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Uneasy Pickings
In this compilation of ten stories—some completely new, some mined from an earlier collection and newly told—David Patneaude explores the in-between, the spaces and places and people and remnants of people that we instinctively know (and sometimes fear) are there. Somewhere. Not far away. A predawn shadow moving through a fallow field. The chill of bigotry in a human heart. A clown whose mission transcends laughter. Two damaged individuals coming together to create something beyond whole, something magical. Innocent victims of a neglected planet. Bigger-than-life characters who won’t take death lying down. Evil on the wing. Extraordinary wisdom from an old soul in a young body. A gruff but lovable superhero who evokes smiles while saving the day. “Things aren’t always what they seem,” Mrs. Caruso said. “Not what they seem at all. Sometimes they’re better.” Or spookier. Or braver. Or sadder. Or funnier. Or more enlightening. Or miraculous. Because every reader—young and not-so-young—is an individual, it’s difficult to say what emotions these stories will trigger. One of them may be uneasiness. But that can be a good thing.