This Week's Mystery Date:
Who: Reclusive Freelance Researcher Ted Blake
What Book He's In: the award-winning story THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT, part of the TWISTED FAYRIE TALES anthology
Where He Lives: A small town in Anywhere USA
Why He's So Fascinating: Ted retreats from society--and life--after tragically losing the woman he loved on the very Christmas Eve he planned to propose. Every Christmas Eve thereafter he brings a gift to her grave...until a snowglobe he intends to bestow whisks him away to a chance of a lifetime--one chance to reclaim his lost love.
A Memorable Moment with Ted Blake:
“Ready?” Finn chewed his pipe as the pair regarded the door. After a restless night flopping around on his cot, Ted announced the path he’d chosen. Now they stood by a door much like all the rest.
“No, but I’m going in anyway.”
Finn clapped a hand on his shoulder and looked him in the eye. “I’m not supposed to say, but your choice shows promise.” He jabbed his pipe in the air towards the other man, to punctuate each word. “But remember, the way you do the twisting’s is as important as where you do it. Choose your words and deeds wise and well. That’s the way to turn the path aside.”
“As soon as you step inside the door, time will turn aside, to the past. You can’t come back once you’ve started.”
His eyes widened. “What happens to me when I’ve finished?”
Furry white brows raised. “That depends on your actions. You’ll end up where the twist takes you. Good turn to you, lad.”
The thought gave him pause. What if he screwed up and landed in some dismal place? His home could be gone—everything he knew. After a panicked moment, he came to the realization that he lost everything that mattered eight years ago. Nodding to Finn, he squared his shoulders and started towards the door.
A voice shouted from behind him. “Hey, mister!”
Ted peered over his shoulder to see the boy standing, small and alone, in the middle of the street.
“Charlie? What is it?”
“Just, good luck. That’s all.” The boy’s eyes were glassy and reflected a longing Ted knew all too well. The sight of the lost child stung right to the core of the man’s heart. Why couldn’t the boy have this same chance for happiness? Or had he been given a chance, and failed?
He let out a deep breath and mustered a smile. “Thanks. And . . . you too.”
After a moment that seemed to span a lifetime, he turned and headed for the door.
“Hey! One more thing, mister.”
Before Ted could reply, the boy yelled, “Duck!”
A snowball caught him solid in the back. He winked at the boy and reached for the door. Finn waited, silent.
The knob turned. He hesitated at the threshold, then drew a deep breath and stepped through the open door . . . and found himself in a barren and freshly swept cabin that was completely unremarkable.
Empty? Was this a trick? Halfway through the thought the scene melted in a dizzying swirl, rocking him on his feet. Forcing himself not to shut his eyes against the sensation, he watched as the room resolved itself into a small park.
Shelton Park! It had worked. Overdressed for the early autumn weather, he doffed his hat, gloves, and scarf and squinted against the bright sunlight. There, his heart caught.
Julia sat on a bench, cobalt blue eyes a startling contrast to the beige sweater and pants she wore. Silken strands of hair the color of caramel candy wafted on a gentle breeze. She smiled at Ted and his soul leapt. This was it—the part of the path he had to turn aside.
--from THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT, TWISTED FAYRIE TALES
When Ted is Available: TWISTED FAYRIE TALES available now in print or ebook
How You Can Get His Story: Get it in print on Amazon, or in eco-friendly eBook from Eternal Press Publishing