I had an urge to make chicken for dinner, with salad- a second trip to the grocery store.
I bundled up and went back out. Go left, pass five doors, left again into the store.
The street was nearly deserted now; the cold had forced everyone indoors. Drifting snow and a brisk wind kept me close to the buildings. I squinted, counting doors to the store.
The store was warm, but also deserted.
I picked up some chicken and salad fixings, then on a whim some Italian bread.
I squinted again, counting doorways heading home. Go past five doors, then turn right.
I’d passed two buildings. A small child stood at the doorway to the third.
He looked to be three, maybe four years old, well dressed, waiting for someone.
He hopped up and down on his front step, looking around and shivering in the cold.
He saw me and smiled. “Man, man. Mister. Hi?” He said. I stopped.
“Mister, are you a doctor?” It seemed like a casual question.
“No, I’m not.” I smiled, and kept walking. He looked sadly down the empty street again. That seemed wrong. I turned back.
“Why did you ask if I’m a doctor?” I asked him.
“My mom got a boo-boo.” He patted his head. “She went ‘OW’.”
“Where is your mom?” I asked, urgently. “Show me.”
He grabbed my hand and led me into the building.
He had to lift his legs almost to his chest to scale the stairs, but he climbed eagerly.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
We stopped at the second floor landing. Four doors faced me, one was open.
A woman lay sprawled on the floor beside a sofa, face down. I rested my groceries by the front door.
“Wait outside, Ethan, OK? I want to check on your mom.”
He stood at the doorway, peering in gingerly as I approached her.
‘Some vacation.’ I grumbled.
I bent down to check her over. She could have been sleeping, but for a gash on her forehead that said otherwise.
She had obviously tripped and hit the coffee table, then bled onto a rug under it.
A pool of red, the size of my hand, oozed over the rug and onto the wood floor.
The Dead Don’t Dream
An Ian McBriar Murder Mystery
by Mauro Azzano
You are a Toronto police detective, lying in the gutter, shot by the man you were pursuing, and your life is slipping slowly away.
The Dead Don’t Dream takes you back to the year 1973 and the world of Ian McBriar, a homicide police detective, as he investigates the brutal assault on two young boys, one of whom is the son of a local underworld figure. Haunted by the deaths he has investigated and the lives he has seen destroyed, Ian struggles with the memories that make him who he is.
When he gets too close to the truth, the killer makes a desperate strike, and Ian ends up face-down in the street. Can he survive his attack and track down the gunman before more lives are lost floor.
Mauro Azzano was born in the Veneto region of Italy. He grew up in Italy, Australia and eastern Canada, finally settling on the West Coast, near Vancouver. When he’s not writing he can be found teaching college or running half marathons.
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