Read book online free Danger! And Other StoriesDANGER!AND OTHER STORIES

Read book online free Danger! And Other Stories DANGER!AND OTHER STORIES

      BY ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

      AUTHOR OF"THE WHITE COMPANY, " "SIR NIGEL""RODNEY STONE, " ETC. 

      LONDON JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W. 1918

      ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

      PREFACE

      The Title story of this volume was written about eighteen months before the outbreak of the war, and was intended to direct public attention to the great danger which threatened this country. It is a matter of history how fully this warning has been justified and how, even down to the smallest details, the prediction has been fulfilled. The writer must, however, most thankfully admit that what he did not foresee was the energy and ingenuity with which the navy has found means to meet the new conditions. The great silent battle which has been fought beneath the waves has


Read book online free A Crooked PathA CROOKED PATH

Read book online free A Crooked PathA CROOKED PATH

      _A NOVEL_

      BY MRS. ALEXANDER, _Author of "The Wooing O't, " "A Life Interest, " Etc. _

      NEW YORK THE F. M. LUPTON PUBLISHING COMPANY, NOS. 72-76 WALKER STREET. 

      A CROOKED PATH. 

      CHAPTER I. 

      "GATHERING CLOUDS. "

      The London season had not yet reached its height, some years ago, beforethe arch admitting to Constitution Hill had been swept back to make roomfor the huge, ever-increasing stream of traffic, or the plebeian 'bushad been permitted to penetrate the precincts of Hamilton Place. It wasthe forenoon of a splendid day, one of the earliest of June,

Read book online free Captain Corelli's MandolinCaptain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

Read book online free Captain Corelli's MandolinCaptain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

      Contents1 Dr Iannis commences his History and is frustrated2 The Duce3 The Strongman4 L'Omosessuale (1)5 The Man who Said `No'6 L'Omosessuale (2)7 Extreme Remedies8 A Funny Kind of Cat9 August 1 5th, 194010 L'Omosessuale (3)11 Pelagia and Mandras12 All the Saint's Miracles13, Delirium14 Grazzi15 L'Omosessuale (4)16 Letters to Mandras at the Front17 L'Omosessuale IS)18 The Continuing Literary Travails of Dr Iannis19 L'Omosessuale (6)20 The Wild Man of the Ice21 Pelagia's First Patient22 Mandras Behind the Veil23 April 30th, 194124 A Most Ungracious Surrender25 Resistance26 Sharp Edges27 A Discourse on Mandolins and a Concert28 Liberating the Masses (1)29 Etiquette30 The Good Nazi I1)31 A Problem wide Eyes32 Liberating the Masses (2)33 A Problem with Hands34 Liberating the Masses 13)35 A Pamphlet Distributed on the Island, Entitled with the Fascist SloganABC Amber LIT Converter

      `Believe, Fight, and Obey'36 Education37 An Episode Confirming Pelagia's Belief that Men do not Know the DifferenceBetween Bravery and a Lack of Common Sense38 The Origin of Pelagia's March39 Arsenios40 A Problem with Lips41 Snails42 How like a Woman is a Mandolin43 The Great Big Spiky Rustball44 Theft45 A Time of Innocence46 Bunnios47 Dr Iannis Counsels his Daughter48 La Scala49 The Doctor Advises the Captain5O A Time of Hiatus51 Paralysis52 Developments53 First Blood54 Carlo's Farewell55 Victory56 The Good Nazi (2)57 Fin58 Surgery and Obsequy59 The Historical Cachette60 The Beginning of her Sorrows61 Every Parting u a Foretaste of Death62 Of the


Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park
by Jane Austen

In an act of charity, Mrs. Norris offers to take in her niece, Fanny Price, a fragile young girl. When she arrives at Mansfield Park, the unsophisticated Fanny clashes with her wealthy, upper class relatives. Her cousin Edmund, however, understands her and captures her heart.

Marcia Schuyler by Grace Livingston Hill

Marcia Schuyler
by Grace Livingston Hill

When her sister abandons her intended groom at the altar, Marcia steps into her place. Family members are outraged and new husband David harbors doubts about marrying a stand-in. If their marriage is to succeed, David needs to recognize the true, sweet nature that Marcia brings to the union.

A Dangerous Love by Linda Louise Rigsbee

A Dangerous Love
by Linda Louise Rigsbee

After the death of her family in an auto/train accident, Lisa returns to the wild mountains of her youth. There she meets a man who employs her as a companion for his mother - which includes babysitting his daughter. At his secluded home, nothing is as it first appeared. The young man's volatile moods are nothing compared to her suspicions about the source of his wealth. She is determined to solve the mystery - if she lives long enough!

