers’ consumption in both World and American literature.”
Ten Options: Is the option worth the outcome? Intro to the short story. “Ever since first grade back in 1949 Ken Keller had aspired to be a Major League pitcher. His father Karl had instilled that unrealistic dream in Ken’s head. In 1973 Ken Keller had effectively passed-on the love of baseball in general and of pitching in particular to his son Kyle, who in turn in 2009 had effectively conveyed the “family infatuation with baseball” to his eleven-year-old son Keith. But the sixty-seven-year-old retired plumber Ken Keller had never told his son Kyle or his grandson Keith why he and his deceased dad Karl had a certain fondness for alliteration using the letter K.
In 1974 Ken Keller inherited his small King Lane Hammonton, New Jersey ranch home a month after his father Karl had passed away. In 1977 Ken’s second wife Katherine had also died, leaving the lonely man feeling very disconsolate. But the melancholy widower always kept his well-fertilized lawn properly maintained and Ken was especially proud of the many splendid ewe, rhododendron, rose and hydrangea bushes nestled around his home that were meticulously kept trimmed and looking healthy all summer long. Just the day before Ken had heard an envious neighbor bending the mailman’s ear, “Keller’s mulch right down to the last black bark chip always appears to be in the exact ideal spot where the little chunk had first been placed. That guy’s too much of a perfectionist to suit me!”
Landscapes and Photographs: One man’s masterpiece is another man’s craft. Intro to the short story. “On Monday morning September 21st, 2009, the last day of summer, George Rodio had been a bit lucky at Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City. The Hammonton, New Jersey pharmacy owner had just gotten three sevens on a fifty-cent slot machine and had merrily won three thousand dollars cash. After leaving the gambling establishment’s high-rise parking garage, the perfectly contented slot machine player drove his dark blue Lexus south on Brigantine Boulevard heading towards Route 30, the White Horse Pike. The recipient of the ‘found money’ was thinking about how he was going to merrily dispose of his recent ‘good fortune bonanza.’
‘It’s a good thing I honored my hunch and drove to Harrah’s to try my luck,’ the happy fellow thought. ‘I’ll call my dependable manager Bill Dawkins after I get home and see if all my help came in to work this morning. But first I’ll stop at that new art gallery in Absecon that features impressive works by aspiring South Jersey artists,’ George instantly decided. ‘If I see a suitable painting that captures my fancy, I’ll purchase the Picasso and hang it above the upright piano in the den and then I’ll move the ancient collage of the nine family photos’ that’s now over the piano from the den to the upstairs computer room’s blank wall. I think that Barbara will be both surprised and thrilled with the new acquisition, if I ever decide to buy it.’”
The Pinelands Theatre: Theaters will be our time capsules. Intro to the short story. “Originally completed and opened in 1914, Hammonton, New Jersey’s Pinelands Theatre has had a very long and interesting history. At first the structure functioned as an entertainment venue presenting live vaudeville and variety acts to entertain the local public. Twenty years after its pre-WWI inception, out of sheer economic necessity the landmark Pinelands Theatre switched from showing silent films to innovative “talking movies” in 1930, but in later years competition from the much larger and more elegant Rivoli Theater (at the corner of Bellevue Avenue and Third Street) eventually put the town’s first movie house into extinction, forcing the out-of-date building to eventually close its doors in December of 1943, exactly two years after Pearl Harbor.
After the Golden Age of Hollywood had passed into posterity, the vacant Second and Vine edifice, located a block east of Bellevue (the town’s main thoroughfare), later became a residence in 1951, but then the structure was gutted and converted into a merchants’ warehouse in 1957, but in the early 1960s Kennedy-Johnson era, the aged in-need-of-repair skeleton became a convenient storage facility for a Bellevue Avenue department store. Things were looking rather bleak for the once-revered Pinelands Theatre building with the approach of the twenty-first century and its attendant technologies.”
A Second Chance: Youth feel invisible with lack of wisdom and self-control. Intro to the short story. “Ever since I became an acne-faced teenager back in the mid-1950s, I have always loved fast automobiles, especially ones with chrome-plated flat-head engines. When my family had lived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania from 1953-‘59, my tough-guy friends and I would often hitchhike to the Langhorne Speedway on Route 1 just above Fairless Hills and pay the dollar grandstand admission we had been diligently saving-up for just to sit in the bleachers and watch exciting motorcycle and stock car races. Then my family moved to Hammonton, New Jersey where my addiction to excessive speed persisted right into my junior and senior high school years.
