The Kindle version of Shadows and Ghosts was released last week. To celebrate, I thought a teaser was in order. Enjoy!
— Ricky was a study in blonde, with ash skin, flaxen hair, wheat gold eyes, sweet, thin, dewy lips, and, God bless him, a brain that was as deep as his coloring.
I looked at him and suddenly found myself caught under one of those memory showers, in the wrong place at the wrong time with utterly the wrong person.
His name was Peter Riley and we were seventeen.
Lisa and Myron Nudleman, the Rabbi’s son, had been sitting in the kitchen and saw us sneak upstairs. I know this because I heard Lisa’s distinct, “Tch” as we slunk barefoot across the carpeted dining room past the open sliding door.
She could have kept our mother from coming upstairs. It would have been easy. All it would have taken was a request for a snack. Our mother was constantly trying to get Lisa to eat more. Or Lisa could have said, “She’s not home,” or “I haven’t seen her,” when our mother asked where I was. Instead, she said, “I think she’s upstairs...with Peter.”
Ballistic isn’t a strong enough word to describe the state our mother entered when she heard this. But you never would have guessed it from the dreadfully composed way she knocked on my door and opened it. Nor would you have guessed it from her Crest-ad smile, her gloved voice, or lethally pleasant manner. All you would have guessed was that she was happy to see her beloved daughter entwined full-limbed with one of Them.
Her being mad I could have taken. Name-calling, being hit, I think I could have taken. But the “You’re tearing my heart out” speech, broken up by twenty-five minutes of moans and sighs and eye-dabbing with “Nana’s lace hankie,” and “you look at me when I’m talking to you,” and “don’t you know what his kind have done to our people...and here’s one of them, in my very own house, shtupping my daughter...what have I done to you that was so terrible that you should want to do this to me...to our people?” was more than I could take. For all my indifferent rebelliousness, she had managed to reduce me to a whimpering slob in half an hour.—
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