Breaking the Routine Can Have Consequences by Taylor Lowe

Breaking the Routine Can Have Consequences
by Taylor Lowe

Samantha Peters is the quiet good girl type. Her best friend convinces her to go to New York for the weekend where she has her first one night stand. No big deal right since she lives in a little no name town until she finds out the man she spent the night with is her new co-worker.

Read book online free Damian's Oracle by Lizzy Ford

Read book online free Damian's Oracle
by Lizzy Ford

Book I in the War of Gods Series. Caught in the war between the White and Black Gods, Sofia and her rare gift bring victory to he who grabs her first. Her difficult transition from human to oracle forces her into a new world, where she struggles in her role as Damian's mate and to help a mysterious man who is supposed to be dead.

Read book online free Second Chance Romance by Asrai Devin

Read book online free Second Chance Romance
by Asrai Devin

Twelve years ago Kip Turner let the girl of his dreams go to pursue his dream of playing hockey. She is now an unmarried mother in a nearby town. Can they rekindle their relationship?

Read book online free The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

Read book online free The Great Gatsby
by F Scott Fitzgerald

This love story is set in the 1920 s - a period of jazz and decadence. Jay Gatsby, a poor army officer falls for Daisy who marries a rich man while Jay is overseas. After the war, Jay becomes a multi-millionaire focusing on making money, throwing parties and enticing Daisy to return to his life.


Read book online free The Vampire Gene - A Sample by Jenny Doe

Read book online free The Vampire Gene - A Sample
by Jenny Doe

Book 2 in The Iron Trilogy. Rebecca Harding discovers that there is much more to being a vampire than she had originally suspected. Meanwhile, she continues to be pursued by Jack, a brutal and relentless vampire who wants Rebecca for himself, and Angus must do all he can to protect her.

Vampire Gene - A Sample

Book 2 in The Iron Trilogy

Jenny Doe

Also by Jenny Doe:

The Iron in Blood (Book 1 in The Iron Trilogy)

Read book online free Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Read book online free Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte

Like heroines in many romantic stories, Jane Eyre was a penniless orphan who was an ugly duckling. She left an unhappy time at a boarding school to become a teacher and governess for a proud man with a secret.

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been
wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning;
but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early)
the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a
ra in so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of
the question.

I was glad of it: I never liked long walks, especially on chilly
afternoons: dreadful to me was the coming home in the raw twilight,
with nipped fingers and toes, and a heart saddened by the chidings
of Bessie, the nurse, and humbled by the consciousness of my
physical inferiority to Eliza, John, and Georgiana Reed.

The said Eliza, John, and Georgiana were now clustered round their
mama in the drawing-room: she lay reclined on a sofa by the
fireside, and with her darlings about her (for the time neither
quarrelling nor crying) looked perfectly happy. Me, she had
dispensed from joining the group; saying, "She regretted to be under
the necessity of keeping me at a distance; but that until she heard
from Bessie, and could discover by her own observation, that I was
endeavouring in good earnest to acquire a more sociable and
childlike disposition, a more attractive and sprightly manner--
something lighter, franker, more natural, as it were--she really
must exclude me from privileges intended only for contented, happy,
little children."

"What does Bessie say I have done?" I asked.

Read book online free Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster

Read book online free Daddy Long Legs
by Jean Webster

From an orphanage to college, Jerusha, or Judy, Abbott hopes to continue her education, but has no funds. When an anonymous benefactor offers to finance her studies, Judy accepts. Her witty letters to this generous man may bring her closer to knowing his identity than she expects.

 Blue Wednesday

The first Wednesday in every month was a Perfectly Awful Day--a day to
be awaited with dread, endured with courage and forgotten with haste.
Every floor must be spotless, every chair dustless, and every bed
without a wrinkle. Ninety-seven squirming little orphans must be
scrubbed and combed and buttoned into freshly starched ginghams; and
all ninety-seven reminded of their manners, and told to say, 'Yes,
sir,' 'No, sir,' whenever a Trustee spoke.

It was a distressing time; and poor Jerusha Abbott, being the oldest
orphan, had to bear the brunt of it. But this particular first
Wednesday, like its predecessors, finally dragged itself to a close.
Jerusha escaped from the pantry where she had been making sandwiches
for the asylum's guests, and turned upstairs to accomplish her regular
work. Her special care was room F, where eleven little tots, from four
to seven, occupied eleven little cots set in a row. Jerusha assembled
her charges, straightened their rumpled frocks, wiped their noses, and
started them in an orderly and willing line towards the dining-room to
engage themselves for a blessed half hour with bread and milk and prune
pudding.

