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The fire crackled, blazed, sending sparks and briefly glowing cinders upward through the trees in a column of gray smoke that blew gently eastward as it rose from the canopy. No matter how close he stood to the fire, he could not seem to extract any warmth from it, even in this summer heat.

And now they had arrived, the two of them, that widow woman and some younger man, no doubt a potential buyer, someone he’d have to deal with sooner or later, though he was thinking sooner. The woman was easy to identify, even from this distance, her pink Caddy a dead giveaway. He thought about that—dead giveaway—and snorted. Bitch.

The man was also easy to identify as a potential buyer. You could tell he was trying not to get too excited, but any man who spent his time looking almost exclusively at that old diner while almost completely ignoring the beautiful woman standing next to him, well, you may as well tattoo “buyer” on his forehead. Or damn fool, he thought.

And the both of them made him angry, angrier than he had been in weeks, months, years. He could barely resist the impulse to burst from the tree line where he stood, out of sight, poking at the fire with his gnarled old walking stick, and deal with them both, just like that and be done with it. He had waited too many years—too many god damned years—to end this once and for all.

Still, there were rules to be followed. Fools rush in, right? Well, he was not about to do that. He’d have his revenge, though, no question. And fuck those fearful angels, wherever they may tread.

He raised his stick and pointed it at them, the stick bouncing in the air twice as if from a shotgun’s kick. “Pow, pow!” he whispered, curling his lips in a way that no one would interpret as friendly.


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I like everything I've read in your excerpts. Was the Skylight Diner your original inspiration?

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Thanks, Sharon. No, the inspiration for the diner was the White Rabbit Diner, which was at my high school bus stop. The last time I drove by, many years ago, it was a dry cleaners.

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White Rabbit - too late

You appear to have an interesting history with diners.thanks for the reply.By the way did you see Fergie at the BEA?

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sent from my blackberry

Sorry must have clicked twice.

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No, I was too busy at my booth to take the time. Not many A-list celebs here this year.