Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine 03/01/11

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine 03/01/11 by Dell Magazines

Book: Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine 03/01/11 by Dell Magazines Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dell Magazines
to the side. My posture reminds me of what I’ve just seen in my mind’s eye, that of a man who has fallen from a high place.
    Fallen to his death.
    It isn’t until later that I begin to understand what I’ve seen.
    What I am.
    The psychic I’ve become.
    In the four weeks since that morning in early April, I have developed a fear of waking. Of finding myself lying in bed in that fallen condition, in that moment between reality and dream, between the conscious and the subconscious.
    I fear that moment when I see the aftermath of Icarus.
    See the body of his latest victim.
    In the four weeks since that first sighting, I have woken that way four times. And four bodies have been found. Right where I told Detective Phelps they would be.
    I fight sleep.
    Am exhausted nearly to the point of delirium.
    To the point of madness.
    The circles under my eyes are the shade of bruises. When darkness falls, a dread bears down on my heart with the gravity of shackles. I try to stay awake to avoid what I don’t want to see, but my exhaustion drags me into a deep, dark sleep.
    A sleep of density.
    The sleep of death.
    “ For in that sleep of death what dreams may come . . .”
    Hamlet knew.
    For all his weaknesses, Hamlet knew.
    I miss Denise and McKenna.
    This curse of seeing beyond my senses never followed me before their deaths. My life before that first day of August, 2007, was one of hope, built on the naive belief that there was—is—a purpose and a destiny to life.
    That balance does not splinter.
    That music does not die.
    That bridges do not fall.
    Eight months later, only a simmering rage has attempted to fill the chasm of loss and hopelessness that has hollowed out my soul. Rage at a world that goes blindly on. Blind to the devastation wrought on a single soul. Focused instead on the inanity of television and the Internet. On the banality of celebrity. On the meaninglessness of sports.
    People in the grocery store offer their pop psychology on talentless celebrities without taking a moment to analyze themselves and their shallow fixations. They worship emptiness. They worship a culture that, to borrow from Macbeth, is nothing more than “a tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury/ Signifying nothing.”
    These people have no concept of the depth of the loss burrowing inside the man standing in line behind them. They are oblivious to the tectonic shift that has left massive fissures in his heart. They are unaware that he could wake up one morning frozen in a fallen and graceless pose and see the death of their loved one before they are told of it. See the devastation that awaits them before their cell phones have begun to ring.
    A number they will not recognize.
    A detective they will soon come to know.
    I fear these psychic visions.
    Yet a part of me revels in the power.
    Of seeing death before others do.
    After they died, I moved from the suburbs to a place known as the Mill District. The birthplace of Minneapolis. Where the Mississippi River tumbles over the Falls of St. Anthony. Where wheat became flour. Where flour became fortunes.
    Only a couple of the mills still stand. Others are gone, or left in ruins. Little more than the jagged edges of stone walls from buildings that once hummed with the energy of milling wheat into flour.
    Of turning one thing into another.
    Many of those mills exploded from the grain dust that had built up inside them. Destroyed by their own unstable breath. By an unforeseen byproduct of their own existence.
    Some of them were rebuilt. Others were left as rubble.
    A place of rebirth and ruin.
    That is why I moved here.
    I knew I’d fit in.
    One way or the other.
    I thought maybe that first vision had just been the vestige of a dream, an illusion of the cruel subconscious that had bled into my perception. But the noon news later that day had led with the story of a missing person, an elderly man, Donald Grayson—white male, age seventy-three, five-eight, 165 pounds, last seen leaving

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