Then she dropped down on the window seat and leaned throbbing temples
against the cool glass. She had been on her feet since five that
morning, doing everybody's bidding, scolded and hurried by a nervous
matron. Mrs. Lippett, behind the scenes, did not always maintain that
calm and pompous dignity with which she faced an audience of Trustees
and lady visitors. Jerusha gazed out across a broad stretch of frozen
lawn, beyond the tall iron paling that marked the confines of the
asylum, down undulating ridges sprinkled with country estates, to the
spires of the village rising from the midst of bare trees.

Read book online free Wolf Wood (Part One) by Michael Edward Dixon

Read book online free Wolf Wood (Part One)
by Michael Edward Dixon

Alice de Lambert thought she would die an old maid then she moved from the nunnery to become matron of a local almshouse. Her caring ways brought her into contact with Harald Gascoigne, the loving son of a ferocious family, and her life was changed forever.

Song of Ice and Fire, (4 Vols.): A Game of Thrones / A Clash of Kings / A Storm of Swords / A Feast for Crows [Print]

Song of Ice and Fire, (4 Vols.): A Game of Thrones / A Clash of Kings / A Storm of Swords / A Feast for Crows [Print] 

George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has become, in many ways, the gold standard for modern epic fantasy. Martin--dubbed the "American Tolkien" by Time magazine--has created a world that is as rich and vital as any piece of historical fiction, set in an age of knights and chivalry and filled with a plethora of fascinating, multidimensional characters that you love, hate to love, or love to hate as they struggle for control of a divided kingdom. It is this very vitality that has led it to be adapted as the HBO miniseries "Game of Thrones."

This boxed set includes the following novels:
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows


Read book online The Cuckoo's Calling [Hardcover] Robert Galbraith (Author)

Read book online The Cuckoo's Calling [Hardcover]
Robert Galbraith (Author)

The Cuckoo's Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.


Read book online Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth [Hardcover] Reza Aslan (Author)

Read book online Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth [Hardcover]
Reza Aslan (Author)

From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth.
 
Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what he called the "Kingdom of God." The revolutionary movement he launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured, tortured, and executed as a state criminal.
 
Within decades after his shameful death, his followers would call him God.


Temporary Arrangement (The Renaldis) [Kindle Edition] Karen Erickson (Author)

Temporary Arrangement (The Renaldis) [Kindle Edition]
Karen Erickson (Author)

The Renaldis

Alone and broke, Paige Stewart can't believe her good luck. Who hires a virtual stranger out of a New York City coffee shop to care for their adorable grandson? Apparently Claudia Renaldi does. 
Widower Matteo Renaldi isn't pleased that his mother found a replacement nanny so soon after he fired the last one. Yet little Matty takes to Paige like no other nanny before. And Matteo can't deny he's quite taken with her as well. She's beautiful. Sweet. And far, far too young for him. 
There's something about the gorgeously sexy Matteo that fills Paige with longing to break through his wall of formality and touch his softer side. But no one knows better than she that crushing on her boss is one thing. Acting on those feelings is forbidden. Foolish. 
Inevitable... 

Warning: Sexy, grumpy Italian hero who is determined to keep his walls up. No matter how much his son's sweetly beautiful nanny drives him to distraction...

High Heat: A Jack Reacher Novella (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition] Lee Child (Author)

High Heat: A Jack Reacher Novella (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]
Lee Child (Author)

Thriller master Lee Child returns with an exclusive eBook novella. In the midst of a savage heat wave and an infamous murder spree, a blackout awakens the dark side of the city that never sleeps—and a young Jack Reacher takes action as only he can.

Don’t miss the exciting preview of Lee Child’s highly anticipated Jack Reacher novel, Never Go Back!

July 1977. Jack Reacher is almost seventeen, and he stops in New York City on the way to visit his brother at West Point. The summer heat is suffocating, the city is bankrupt, and the mad gunman known as Son of Sam is still on the loose. Reacher meets a woman with a problem, and agrees to help her . . . but then the power grid fails and the lights go out, plunging the lawless city into chaos. What does a visiting teenager do in the dark? If that visiting teenager is Jack Reacher, the answer is plenty.

Thief (Love Me With Lies #3) [Kindle Edition] Tarryn Fisher (Author), Lori Sabin (Editor)

Thief (Love Me With Lies #3) [Kindle Edition]
Tarryn Fisher (Author), Lori Sabin (Editor)

Book Description

Caleb Drake never got over his first love. Not when he got married. Not when she got married. When life suddenly comes full circle Caleb must decide how how far he is willing to go to get the aloof and alluring Olivia Kaspen back. But for every action in life there is a consequence, and soon Caleb finds out that sometimes love comes at an unbearably high price.

Click here to Buy it........

The Cuckoo's Calling [Hardcover] Robert Galbraith (Author)

The Cuckoo's Calling [Hardcover]
Robert Galbraith (Author)

The Cuckoo's Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

Offer on this book Buy it Now to Save 10$

Read Books Online, for Free A Defense of Enthusiasm by Henry Theodore Tuckerman

Read Books Online, for Free
A Defense of Enthusiasm by Henry Theodore Tuckerman
Introduction


Henry Theodore Tuckerman, an entertaining essayist and miscellaneous writer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, April 20th, 1813. He wrote extensively both in prose and verse. Among his best-known works are "The Italian Sketch-Book," published in 1835; "Rambles and Reveries" in 1841; "Thoughts on the Poets" in 1846; "Characteristics of Literature" in 1849 to 1851; and "Essays" in 1857. He died in New York, December 17th, 1871. His essay on "New England Philosophy" appeared originally in the Democratic Review. It included the "Defense of Enthusiasm," which has been more widely circulated than anything else from his pen.


Read Books Online, for Free The Angel Of The Revolution by George Chetwynd Griffith At The Eleventh Hour

Read Books Online, for Free
The Angel Of The Revolution by George Chetwynd Griffith
At The Eleventh Hour

Victory! It flies! I am master of the Powers of the Air at last!"

They were strange words to be uttered, as they were, by a pale, haggard, half-starved looking young fellow in a dingy, comfortless room on the top floor of a South London tenement-house; and yet there was a triumphant ring in his voice, and a clear, bright flush on his thin cheeks that spoke at least for his own absolute belief in their truth.

Let us see how far he was justified in that belief.

To begin at the beginning, Richard Arnold was one of those men whom the world is wont to call dreamers and enthusiasts before they succeed, and heaven-born geniuses and benefactors of humanity afterwards.

He was twenty-six, and for nearly six years past he had devoted himself, soul and body, to a single idea--to the so far unsolved problem of aerial navigation.

This idea had haunted him ever since he had been able to think logically at all--first dimly at school, and then more clearly at college, where he had carried everything before him in mathematics and natural science, until it had at last become a ruling passion that crowded everything else out of his life, and made him, commercially speaking, that most useless of social units--a one-idea'd man, whose idea could not be put into working form.

He was an orphan, with hardly a blood relation in the world. He had started with plenty of friends, mostly made at college, who thought he had a brilliant future before him, and therefore looked upon him as a man whom it might be useful to know.


Read Books Online, for Free True Riches by T.S. Arthur

Read Books Online, for Free
True Riches by T.S. Arthur

The original title chosen for this book was "Riches without Wings;" but the author becoming aware, before giving it a permanent form, that a volume bearing a similar title had appeared some years ago, of which a new edition was about to be issued, thought it best to substitute therefor, "True Riches; or, Wealth without Wings," which, in fact, expresses more accurately the character and scope of his story.

The lessons herein taught are such as cannot be learned too early, nor dwelt on too long or too often, by those who are engaged in the active and all-absorbing duties of life. In the struggle for natural riches--the wealth that meets the eye and charms the imagination--how many forget that true riches can only be laid up in the heart; and that, without these true riches, which have no wings, gold, the god of this world, cannot bestow a single blessing! To give this truth a varied charm for young and old, the author has made of it a new presentation, and, in so doing, sought to invest it with all the winning attractions in his power to bestow.

To parents who regard the best interests of their children, and to young men and women just stepping upon the world's broad stage of action, we offer our book, in the confident belief that it contains vital principles, which, if laid up in the mind, will, like good seed in good ground, produce an after-harvest, in the garnering of which there will be great joy.


Click to read Mike's Diner Read book online free

Donald O'Donovan 
Mike's Diner Read book online free 

One morning I was walking along Broadway. I was famished. I hardly knew where I was. Suddenly a squarely-built man in cook's whites stepped out of a doorway and seized my shoulder in a powerful grip.

 "You help me move steam tebble," he said. "You come. I show."
 
Like a predator, this meatball dragged me inside a cafe, Mike's Diner, and before I knew it I was lifting a steam table, a chopping block, a giant mixer, a broiler and an oven, several steel cabinets, huge kettles, and dozens of sacks of potatoes and flour. We hustled this stuff from one side of the cafe, which was apparently being remodeled, to the other. Intermittently, as we lurched and grunted and struggled, Mike (so his nametag read) continued to cook breakfast for his patrons, seated at a counter, assisted by a fetching young waitress in a short tight skirt.
 
During a pause in the proceedings Mike suddenly handed me a heavy kettle that he lifted easily. The kettle immediately slipped through my fingers and clattered on the floor, almost smash­ing my toes. I couldn't grip the kettle as Mike did. His hands were enormous, his fingers like brat­wursts. He was about 60, with a head like a bullet. I noticed that he wore a hearing aid. He looked like a big evil monkey in a starched cook's hat and shiny steel-rimmed glasses.
 
Finally it was over. I plopped down at the counter, next to one of the customers, who was busy shoveling it in. "I've just made myself five bucks," I'm thinking proudly. But no. Mike nods brusquely at me, wiping off his spatula with a dirty towel. "You can go now."
 
"Bullshit!" I says, rising to my feet. "I helped you out. You pay me something, bro. I'm hungry."
 
Mike gazed at me evenly, his steely eyes glinting behind the shiny glasses. I thought for a moment he was going to hit me, but suddenly without a word he turned on his heel and stepped to the grill. Moments later he returned with three eggs over easy, hash browns, bacon, toast and coffee. He slammed the plates down in front of me, then he stood there, arms folded, like a foreman, ready to make sure I ate it all.
 
I didn't disappoint him. In seconds, I put the breakfast away. He came back at me with a plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, a roll, and diced carrots and peas. This too, I gulped down in record time. Next, he slammed down a bowl of cabbage soup, not bad, homemade, it was the real thing. At last I was getting full.
 
"What's for dessert?" I asked confidently, shoving the empty soup bowl away.
 
"What you want?" Mike said, glaring at me like an inquisitioner.
 
"Apple pie and ice cream."

Read book online free Donald O'Donovan The Seven Sisters Gospel Family

Read book online free Donald O'Donovan 

The Seven Sisters Gospel Family


My friend Bronislaw Majeski once remarked in a letter, "Donald O'Donovan, you've certainly had a great many adventures." That may be true. But maybe it only seems that I've had a lot of adventures because I can recall so many exact details about what took place. And details, as every writer knows, are the life of the story. And maybe the reason for this "total recall" of mine is because somehow I was always participating and watching, at the same time. And taking notes, so to speak. What I mean to say is that I had a sense that I was not only a participant, but also an actor in a drama. I was a very bad actor, it's true. My performances were lamentable! I suppose that's why I feel compelled to write about my so-called adventures—in order to live them over again, and, with a little luck, turn in a better performance the second time around. I say "so-called adventures" because I never sought adventure. I am the very opposite of the bold adventurer. My life happened to me.
 
For example, I never in this world set out to become an evangelist. I had never dreamed of doing such a thing. And yet, somehow it came about that I found myself traveling with the Reverend Orville D. Gamble and the Seven Sisters Gospel Family.
 
I was running with Roddy Joplin out of Clear Lake Iowa. Roddy had just financed his own tractor, every truck driver's dream. His marriage had crumbled and he was trying to make a new start. But he was drinking harder than ever, and from the get-go I smelled disaster. Still, I desperately needed the money.
 
We laid over in LA and Roddy went on a bender. We were staying at the Rosslyn Hotel, a real shithole. We got thrown out of Legends in Hollywood and then out of the Club Savoy, the taxi-dance palace on 6th, downtown. Days went by and Roddy did nothing about getting a load. It's true that we quarreled. I wanted to get on with the show, but Roddy was hell-bent on finding out what was at the bottom of the bottle. One day we went to a tiny restaurant, Mi Guatemala, up near 6th and Wilshire, in Little Central America, and that's where it happened. Roddy met up with an alcoholic diva from Bogotá, and before I knew it the two of them had vamoosed, leaving me high and dry—on my uppers, as they say.

Read book online free Mind Cafe

Read book online free Mind Cafe
Download Mind Cafe for Free

The extremely well reviewed short story "Mind Cafe" is now available for free download for you Kindle, Nook, Kobo or Sony e Reader.

The Mind Café: death's waiting room and the only refuge for a woman trapped in her body after a tragic accident leaves her unable to do anything but watch the world and think. A fiction, paranormal short story just under 5,000 words, part of a larger collection of stories depicting a day in the life of the unique.


Read book online free Kelly’s Shadow

Read book online free Kelly's Shadow

My mother loved my sister-in-law more than me.  More than she loved my brother, I think.

My brother met Kelly in high school; the first day of high school, outside the library when they bumped into each other.  It could have been a scene from a TV show.  Kelly could have starred in a TV show; she was beautiful, funny, and kind.

Everyone was heartbroken when she broke up with my brother at the end of high school.  They went to different colleges and Kelly didn't want to do long distance, she said it was better to break it off right away than let it end messily over email.  They could still be friends.

