youth in the art of watchmaking. But he is no ordinary administrator.
He possesses extra sensory powers he does not fully understand and
cannot control. But an innocent outing to Coney Island results in him
obtaining a more disturbing ability, along with a terrifying prophecy
that he will die in less than three days. As the clock of his life
counts down, a still greater threat emerges. An uncanny assassin who
will destroy everyone he knows and loves. Unless he can discover who
the killer is. And stop him in time.
AWARD (Best Adult Fiction – Classics)
was a FINALIST in the 2016
FORWARD REVIEWS EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARDS (Horror Category)
It was strange, to be sure, unusual, even unique. But it was his taste, I imagined; hell, I thought he would like it. That he used a piece of it to murder himself I never took personally. Maybe it was because I thought that, in his own way, he was trying to say something to me. Not a bad something; not a sinister message of any kind. It was like a nod of his head, an acknowledgment that he shared a connection with me.
I don’t think this conclusion so strange. That he would have said anything at all to me of any substance, any time, after a certain point in his life would have been special. That he chose the instrument of his death as a small means by which to communicate was better than nothing. He must have tried other ways to do so over the years, but I don’t remember too many attempts. I never gave him many opportunities in the first place.
It was hard for him to express himself to others. When he did speak to me – I mean really speak to me – well, I just wasn’t listening.
As much as I really did care for him, maybe I wasn’t interested in what he had to say. I was always so selfish and self-consumed by my projects and problems. Maybe I just thought we were communicating in other ways, easier ways, ways that didn’t require words. Maybe I thought everything important had already been said, or didn’t need to be.
I just don’t know.
Anyway, by the way, Dad was a meticulous carpenter and a gifted woodworker, possessed with a natural talent that provided him significant joy throughout his life and that often produced remarkable results. We used to say, my brother and I, that he could build a Boeing 747 with a stone knife and three scraps of wood.
He used this skill to fabricate the means of his demise, securing a decorative oak support he had constructed with some care directly into two wall studs so that it would sustain his weight. He hung the support a mere five feet off the floor; he did not avail himself of the traditional step stool or chair as a launching point. I imagine that in his condition he didn’t trust himself to climb furniture. It had been necessary for him to bend his knees throughout the process in order to complete the job.
I try not to dwell on the perfect horror of this. I try not to imagine the suffering he endured in the exquisite silence and loneliness of his last moments on this earth, nor to speculate as to what thoughts, if any, raced through his dying brain, or even why he had done himself exactly as he had. I do sometimes marvel at the discipline that was required for him to accomplish the task.
There was no question he had been highly motivated. I have neglected to mention that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He sought medical care infrequently and he was too far gone at the time of his diagnosis for any effective treatment to be rendered. My sense is that he knew he was sick long before this, and finally went to the doctor out of curiosity alone, merely to confirm what he already knew.
City. He spends the wee hours of the morning writing books that
terrify and amuse. His days are spent in the courts and among the
skyscrapers, and his evenings with the trees, the stars, his wife and
his dog in a suburb north of the City.
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