Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Night is a Shadow Cast By the World (Chapter 11)

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Night is a Shadow Cast By the World by Brian Panhuyzen

Toronto writer Brian Panhuyzen's ambitious new novel, Night is a Shadow Cast By the World, is a gripping literary adventure about books, aviation, travel and love. We will be serializing a portion of the book on Open Book: Toronto, with a new chapter posted every Tuesday and Thursday.

Read Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 of Night is a Shadow Cast By the World.

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Chapter 11

Cordell opens the gate. He steps onto the field and looks into the southern sky where a silver, twin-engined airplane is completing a sharp bank to line up with the field. It descends steeply, sideslipping out of the sky, flaps extended, landing gear emerging. Just metres above the ground the craft flares and the front tires meet the grass. A moment later the fin lowers and the smaller tailwheel touches down.

Cordell watches, mouth agape, as the plane approaches, braking hard. The propellers continue to windmill but aside from the occasional pop or sputter, the engines are silent. He feels the sun at his back, a vague warmth about to be extinguished by the horizon. A wave of dizziness overcomes him; he clenches his fists, forcing himself to remain balanced and alert. He is suddenly hyperaware of the objects behind him, the fence, garden, and windsock, the little bungalow, Marla and Galina and his books within it, all of this arranged like a backlit diorama. And here alone, in the open on the field’s damp grass, he might be a representative of that world, an ambassador. Standing here extending welcome to someone from another reality, a reality he has glimpsed only through a keyhole. As he watches the approaching plane, as beams of sunlight slicing between the houses stutter against its polished hull, he understands the dizziness. He is standing at a conflux where contrary forces, like cold and warm fronts, meet and blend, where they breed cataclysms like tornadoes and hurricanes.

In a moment he will be engaged in an unknown duty, and this thought stirs a cloud of anxiety. Focus on the concrete, he thinks, squinting at the approaching craft.

The plane is a Douglas DC-3. Some 12,000 were built between 1936 and 1946, and as it draws nearer he sees the impact of years of service, sees that it has been battered and patched frequently on its odyssey through the decades. He imagines the places it’s been, the events it’s witnessed, and he longs to touch it, to feel history coursing through the airframe.

The plane lurches to a stop directly in front of him, and its gearstruts compress momentarily as the craft settles. Cordell studies a caricature painted on the craft’s nose below the cockpit, a species of duck more frantic than either Donald or Daffy, crowned with a U.S. Army helmet, cigar burning in its bill, the feet a whirlwind of motion. Beside it, in a manic scrawl, the words “Lucky Duck.” But this duck looks more reckless than lucky.

Cordell pivots and looks at Marla in the kitchen window. This is going to be difficult to explain, he thinks, turning back and approaching the aircraft.

When he reaches the wingtip he stops uncertainly, glances at his shoes, black Doc Martens, scuffed at the toes, nestled among the blades of grass and dandelion heads. He presses a palm to his breast and feels the clatter of his heart, and when he looks up the plane is enormous before him, much larger than he ever imagined. He’s encountered celebrities before, Dan Akroyd on a Toronto street, Annie Proulx at a book signing, and they always seemed diminutive beside him. Here the effect is reversed; this plane is tremendous. He smells it, the reek of engine oil, burned fuel. Constellations of rivets populate its skin from nose to tail. The cowlings are sootstreaked abaft the exhaust ports. Ping of the cooling engine. He is moved by the reality of it, this symbol of the age of streamlining, relic from Art Deco’s denouement. He sweeps his eyes over its body, a clot of emotion thickening in his throat.

A racket sounds from the door, a grating of metal on metal, and Cordell now notices pockmarks scattered across the fuselage, fresh and bright against the tarnished aluminum. Bullet holes. But the door is opening, it swings downward, there is no chance to flee. Cordell’s eyes rise up the steps built into it and meet a pair of filthy combat boots. He steps forward as the sun falls behind the house, throwing the plane’s interior into darkness and obscuring the figure’s features but for the glow of a cigarette. A pale fetch of smoke drifts from the doorway and ascends into the evening sky.

“Night is a shadow,” says a woman’s deep and gritty voice.

