Max and the Ghost

By E. P. Beaumont

Copyright 2012 E. P. Beaumont

Smashwords edition

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Chapter One: Anton gets a deal

The sun glittered on the Mississippi River, washed the old Stone Arch railroad bridge in golden light, and lit the riverbank foliage to lamps. Radiance caught in the topmost treetops and Anton swept all of it up and claimed it in a single gesture.

“I got a deal,” he said, grinning so that his American gold tooth flashed. That gold crown had replaced the steel one, that in turn had replaced the molar knocked out in a scuffle in a schoolyard back in Russia before Max was even born.

“A bargain,” Anton said with a wink. “Not to worry, I got a deal.”

Anton’s condominium apartment was five floors up, with a fine view of the mill ruins and the old bridge and the falls, a real prime location facing the river. Max found the transparent wall of the living room unnerving. The world ended just beyond the white area rugs and the duck prints on brick walls to either side. He peered over the edge. In the mellow light of late afternoon, he could see the wandering figures of sad people who disappeared into the trees at the edge of the river bluffs. That’s where they found the bodies from time to time, the whispers said at school. The news said nothing, not about the homeless people nor the witch-burnings nor the various threats that had set curfew at full darkness.

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