And when I was old enough to drive my father’s ‘55 green and white Chevy, I did surrender to temptation and drag race it on at least a dozen occasions, nearly smashing-up the old jalopy during four separate dangerous racing situations. Because of obstinate pride during those foolish escapades, I never fully comprehended that I had been recklessly putting my own life and the well-being of others in jeopardy.”
Wolverton Mountain: What the junior sleuths and seasoned pros might have in common. Intro to the short story. “Veteran Agents Salvatore Velardi, Arthur Orsi and Dan Blachford stepped into FBI Inspector Joe Giralo’s office, loftily situated on the eighth floor of 600 Arch Street, Philadelphia. Each of the conscientious trio was wondering exactly what new investigative matter was of such “urgent and strategic importance,” the precise terminology that their reputable Boss had dramatically characterized their very next challenging government assignment. As usual, “the Chief” was sitting behind his enormous Canadian oak desk and his brown eyes were carefully examining the front-page articles of the Philadelphia Inquirer appearing “above the fold”.
“I’m glad that you three easily distracted-but-ambitious junior sleuths have gotten here on time for your scheduled noon appointment, and I’m personally delighted that you’re not now eating pizza or hoagies down at the crowded Reading Terminal Food Market,” the Boss gruffly greeted his loyal subordinates. “I’m also happy to note in my latest report to Matt Riley that you three remarkable gumshoes had easily solved the rather preposterous “Treasure Map Caper” that had been annoying various local police departments in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware tri-state area, which had warranted the indispensable services and intervention of the local FBI. Now Men,” Inspector Giralo rambled on, “DC headquarters has acknowledged your crucial participation in swiftly solving that particular regional dilemma.”
Poetic Justice: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, isn’t it?” Intro to the short story. “Every December 1st, FBI Inspector Joe Giralo proudly invites his three loyal agents Salvatore Velardi, Arthur Orsi and Daniel Blachford over to Orchard Street and into his cozy downtown Hammonton, New Jersey home to admire his extensive train display and accompanying elaborate village, all spectacularly exhibited on an enormous platform that virtually encompassed the man’s entire downstairs “second den.”
“I see that you’ve added several new buildings to complement your intricate Christmas hometown extravaganza,” Agent Velardi noted and expressed. “I don’t remember that dress shop and that yogurt and ice cream parlor on the corner ever being in the village last year. You’ve managed to re-create a miniature scale model of downtown Hammonton! Quite impressive indeed!”
“Thanks for the rather exaggerated kudos Salvatore!” Inspector Giralo genially replied. “Ever since I was a curious toddler, I’ve been infatuated with model trains. This entire project has taken me seven years to complete, and all of the stores and buildings along Bellevue Avenue, Central Avenue, Horton Street along with Second and Third Street I’ve diligently assembled with my own two hands. The tedious labor was done right here on the premises, with all the items being assiduously built down in my workshop basement.”
A Photo Finish: Family secrets divulged. Intro to the short story. “At 8 pm sharp a black 2018 Mercedes luxury S 560 sedan entered the secluded U-shaped asphalt driveway enveloping a well-manicured lawn on East First Road, Hammonton NJ. The recently constructed three-million-dollar brick and stone mansion belonged to local wealthy business mogul James Dante Carlino, who that evening was scheduled to meet with the arriving prestigious South-Jersey Central Bank President, Thomas Monastra. In response to recent phone exchanges, the visiting financial executive and the resident real estate guru were slated to discuss an imminent shopping center development project planned for erection just outside Somers Point, across the bay from scenic Ocean City, New Jersey.
“Hello Mr. Monastra,” James Carlino warmly greeted. “It’s too bad we couldn’t meet at the Blue Heron Country Club yesterday for a round of golf. But Mother Nature isn’t always cooperative with desired business consultations.”
“Very well put!” the bank official aptly answered. “Egg Harbor Township isn’t exactly located in Southern California where it seldom rains in the early summer. Living on the West Coast does have its climate advantages. I must admit Mr. Carlino, it’s quite a beautiful estate you’ve imaginatively built here, neatly tucked into the Jersey pines.”
The Psychic Dimension, Part II (34 sci-fi/paranormal novellas, 567 pages) is one of author Jay Dubya’s 56 published books existing in hardcover, in paperback and in Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook and Smashwords ebook formats. The Psychic Dimension, Part II is the companion book to The Psychic Dimension.
I have had the pleasure of reading The Psychic Dimension Book One and Book Two by Jay Dubya (John Wiessner). I highly recommend this book along with all this author’s books. Author Jay Dubya is a prolific writer with over 59 published works to his credit. He writes short story collections, trilogies, and novels in all the genres. The Psychic Dimension (Part One and Part Two) is a great way to get to know the author’s thought process. Review by Theodocia McLean.
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban