Kings Corkscrew

Bartle and the King’s Corkscrew Collection

The King had an Open Door policy, and no one took greater advantage of it than Bartle. In the Castle, there were several lobbies and halls that were open to the public at all times; and on any given day there were usually other galleries and salons open as well. Bartle was a frequent visitor. He…

Photo: Luke O'Brien

Peril and the Magic Spyglass

Perilandor’s town was in deadly danger from an evil mist that crept into the valley from the north and froze all it touched. He grabbed a few essentials and fled with his father, unable to locate his mother, sister, or brother before the lethal cloud closed in on his home. They scaled the eastern slope to…

How Alan Killed His Cat

1. Natasha When Alan was eight years old, he killed his cat and spent the rest of his life trying to figure out if it was an accident or not. When Alan asked for a pet kitten, his parents, naturally, refused. “You’re too young,” they said. “You’d kill it.” “No I won’t – I promise!”…

Where Is My Father?

I wrecked my car a few days after my dad disappeared. I spun out on black ice in Elgin, Illinois, wrapping the car around a utility pole. I had graduated college about six months earlier, and though flat broke I had bought a brand-new Pontiac secured with nothing but a job-acceptance letter. I am by…

The Most Cowardly Act Of My Life

“Tell me he didn’t hurt you.” I was sitting with my girlfriend in her car in the parking lot of a fast food joint in Racine, Wisconsin. It was January, 1981, and it was incredibly cold. It was late at night, the restaurant was closed, the engine was running, and still our breath frosted the…