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After the Civil War, a renewed interest in spiritualism caused hundreds of spiritualism mediums to set up shop in New York City by 1877. Dr. Gideon Mayhew works to discredit false mediums and to help their victims.
When Mayhew takes on what is routine case, he soon discovers that something more dark and dangerous is involved. The race to rescue an innocent girl from an unspeakable fate leads him into some of the most dangerous places a dangerous city has to offer.
There were ten of them, crouched around the table like participants in some arcane rite.
Why was he here? It was not the first time the question had occurred to Andrew Brighton in the short time since he had entered the room. To be here was completely out of character for him, completely fantastic. But he was here for Millicent, not himself. He pictured her as he had seen her last, her golden hair with sunlight in it, and her smile warmer than the sunlight. Millicent. How he missed her!
He looked at the other men at the table. A mixed group, most of them his age or only slightly older--young men just beginning the serious part of living but not entirely ready to relinquish schoolboy foolishness. One of these was a red-haired young man, with a face flushed by what Andrew took to be a bit too much to drink. Three men were older, two in their solemn forties, and one middle-aged gentleman, looking ill at ease with the necessity to hold hands with other men.
Directly across from Andrew, sitting in watchful silence, was a tall, slender gentleman with a full head of white hair. Dr. Gideon Mayhew--a genuine enigma.
Andrew knew from inquiries that Dr. Mayhew was no older than thirty-five or so, despite his prematurely white hair. Why did he seem so much older? His elongated face was unlined. He had a high forehead and a long, delicate nose. The thin scar that crossed his left cheek added interest to his features, rather than detracting from them. He wore no beard, but only a modest and unwaxed mustache which, unlike his hair, was a rich auburn in color. His eyes were steely gray--the kind of eyes that seemed fully capable of seeing beneath the surface of things--and of people. In all, Dr. Gideon Mayhew made Andrew just a bit nervous.
“If we are ready, gentlemen...” Mayhew said in a quiet voice Andrew was sure would be heard clearly in any circumstances.
Conversations around the table flickered out like snuffed candle flames. Mayhew gave a slight nod. His silent and swarthy servant began to move around the border of the room. A red Indian, by the look of him--tall, lean and tightly built--with long black hair caught up in the back with a bit of colored string.
The Indian’s appearance at Mayhew’s side, as the participants had been greeted at the door some minutes earlier, had caused several muttered comments. Andrew had perhaps stared a bit longer than was polite wondering what would cause a man like Mayhew to choose a savage to be his assistant. Andrew fancied that the Indian, whose expression had been impassive until that moment, had given him a strange, almost startled look in exchange.
Now the Indian moved as quickly as a cat, circling the room to turn off all of the gas lights except the one near the door and the one directly behind Dr. Mayhew’s chair. Even these he turned down as low as they would go without sputtering out.
The rest of the room was now in darkness. From his small island of light, Dr. Mayhew regarded his audience in silence. The gaslight above and behind him made his white hair glow and cast long, ominous shadows on his face. As Mayhew’s silence continued, Andrew could feel a tension begin to build around the circle. Someone coughed; another gave what sounded very much like the beginning of a giggle. Mayhew ignored both sounds.
“We are about to embark upon a voyage,” Mayhew said, in his soft, unhurried manner. “One such that none of you, I trust, has taken before. This journey will take us beyond the world we know into one we have never seen. I mean that shadowy realm that lies beyond life--beyond death. We will seek to contact those who have already crossed that barrier. We will seek their wisdom and guidance, and perhaps gain a glimpse of the path that we ourselves must eventually walk. Are you ready to begin, gentlemen? Please signify by responding ‘I am’.”
The Offering is Bill Calabrese’s seventh published book since he retired seven years ago from the information services field. All seven have been published by Wings ePress. Bill promises to pick the pace in the next few years. He presently has five novels at various stages of completion. He vows to keep on writing until Somebody in Authority tells him to stop. In his spare time, he produces a regular column, titled “Just Faith, a Hunger for Justice”, for the quarterly magazine From the Heart published by his church Sacred Heart of Southbury, Connecticut. He lives in Southbury with his wife, Roberta, and their Tortoiseshell cat, Scheherazade.
Like a story to chill, to tantalize, and to make you look over your shoulder at least twice during your reading of it? Then you’ve come to the right place! William J Calabrese takes us back to those tales that chill, with the expertise of a connoisseur of Weird Tales.
So sit back, get comfortable, and be ready to be unnerved in the way we should be--when atmosphere and imagination packs enough of a wallop to leave you with goose bumps, and things that go bump in the night have you wondering exactly what is out there! -- Angela Verdenius, Heart of the Forsaken
This collection of smartly written vignettes slyly seduces the reader into other realms made believable by this crafty storyteller. Told with perfect timing and ironic humor, TALES FROM SOMEPLACE ELSE is not to be missed by those who enjoy intelligent and unique horror. -- Rayne Forrest, The Skies of Mahdis, When the Night Comes
Bill Calabrese introduces his readers to many strange and ghostly lives in this fantastic collection of eerie stories. From android runaways to apparitions with an appetite for love, Tales From Someplace Else grabs its readers and refuses to let them leave.-- Stephen Gambuti, Center Moon: Stone of Cordova
“I must say that The Amazing Adventures of Nicholas Noodle is fantastic! It is very adventurous and different from many other books that I have read. Some of the characters that Nicholas meets are odd but friendly and others are gruesome and mean. There were many cliff hanging moments where I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. This book was really exciting and fun to read because there is a lot of action and adventure!” --John James Brindisi, Age 10, Middlebrook School, Trumbull CT
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 246
Paper Weight (lb): 10.4
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