Over to Julie.
The midnight sun bakes Fairbanks, Alaska as residents gather for the annual summer solstice baseball game. Amidst the revelry and raucous shouts of “Play ball,” a spark alights and a jogger bursts into flames. Detective Danny Fitzpatrick, still reeling from his near death at the hands of vampire Aleksei Nechayev, watches in horror as the man burns alive.
Someone is burning Fairbanks and its residents and leaving nothing but smoldering embers behind. As the city sweats under a record-breaking heatwave and unexplained fires claim more victims, Danny and his colleagues struggle to find an arsonist who can conjure fire out of thin air.
To Danny’s horror, the only one who may be able to help him stop the arsonist is his nemesis Nechayev. Will the vampire help in the hunt for a witch?
Danny flipped through the channels, stopping when he came to a Seattle Mariners game that had gone in to extra innings. They were playing the White Sox in Chicago and Danny felt a slight tug at his heartstrings as the familiar sight of Cellular Field filled the flat screen television. The time difference made it difficult for him to catch Sox games live. It was a welcome surprise to find one that was lasting so long into the Chicago night that he could watch it live as it happened.
It was dark in Chicago, but of course the sun was still high in the sky here in this strange frontier he had chosen as his new home. He squinted from the sun beaming through the window and cursed himself for not shutting the blinds before he sat back down. Next time he got up for a beer he would need to do that.
Danny rested his hand on his dog's head as he finished one beer and started another, the bottles now lining up on the end table beside him. His eyes grew bleary as Sox's gentle snoring mingled with the sounds of the faraway baseball game. When yet another inning ended and the game went to a commercial, Danny closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of the couch.
The noise of the television grew fainter as he slipped into sleep and his mind flashed images of fangs and bloodless bodies in an endless landscape of snow. As Danny drifted farther into unconsciousness, the snow was overtaken by fire.
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Julie Flanders is a librarian by day and a writer all the rest of the time. She is also a television show addict with a particular fondness for Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and a slightly obsessive sports fan who cheers for the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Reds. Julie is an animal lover and animal rescue advocate who shares her home with her rescued dog and cat. She has written about the joys of pets for outlets such as Cat Fancy, Thrive in Life, and Best Friends Animal Society. Visit Julie at julieflanders.net.
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Thanks for dropping by, Julie. I shall be reading The Turnagain Arm tonight!