I say everyone was heartbroken but that's not the truth.  My brother and my parents were heartbroken, but I wasn't.  I pretended to be, as I'd always pretended to like Kelly, but I didn't really like Kelly so I wasn't really heartbroken.  I was glad to see her go.  Now I know what you're thinking, you're thinking I was jealous of Kelly, but that's not true.  I knew my mother loved her more, but I didn't really mind, my mother and I always got along and just because she loved Kelly more didn't mean she didn't love me at all.

I couldn't like Kelly, because of her shadow.  She didn't have a shadow like other people, her shadow was a stumped, crooked thing, that hopped and limped behind her when she walked.  I'd stare at it and wonder what kind of thing would cast a shadow like that.  Sometimes, when Kelly laughed, I caught the shadow opening its mouth to bare rows of sharp, snaggled teeth.

The only time I didn't see the shadow was when Kelly ran.  She was a track star in high school, and when she ran she had no shadow.  I didn't like it when Kelly ran because I didn't know where her shadow had gone.  Maybe the shadow didn't like it either, because Kelly didn't make the track team in college and I never saw her run again.

No one else saw the shadow for what it was.  At least, not that I know of.  I never told anyone, or asked them if they noticed anything strange about Kelly.  My brother would probably punch me and my father would say I read too many trashy books with monsters in them.  My mother might think I was jealous.

If I told anyone else it would surely get back to them.  Or Kelly.

My brother and Kelly got back together after college.  (My brother's name was Jack, by the way.)  They had both dated other people, but none of the others stuck, and when they came back home they bumped into each other.  Fate, or Kelly's shadow, didn't want them to be apart.  They got married a year later.  I was Kelly's maid of honor.  The wedding was outside, and I had to stand in her shadow.

Sometimes I'd think that I was imagining the shadow.  That maybe I did read too many horror novels, that maybe I was just a tiny bit jealous.  Once, when Kelly stood with her back to me, it turned to look at me and flicked a long, snaky tail at me.

Jack and Kelly didn't have any children, because Jack died on their honeymoon.  They went to Japan and he ate bad sushi and died in extreme pain.  Kelly came home sobbing; a complete wreck, a bride and a widow at the same time.  My mother and father asked her to move in with us, and she did.

I was halfway through high school at this time, and whenever a boy asked me out on a date, I looked at his shadow.  I looked at everyone's shadows.  They were all normal.  But still, I didn't like to go out on dates, because it was usually nighttime.  I didn't like to be out with people at night.  You couldn't see anyone's shadows.  You had no idea what they were or what they were doing.

I was supposed to go off to college this year, to the same college my brother and mother and father all went to.  Both of my parents have died this year, though, and I don't think I'll be going.  My mother died of a sudden stroke and my father crashed his car into a tree.  We went to my mother's funeral in February and my father's was just today.

I'm sitting at home now with Kelly; she has been doing nothing for the past hour but stare at her hands in her lap, and now she looks up at me.  "What are you doing, Anna?" she asks.

"I'm writing a story," I reply, blocking the computer screen from her view.

