Reprints in Unusual Cases
"A murder most foul, dear Watson!" came from the other side of the wall.
The last brick fitted nicely and the wet mortar sealed the opening for ever. Or at least for a short lifetime.
Watson got rid of his apron and cleaned himself thoroughly.
It was time for tea and kippers.
"Kill him. Kill the imposter," Penelope cried out. She still looked pretty beautiful after twenty years.
And her suitors, and her son, and the old dog and the servants took up arms and killed the filthy beggar in the grand hall of the house.
That night they celebrated their victory.
"Those are giants, Sancho!"
"Yes, my liege. Let me adjust your helmet before you fight them."
The stone was a lot harder than the old man's skull.
A little blood, and even less money.
Disgusted the little man threw the naked body in the ditch and made off with the horse, armor and weapons, all of little value.
She shivered, nerves and anticipation. And love. Seas of burning love. "Romeo? Is it you?"
The son of the rival house laughed cruelly and pulled his dagger. How deep he would wound the enemies of his blood, tonight!
"Lucy, oh Lucy. I will do anything to protect you from this devil. You will not be his. This demon, ja?"
The pale girl beckoned, apparently too weak to speak out loud.
The Dutch professor came closer, eager to hear her whispers.
"Too late," she whispered, sweetly, full of evil.
One quick swoop with the lancet.
His throat opened.
She drank the old man's blood eagerly.
No more fictions, no more lies.
"Your books," I said to old crooked bookseller, "Your books are all wrong."
She smiled. The crone. I bet she had two sisters, younger and prettier. Didn't they always come in threes?
"You don't want no more?"
A thousand times thousand books behind her. All familiar.
I yearned to know.
I put down the silver on the counter. Clang!
Still smiling she fetched me another.
Jaap Boekestein is an award winning Dutch writer of science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers and whatever takes his fancy. He did a lot of things in his life and put a lot of that in his stories. Five novels, a few novellas and over three hundred of his stories have been published. His has made his living as a bouncer, working for a detective agency and as editor. Since 2015 he mostly writes for the English market. His story "Kitty Cross Saves the World" ended up with an honorable mention in the Roswell Award 2017.