Jonathan Wood’s story “Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle” from Electric Velocipede 15/16 is available online.

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

Susannah Mandel’s short story “The Monkey and the Butterfly” is in Shimmer #11. She also has poems in the current issues of Sybil’s Garage, Goblin Fruit, and Peter Parasol.

Unanchored ( Part Two)

by Daniel Braum

For part one of this story please visit my author archives or click here:




 We materialized inside a cave bustling with activity. Men and women in trench coats worked at desks and pointed at dots on giant glass screens at various points within the spacious cavern. A few ghosts, like me were at the sides of some of the operatives.

 “Belinda Shepard,” the woman in the trench coat said. “This is our center of operations.”

 “Operations?” I asked.

 “Anchoring. Anchoring the lost. Like you were.”

 I wanted to ask how but looking at the crystal rod in her hand, I remembered. I remembered the car crash in front of the old house, the medics taking my body away, the mourners placing flowers at the telephone pole. I hadn’t believed I had died. Or maybe it was the mourner’s grief that bound me, but I stayed and I wandered. Shopping. The bank. The salon. The supermarket. Up and down the street in a pantomime of my old life.  Until Belinda woke me.

 “I hope you’ll consider working with us. As my partner,” Belinda said. “You have one foot in our world and one in the hereafter. This can be very useful in our line of work.”

 The glass screens were full of images. Cemeteries. Suburban streets. Ordinary people in the motions of their lives. Ambulances and car accidents. Were these all unanchored?

 “Why me,” I asked. “I just want to…”

 I realized didn’t know what I wanted. And I didn’t know what to say.

 “You weren’t the only one who died in that car crash,” Belinda said. “Help me. Help me save them.”

 For a moment I feared it might have been my children who had perished, but I remembered I had never married and never had any. How much more of me had I forgotten? How much more of me had already washed away? Then I heard the rich Cajun chuckle of the man in the old building. I had been on my way to his shop to pick up a pair of shoes when… when I crashed. Right into his shop.

 “He’s still out there,” Belinda said. “Join me. Together we can anchor him and bring him where he needs to be.”

I wanted to help. I really did. It felt like the right thing to do. But this place. This cave. All these operatives. There was a lot more going on than Belinda was telling me. Helping her seemed the quickest way to find out.


-End of Part Two-

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