Read books online free Unlocked Tomb by Adam Decker

Read books online free Unlocked Tomb
by Adam Decker

Wake up. 
The words snap me out of sleep.  They are not my words but the voice sounds very familiar.  So dark.  I've never been anywhere that it was this black.  Wait a minute.  Are my eyes open?  I blink to make sure, but there is no difference between the blackness in front of me and the blackness under my eyelids.  I take a deep breath to make sure I'm not dreaming.  The air is cold down the back of my throat
Cold air, unlike that of a crisp winter evening or the chilly breeze of an open freezer.  There is something different about it, something heavy and almost sinister.  Where in the hell am I?  Wait, back up, who in the hell am I?
Bill Parsons.  That's my name.  I'm thirty years old, married, have two kids and a beautiful wife.  Okay that's a start.  I just woke up so that means I've been asleep.  I'm sitting in a chair.  I try to raise up but something holds me to the seat.  Someone has tied me down.  My fingers, then my hands, put this irrational idea to rest as they slide down the strap that crosses my body from my left shoulder to my waist.  I press the button next to my hip, releasing the belt.  I am in a vehicle.
My own vehicle actually.  I still cannot see two inches in front of my face but I know it is my vehicle because of the distance between the steering wheel and the gearshift, the height of the dashboard, and the location of the console on my right.  A Dodge Durango.  It is less than two months old, but there is no illumination from the dashboard, no life humming from under the hood.
Immediately I try to open the door.  It won't budge.  Maybe it's locked.  I push up the door lock and tug on the handle again.  The lever comes forward but the door does not open.  Something is blocking it.  Where the hell am I?
I can hear something dripping from under the dash.  I hope it is not gas.  I listen more closely and hear dripping from all around the interior of the vehicle.  I reach toward the ignition hoping to switch on the engine if only for some light.  I turn the key.  Nothing.
I feel sharp little pains in my feet, like a million hot needles piercing every inch of my skin.  But it isn't really a hot sensation, it's so cold it feels hot.   I breathe into the darkness.  I cannot see the steam from my breath in front of me, but I know it is there.
I reach into my jeans pocket and push my fingers to the bottom.  I retrieve the lighter.  I have a lighter because I smoke.  Actually, I did smoke; I quit a year ago but sneak a cig or two when nobody's looking, like during the holidays.  Suddenly it hits me.  It's Christmas.  That's right, we spent the day at Jen's folks.  I drove separately.  What the hell happened?
I roll my thumb over the little wheel on the back of the lighter.  On the second stroke there is spark and then a flame.  Bingo.  Just as I thought, I'm in the Durango.  I move the flame in front of me, turning my head at the same rate as the lighter, as if they're connected somehow.  The seat beside me is empty.
I hold the flame to the windshield and then to my window.  There is nothing but blackness beyond the glass.  The needles stab me in the feet again.  This time I try to wiggle my toes inside my shoes and then move my feet.  I hear a splash.  I angle the light down to the floor and see there is water up to my ankles.  A chill of realization shoots up my spine.  Somehow I am underwater.  The lighter slips from my fingers and drops into the growing pool of water covering my floorboard.
In a flash, I remember every detail of my life: the good times and the bad, the happy and the sad.   The thoughts come to an abrupt halt.  I can't think of a more terrible situation to be in.  I've woken up trapped in a pitch-black tomb of metal that is sinking slowly to the bottom of some dark lake, taking me down to my final resting place.
I draw in three deep breaths in a row, not because the water has risen that high—although it will—but because I am panicking.  Somewhere deep inside I am aware of a steady voice repeating the words "stay" calm." That voice however is being drowned out by my own screaming "get out, you're never going to see your kids again, you're going to drown, you're not ready to die."
Stop.   That first voice again, then silence, except for the dripping water.  It now occurs to me why I cannot open my door.  It has something to do with the pressure of the water surrounding the Durango.  There is air in the interior.  The door will open easily once the cab has filled with water.  I'm not sure how I know this, but I do.  It could have something to do with the Discovery Channel.  It could be because of physics class back in high school.
The water is getting higher, reaching almost to my knees now.  I am oddly calm, taking comfort in the idea of letting the Durango fill up with water.  Once it has, I will push open the door and swim to freedom.  Sounds simple.  I wonder how long I will have to hold my breath.  I wonder how deep I have sunk.  Am I still sinking?  If I do manage to escape, will I know which way is up?  It is so dark.  It is night and there is no light from above.
I turn the key backwards in the ignition and for a brief instant the power comes on—the radio blares, the speedometer and odometer glow green, the clock reads 9:55, and hanging from the ceiling the temperature gauge displays the number 34.  How long can a person last in 34-degree water?  My Discovery Channel knowledge fails to answer this time.  I refuse to be negative.  I have a wife and two kids.  Survival is the only option.  Once again it is dark. 
I reach into my back pocket and retrieve my wallet.  I flip it open and thumb to where my favorite picture of the kids should be.  Although I can't see the picture with my eyes, I can see it with my mind.  Little Rachel is on the couch holding Ryan.  She is two and a half.  He is four months old.  Rachel has blond hair and blue, almost silver eyes.  She goes to dance classes, can count to ten, and thinks that I am Superman.  Ryan smiles all the time.  He watches his big sister run and play, and seems to be taking it all in so when the time is right he will know exactly what to do.  For an infant he cries very little and he has a laugh that can melt my heart.  I kiss the picture and smile.
My smile is erased a split second later when I hear a sound behind me.  It is a small cough.  All at once my memory is restored.  Christmas.  Dinner at the in-law's.  Jen and I drove separately.  I left first and…I took the kids with me.


Historical Fiction from McBooks Press

Historical Fiction | Healthy Living | NY State | Sports

July 2013--Highlights 
 
 
William H. White, author of
Gun Bay discusses his new novel

Clark Faulkner remembers the pivotal battle of Midway

George Jepson reviews
Gun Bay
 

 

 
Quarterdeck cover, July 2013
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Read Books Online, for Free Lincoln and the Civil War Mark Twain

Read Books Online, for Free
Lincoln and the Civil War by Mark Twain

Address by Mr. Clemens at the Lincoln birthday celebration in Carnegie Hall, New York, February 11th, 1901.