Cordell stares into the murk, his voice a forgotten relic in the pit of his larynx.

“Night is a shadow,” the woman repeats more firmly.

“Oh. Of course it is,” Cordell replies, then: “Cast by the world.”

The woman sighs relief, takes a step back. “Come on then,” she says. “Hurry!”

Her urgent tone seizes him, pulls him forward, and in a moment he is mounting the steps.

The cabin reeks of smoke and oil and sulphur, and he feels giddy and unbalanced, realizes the floor slopes steeply upwards towards the cockpit. His eyes adjusting, he can make out little of the woman other than her posture of extreme agitation. He is embarrassed by her expectation, for what can he possibly offer — here on the deck of a vintage aircraft perforated by gunfire — in the way of assistance?

“I’m here to help,” he states uncertainly.

“Right. Haul up that door!” the woman barks.

He welcomes this instruction and the authority with which it is delivered. He turns to the doorway and after a moment of scrutiny seizes a pair of chains which serve as handrails, heaves until the door swings to. He throws a lever to secure it, then dusts off his hands and turns to accept the woman’s thanks, but she is gone. He hears activity from the cockpit, then a detonation which launches a ball of panic into his gut. Another boom follows as the second engine starts, and the whole airframe begins to quake. Wait, he thinks. This is not supposed to happen. He imagined a simple gesture to assist — cold drinks, a tray of sandwiches . . . shut a door. He abruptly realizes his error, and leaps to the door’s lever.

The plane lurches violently and he falls to the deck. “Wait!” he calls, but his voice is snuffed by the roar of the surging engines. “Stop!” He grits his teeth and grabs a seatback, pulls himself to his feet, and begins to work his way towards the cockpit. The floor begins to shudder horribly and he pitches himself into a seat. He considers breaking for the door again, opening it and leaping out, but beyond the window the houses are dashing past at an alarming rate and accelerating. He presses his face to a corner of the glass, trying to see Marla, but the house is long gone. The vibration subsides and the horizon tilts and as Cordell grips the armrests the cabin shifts, sending a wave of queasiness through his belly and brain. Thumps and moans sound throughout the airframe, and the sun, which he thought had set, suddenly beams through the window.

He shades his eyes and looks out. Wannup is cloaked in shadow. He can see headlights scuttling about on its streets. The courthouse clock tower is still bathed in sunlight, and for an instant he spots the front of the bookstore, but then it is gone. His eyes rise to the plane’s wing, which is twitching and trembling in the airstream.

He slumps into the seat, a hand clamped over his mouth, a lake of sweat spreading between his shoulderblades. Into his palm he whispers, “Marla.” He tries to rise, but for some moments his legs are powerless.

With a blast of determination he lunges to his feet and promptly smites his skull against the arched ceiling with such force the cabin momentarily flares as if hit by lightning. For seconds the scene around him sizzles with residual light, and he rubs his head and blinks. While his eyesight clears he takes in the cabin. Behind him several dozen slender grey crates are stacked to the ceiling, each stencilled with Cyrillic text. At the cabin’s aft is a door displaying a toilet icon; its handle and the floor before it are stained with russet mud. He sidles out of the seats and strides into the cockpit, already drawing breath to voice his protest, to demand his return to Marla. The tirade freezes on his lips. Through the windscreen he sees a sky of maroon and ochre. The countryside stretches out, a deep, mineral blue, and he sees grain silos and cultivated fields, a ribbon of road navigated by columns of headlamps. He wets his lips to speak, but then his eyes fall to the instruments, the array of dials and switches and levers, and he looks and looks, airspeed, turn and bank, artificial horizon, gyro compass, altimeter. . . . He sees the wheel clutched in the pilot’s hands, and then she is turning to look at him, she wears a radio headset, she is shoving aside the earpiece.

“Well?” she shouts over the roar of the engines. “What’s your prognosis?”

Cordell inhales to deliver his demand of return, when a troubling fact interposes itself before the query. His subconscious has been performing a simple calculation, subtracting Wannup’s elevation of 1240 feet above sea level from the altimeter’s displayed altitude of 1400 feet, and the conclusion draws the pin on a grenade of panic in his gut. He takes one slow, shaky breath and says in a voice as shrill as a rake across concrete, “My, aren’t we low?”

