In the room over his London shop, Darke methodically counted the copper, silver and most especially the gold coins that had poured in during the day. The feel of the cold and beautiful metal in his long, wispy fingers was always comforting to him. The...

I opened the back door to my house, without bothering to put shoes on, and walked towards the line of trees that stood at the entrance to the forest. It was summer and the warm breeze carried with it the smell of nature, thick and...

They’ve called me a shit-magnet since I was a kid. It’s only an expression, sure, but I think it might also be a real thing. If a smile can attract smiles sure as a corpse can attract flies, there’s no reason a guy like me...

As a freelance convention planner, I stay at many hotels over the course of a year. I spend about a week per trip in an all-expenses-paid suite of my choosing, doing nothing but studying the location and interviewing the staff on hand to get a...

All our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. (‘Macbeth’: Act 5, scene 5) With turned, frozen earth stinking sharp on his big coat and gritting black under his fingernails, he checked the side lane was empty before clinking the allotment gate shut behind him....

The house sat empty at the top of the hill. Its security lights were a beacon in the night, like a lighthouse alone in the mist, warning ships away from the kiss of sharp shores. The closest neighbor was further away than a man could...

I left the university campus behind to do fieldwork in the Deep South. I was studying folk songs from southern states that had neither a time or place of origin nor a known composer. Those old songs that just seem to rise out of cultural...

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