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Leslie Claire Walker

Copyright Leslie Claire Walker 2011
Published by Secret Fire Press

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Cecelia doesn’t have a sidewalk. I’m standing in the grass that’s still wet from a summer thunderstorm, soaking my sneakers. Cicadas sing in the perpetual twilight. It’s always gloomy here at Cece’s front door, inside the pages of Lover, Come Home, Paranormal Romance, aisle 16A, third shelf up from the bottom. I don’t exactly know how I got here all the way from page one hundred forty-eight of Swashbuckler, Horror, aisle 16A, second shelf from the bottom. I only know that whoever’s reading that book will be expecting a sword fight with me in it, and I don’t much feel like swashing or buckling. Or dying. Death will find me, though.

Cece opens the door before I can climb the steps and knock. Her short, black hair is spiked all around her head, the ends dyed hot pink. She’s a vision in a black tank and pants, scuffed black boots.

“Hey, Hatch,” she says, grinning and turning to lock the door. The sunset warms her shoulders, showing off her Tarot card tattoo. The Devil: the goat-headed Satan himself on his unholy throne, holding man and woman in chains. It’s about facing the shadows inside yourself. At least that’s what Cece told me. She got it here, in Lover, Come Home, page twenty-five, at a place on 53rd and a half.

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