Happy (almost) July!

An (unedited) excerpt of what I’m working on for a writing contest!

The last bits of summer lazily trailed behind me as I walked, shoes clicking in an echo on the gravelly pavement. The Athenaeum was built in the early-mid 1800s as both an homage to the many archaic wonders then so far discovered in that little New England state, and a home for those yet to be found. It was full of books, trinkets, idiosyncrasies of past and present.

This was what the tour guide told me, anyway: a young man of maybe twenty, tall and lanky in stature, most probably a Brown University student who worked at the Athenaeum part-time. He spoke animatedly, gesticulating with enthusiasm for each syllable he uttered about the historical significance of the street on which the group of us shuffled. The way he talked made me want to jump over the fence and break into the place, just to see what was inside. It had closed hours before. I made a mental note to return before the end of the week during business hours.

There was about six or seven of us who found ourselves with nothing to do on a Wednesday evening besides take a Ghost Tour. I was ecstatic, of course. I’d always had an affinity for all things paranormal; it was my hobby of choice while my wife leaned toward more practical things like gardening. But, as a history professor, I knew quite well when I booked us two spots on the tour that the evening would lend itself to not only a discussion of supernatural legends embedded in the very cobblestone of the old city, but also new historical facts for me to learn about the place.


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