Taken from Crowned Masterpieces of Literature That Have Advanced Civilization Volume 10, page 3846.

Read Books Online, for Free Carry On by Coningsby Dawson

Read Books Online, for Free
Carry On by Coningsby Dawson
When The War's At An End

    At length when the war's at an end
    And we're just ourselves,--you and I,
    And we gather our lives up to mend,
    We, who've learned how to live and to die:

    Shall we think of the old ambition
    For riches, or how to grow wise,
    When, like Lazarus freshly arisen,
    We've the presence of Death in our eyes?

    Shall we dream of our old life's passion,--
    To toil for our heart's desire,
    Whose souls War has taken to fashion
    With molten death and with fire?

    I think we shall crave the laughter
    Of the wind through trees gold with the sun,
    When our strife is all finished,--after
    The carnage of War is done.

    Just these things will then seem worth while:--
    How to make Life more wondrously sweet;
    How to live with a song and a smile,
    How to lay our lives at Love's feet.

Read Books Online, for Free by Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

Read Books Online, for Free
Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

"Jeeves," I said, "may I speak frankly?"

"Certainly, sir."

"What I have to say may wound you."

"Not at all, sir."

"Well, then----"

No--wait. Hold the line a minute. I've gone off the rails.

I don't know if you have had the same experience, but the snag I always come up against when I'm telling a story is this dashed difficult problem of where to begin it. It's a thing you don't want to go wrong over, because one false step and you're sunk. I mean, if you fool about too long at the start, trying to establish atmosphere, as they call it, and all that sort of rot, you fail to grip and the customers walk out on you.

Get off the mark, on the other hand, like a scalded cat, and your public is at a loss. It simply raises its eyebrows, and can't make out what you're talking about.

And in opening my report of the complex case of Gussie Fink-Nottle, Madeline Bassett, my Cousin Angela, my Aunt Dahlia, my Uncle Thomas, young Tuppy Glossop and the cook, Anatole, with the above spot of dialogue, I see that I have made the second of these two floaters.

I shall have to hark back a bit. And taking it for all in all and weighing this against that, I suppose the affair may be said to have had its inception, if inception is the word I want, with that visit of mine to Cannes. If I hadn't gone to Cannes, I shouldn't have met the Bassett or bought that white mess jacket, and Angela wouldn't have met her shark, and Aunt Dahlia wouldn't have played baccarat.

Yes, most decidedly, Cannes was the point d'appui.

Right ho, then. Let me marshal my facts.

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I went to Cannes--leaving Jeeves behind, he having intimated that he did not wish to miss Ascot--round about the beginning of June. With me travelled my Aunt Dahlia and her daughter Angela. Tuppy Glossop, Angela's betrothed, was to have been of the party, but at the last moment couldn't get away. Uncle Tom, Aunt Dahlia's husband, remained at home, because he can't stick the South of France at any price.

So there you have the layout--Aunt Dahlia, Cousin Angela and self off to Cannes round about the beginning of June.

All pretty clear so far, what?

We stayed at Cannes about two months, and except for the fact that Aunt Dahlia lost her shirt at baccarat and Angela nearly got inhaled by a shark while aquaplaning, a pleasant time was had by all.

On July the twenty-fifth, looking bronzed and fit, I accompanied aunt and child back to London. At seven p.m. on July the twenty-sixth we alighted at Victoria. And at seven-twenty or thereabouts we parted with mutual expressions of esteem--they to shove off in Aunt Dahlia's car to Brinkley Court, her place in Worcestershire, where they were expecting to entertain Tuppy in a day or two; I to go to the flat, drop my luggage, clean up a bit, and put on the soup and fish preparatory to pushing round to the Drones for a bite of dinner.

Read book online free Cloudy Jewel by Grace Livingston Hill

Read book online free Cloudy Jewel
by Grace Livingston Hill

Believing she will forever be merely the spinster aunt, Julia settles in as a servant in her sister's house. She is about to become much more than a servant to her niece and nephew, and along with them learns lessons on love in both the human and spiritual realms.

Click to Read book online free Cloudy Jewel
by Grace Livingston Hill


Read book online free Lo, Michael by Grace Livingston Hill

Read book online free Lo, Michael
by Grace Livingston Hill

True selflessness shines through when young street urchin Michael risks his life to save wealthy Starr Endicott. Years later, he meets Starr in the city again. Ever honorable, he tries to keep his feelings in check, but when a suitor with bad intentions comes after Starr, he cannot stay away.

Read book online free Lo, Michael
by Grace Livingston Hill



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