Linda Leith Publishing

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Taximan

Stories and Anecdotes from the Back Seat
by Stanley Péan
translated by David Homel
edition:Paperback
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Vetala, The

Vetala, The

A novel of undying love
edition:Paperback
tagged : vampires, horror
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Excerpt

"As she thought of how she would be meeting Amruteshvar at the Institute within a few hours, she saw him, or more precisely felt him, standing in the back yard under the mango tree, while another presence appeared at her window: a huge vatavaghul, a fruit bat, clinging upside down to the window's bars and staring at her nakedness with red eyes. Just before she sank into oblivion in the pale glow of dawn, she saw that a second bat had joined the first and clung to him from behind, gripping him by the neck with lupine fangs as they both stared at her body on the bed."

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Hutchison Street
Excerpt

Last night, I dreamed that I had as many children as books. Or rather, that my books were my flesh-and-blood children. I looked at them, all lined up on one of my bookshelves. They were on their best behaviour, standing in order from the eldest to the littlest one. My bed was set up in my office, I don't know why. An immense bed in an immense room as big as the entire apartment, and empty except for the shelves, overflowing with books, that lined three of the walls. The fourth wall was punctuated by four giant windows extending from the floor to the ceiling. A magnificent light shone into the room from the street, even though I knew it was night time. I was lying in my enormous bed and I was calling out, "Children, I am thirsty, I would like a glass of water. I'm thirsty, my children, I want some water." No one came. "Paper prog-e-ny," I uttered with indescribable emotion ... fate, grief, choices, destiny, everything that can be won or lost, with death lurking at the end of the road. All of these thoughts were tangled up in my mind ... I woke up, very thirsty, reciting the same two words aloud so I would not forget them. I made sure to write them down immediately in my notebook: "paper progeny." It occurred to me that I was sorry that I had not had children, that I had put everything into my writing. Everything. My friends, my lovers, the children I could have had - all of them had come second to this irrepressible desire: to write, to write, to write and write some more. In my heart, in my mind, there was room only for my paper progeny. Can a single thing - something like a profession, a career, a love affair, a passion, a place, or a God - be worth devoting an entire life to? I think about myself and the Hasids. The Hebrew word, transcribed as Hasid (Hassid, Chasid, Chassid) in the singular and Hasidim in the plural, signifies "pious." Hasidim spend their whole life dedicated to God. Every feature of their life is guided by the presence of Hashem. Everything is related to this God without a name, simply called "the name," or Hashem. Since the age of twenty-five, my own Hashem has been writing. I cut and paste and just replace the concept of Hashem with writing. They say that the Jews, and Hasidim in particular, have a portable homeland, the Torah. Mine is just as portable; it regulates my life, all of my thoughts, and my actions down to the slightest detail.

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Apocalypse of Morgan Turner, The
Excerpt

"What everyone knows is that Morgan's sister--the victim, slain Edmonton woman, Tricia Turner--is dead. Everyone has seen the footage on the newscasts, the to the headlines, the blurry colour pictures on the front pages of Sun newspapers, all of them showing the heavy blue tarp draped over winter-dry alfalfa, the place where Tricia's bones and hair and clothes were found. A needle in a hayfield--that's what she was, in the end."Female remains located near Innisfail, Alberta, in May of this year have been positively identified as those of missing person, Tricia Turner, of the city of Edmonton. Incidents surrounding Ms. Turner's death have been deemed to be of a criminal nature. Twenty-four-year-old Brett Finnemore, also of the city of Edmonton, will be arraigned at the Court of Queen's Bench on charges of second degree murder and offering an indignity to a dead body. Ms. Turner and Mr. Finnemore were known to each other. These events were not random and there is currently no threat to public safety." A police communications officer read the statement into a microphone at a press conference. Positively identified--Morgan still doesn't know why it was written that way. "Positive" usually means someone is happy about something, or at least relieved. Everyone said the family must be relieved now Tricia was dead in a box instead of dead in a field. No, of course they meant positive as in being perfectly sure about it. Morgan asked her brother Tod what it would have meant if female remains had been negatively identified as their older sister's. What he said was, "Morgo--what the hell?"What no one knows is the truth of why Tricia was killed. It matters enough to be decided by strangers, with a public trial of the man who killed her. Today, on the couch in their mother's living room, Tod is watching for the news, spearing Cheezies out of a plastic bag with a fork to keep the greasy orange powder from his fingers and pants. On someone else, it might be dainty. He eats, Morgan wipes at crumbs in the kitchen. They continue the wait that began the night something happened at Tricia's sketchy walkup apartment building, something bad between her and the person she loved. It is one of those stories. Tricia can't tell it for herself, but she doesn't have to. Stories like hers are like old horror movies, the kind people call classics, as if they know them well and the movies are part of them even though all that most people remember are highlight reels, one or two famous scenes. Everyone knows the shower scene from Psycho, recognizes it shot by shot. Lesser known are the film's other scenes--the ones about money and secretarial work and bad boyfriends. No one knows that Psycho anymore. Over time, the entire movie has contracted to not much more than close shots of wet skin and threads of chocolate sauce in running water, swirling down a drain in black and white."News is coming on," Tod calls to Morgan from the couch. He means the noontime broadcast where their mother will be appearing. Their mother is dimly famous in the city, a figure from local news clips, dressed in black and grey, squinting in daylight. She will be standing on the steps of the bleak, brown courthouse downtown. Someone once said the entire building is supposed to be a Brutalist rendition of the scales of justice. Morgan still hasn't found anyone who can tell her how to see it that way.For the news people, Morgan and Tod's mother is a sound-bite machine for outrage at the criminal justice system. They film her near the sign that reads "Law Courts," spelled out in black metal letters that leech their colour into the concrete behind them in wet weather. On television, the news directors print Morgan's mother's full name beside their station logo, tucked into the bottom of the screen."Sheila Turner, Mother of Victim." It took time for Sheila and Marc--her ex-husband, Morgan, Tod, and Tricia's father--to settle into their television personae. They began like people who win the lottery and are brought to face news cameras still in their stretch pants and ball caps and kitchen sink dye-jobs. The viewing public deserves to hear everyone talk about their fortunes, and bad fortune is still a fortune. Whenever Morgan sees her parents on the news, the colour of their eyes isn't right, and their faces are covered in tiny pock-marks and excess flesh."

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Philistine, The
Excerpt

"Aiwa?" It picked up after one ring. "Aiwa? Hallo. Hallo.""Baba..."The line went quiet. She thought it had cut out or he had hung up. "Nadia?""Baba. I'm in Egypt. Ana fi il qahira," she said, wiggling her head. "I'm in Cairo." It came out like a spilled bucket. "And guess where? The Nile Hilton. I just got here--well, a couple of days ago. I was tired for the first day, a little sick actually. I called you already but you must have been at work. I wasn't even sure if I had the right number! It's hot! We always came in summer so I just assumed that winter would be cool, you know. Like, not so hot. Well, okay, it's cold at night, but still. Can hardly call that cold, can you. So, yeah. I'm here." She took a deep breath, enough for another whole paragraph, but held it, waited."Stana, stana," he said, wait, wait. "Where here? In Cairo?" Cavernous spaces were opening up between his words, like an earthquake in full motion.She hopped around the room on her toes, twisting and untwisting the phone cord behind her. "Yes!""With your mother?""No, just me! Aren't you going to ahlan wa sahlan? I bought a plane ticket and just came. Magique, kidda!"

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The Dead of Winter

The Dead of Winter

edition:Audiobook
also available: eBook
tagged : crime
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