Picking up the Ghost has published! It’s available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and lots of other book sellers. It’s written by Tone Milazzo, a man who, through a series of coincidences and misadventures, happens to be married to me. Of course, this in no way colors my glowing recommendation of his book. I’m not joking. It’s awesome.
I am, in fact, so enthusiastic about Picking Up the Ghost that I wrote a piece of flash fiction featuring a couple of characters of the book. Hope you enjoy the story and feel inspired to pick up a copy of Picking Up the Ghost!
Who He is not
He shuffles his identities as quickly and easily as he shuffles a deck of cards. The shapeshifter is at one with change. You can not catch the shapeshifter because the day you grab him, he is a different man than he was the day you met him. He is all about chance, luck and today.
The shapeshifter was a riverboat gambler once. He floated down the wide Mississippi, with a striped shirt, suspenders and a handlebar mustache. He wore the name Tennessee Slim and dealt cards to the wealthy pleasure seekers, watching them win and lose fortunes on the green felt of his gaming table. That was yesterday. The shapeshifter is not Tennessee Slim today.
The shapeshifter was an insurance salesman once. He worked in an office under fluorescent lights and rode the bus home to his cold bachelor’s apartment. He wore the name Robbie Freeman during the day and the name GamblinMan88 in online poker rooms at night. That was yesterday. The shapeshifter is not Robbie Freeman today.
The shapeshifter was a drifter once. He drove a car with tinted windows and New Mexico plates. He sniffed the wind off long stretches of hot asphalt for any sign of change. He wore the name Ted Lopez. He had a bag of tools, a deck of cards and a teen-aged boy to steal from. That was yesterday. The shapeshifter is not Ted Lopez today.
The shapeshifter was a teen-aged boy once. He stood by the side of the road, trying to hitch a ride and nursing his injured hand. He wore the name Cinque Williams and it did not fit him. He had a missing father, a screwdriver, a dream of an African Hougun and a burning need for answers. This is today. The shapeshifter is Cinque Williams today.
The shapeshifter pulls out his deck of cards and shuffles. It doesn’t matter what name he wears. The shapeshifter can not stand still on the side of a road. Stillness is death to him and he has cheated death for a very long time. The shapeshifter does not know it, but his luck is about to change.