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PICKER ANTIQUES MUG
The sun was making its first appearance of the day. I left my home; crossed the street and entered the park. Running frees the mind. And for the next hour that is exactly what I did. I ran, breathed and sweated. But I did not think.
The shower scalded my skin. Before getting out I turned the hot water off completely. For five minutes the ice cold water reminded me that I was alive. I dried off and mentally began to prepare for the day.
Black hand-tailored suit, Saville Row, of course. White cotton shirt with spread collar, no tie. Italian loafers. And a Patek Philippe wrist watch.
While walking to the cafe the cell played John’s ‘Imagine’. Continue reading
Connor Jones is a major character who can be found in #37-A Picker Mystery and the short story Three Strikes. I’m currently working on a new story tentatively titled Connor Jones. It should be available on Amazon before the end of June. The following is a preview:
Time is what prevents everything from happening at once.
“I think he’s dead.” The words were clear but I couldn’t identify the voice. “Someone call 999. There is no pulse.”
Here’s the funny bit. I felt great. Never better. For some inexplicable reason I was at peace for the first time in my life. Although I could not see a thing my hearing was crystal clear. Lots of voices but I was not able to untangle the thread. It did not matter. I was completely unphased.
What occurred next was more than a little disorienting. My body was lying on its back; leaking blood and I stood some eight feet away while observing it. There was no hot or cold, no pain, no nothing. The only thing that I experienced was detached calm.
Then, in a flash, I was elsewhere. I couldn’t see a thing yet sensed being in an entirely different place. It was dreamlike. Foggy; dark; the lack of control; in a daze but utterly peaceful. For the moment time ceased to exist. Before/after were irrelevant. Everything in the universe was occurring simultaneously.
Without warning the darkness exploded revealing a thousand, no, a million suns. It was not blinding. It was beautiful.
This brilliant light went on forever. Love began to well up in my chest to the point where it was almost overwhelming.
Knowledge suffused my being while not being either presented or weighed down with specifics. The experience was full of grace, holiness and the divine. And to this day I could not tell you if God was involved.
I flew. Unfettered without weight or worry. Joy seemed to radiate from my center to the far reaches of creation.
A voice whispered, “You have to go back”. I turned and looked into my father’s eyes, now gone almost a decade. The world imploded.
A sharp explosion in my chest sent me plummeting. I was cold. A voice shouted, “He’s back!” The siren pieced my skull as the ambulance raced towards the hospital.
I couldn’t help but smile. I was alive. I could finish my work.
My name is Connor Jones. This is what happened.
It was pitch black, reeked of garbage and I had just banged my head on something that very much felt like metal.
It took a moment to orient myself. I used my hands to explore. It didn’t take long; it smelled like garbage because it was garbage. I braced myself and forced my legs to push upwards. The metal door swung up and back exposing a mostly blue sky.
Son of a bitch… I was in a dumpster. Touching my head revealed a lump the size of an ostrich egg. Hurt like hell. For a moment I had trouble focusing.
After taking a deep breath, I scrambled out of the dumpster. I had to think. Where was I and how in the name of God did I get here.
It was an alley with a row of dumpsters behind one very long building. Hotel, I bet.
It Saturday morning.
“Hey Picker. What have you got?” John, from the duo John and Fred, wants to know what I’m selling.
Like most Saturday’s, I’m at the flea market.
The Golden Nugget Antique Market was founded in 1967. Two miles south of Lambertville, New Jersey; dealers buy, sell and trade antiques, collectibles and art Wednesdays and weekends year round.
At four this morning I grabbed a painting from the stables; threw it in the backseat; called the beast and set off to the market.
Popped the trunk; removed and set up an easel; grabbed the painting from the backseat and set it up.
It was early summer. The sun was just starting to come up and it was about 70 degrees. Kenny, who specializes in early twentieth century smalls, asked “How much?” Continue reading
This is a copy of the crossword Connor did this morning while in bed. Under normal circumstances he would go out to breakfast first thing. However, today he is avoiding bad guys due to recent attempts on his life.