“Of course. Below radar,” she replies. She has a narrow, angular face, the flesh faintly tanned and lax with age. The wells of her eyes are black, and runnels of mascara stain each cheek. She maintains a determined squint despite the failing light. Cordell guesses that she is as old as the aircraft itself. The plane buffets and she returns her attention to the instruments. Her platinum hair is drawn into a braid as thick as a hawser. She looks back at him, says, “So he’s okay?”

Cordell is still digesting her statement about that mythical realm — below radar — when he asks absently, “Who?”

“God almighty! You haven’t examined him? Get back there!” she roars, waving him out of the cockpit. “Get back and have a look at him!”

“I didn’t see anyone!” Cordell cries.

“In the john. Go. Go!”

Impelled by her ferocity, he whirls and bolts down the aisle, passes between the crates, and stops before the washroom door. In the oval slot above a keyhole he sees the word “Vacant.” He hesitates, fingers poised above the handle, then looks at the floor and lifts a foot. Something sticky beneath his shoes, rusty mud. On the door too, the handle.

His hand drops. He thinks, do not open the door. There is still a chance to remain back there in the field, innocent, a constituent of that pleasant diorama. He lowers his head until it touches the door. I can help. I said I would help.

He opens the door.

On the toilet seat, head thrown back, eyes closed, a man.

“Sir,” Cordell states loudly, remembering first aid protocol. “Can you hear me, sir?” The man is in his twenties, pale, his yellow hair dishevelled, eyesockets crusted with dried sweat, maybe tears. Mouth agape. Cordell pans his eyes down from the clenched eyelids and unshaven face to his hands, which grasp a bloody thigh. A startling quantity of blood fills the bottom of the compartment, rippling like a windswept lake with the throb of the engines. The plane buffets and the man shivers and Cordell steps forward, battling nausea, to feel for a carotid pulse. He probes between the neck muscles and the trachea. Nothing. The flesh is cool. He explores the man’s neck and throat but finds no beat. He tests with his palm for breath from the man’s mouth. Nothing.

A tourniquet of bloodsoaked rope is bound around his thigh above a rent in the fabric of his jeans, through which a divot of ruptured flesh protrudes. Cordell touches this location on his own thigh, thinks, femoral artery. A marble of blood oozes from the wound, splashes into the sanguine pond below.

Cordell staggers backwards, meets the bulkhead, and sinks to the floor, staring, realizing that though he’s seen thousands of simulated corpses on television and in films, he has never directly viewed — let alone touched — a genuinely dead person.

He gropes for something literary to mitigate the horror shuddering through him. He knows a phrase from Macbeth about the dead sleeping well, but he is left gasping at the naked reality before him. The man’s expression is curiously peaceful. Death by blood loss is perhaps like falling into perpetual sleep. The thought allays some of Cordell’s queasiness, though the tenuousness of that threshold between death and sleep concerns him, and he wonders how a slumbering body knows to suspend itself above the deeper chasm of death. He grows abruptly aware of his own quickness, of the voluptuous motor of his heart, the swell of his thorax at each breath, the percolation of sweat through the skin of his brow. He wipes his forehead, but feels something viscid. He examines his palm. Blood. He was careful not to touch the blood, how did it get there? He panics, thinks it’s his own, but how could that be? He considers washing it off in the sink, but fears further contact with the corpse. There are crimson footprints on the acrylic floor, his own, treading backwards from the doorway to his outstretched feet. He plucks a hollow cylinder of brass from the floor beside him and examines it. A bullet casing. When he casts his eyes about he realizes that shells litter the floor like the beads of a broken necklace. And on the floor behind the toilet, partially submerged in blood, Cordell spies the long barrel of a weapon.

An indeterminate period of stupefied staring is broken when Cordell discerns shouts among the thunder of the engines.

“Hey!” the pilot calls. “Hey, mister!”

Cordell climbs slowly to his feet, now averting his eyes from the dead man. Was he her friend, lover, husband, son? How to convey the news of his death? For such things he imagines there exists a systematized procedure, and had he the luxury of his books he’d research before acting. But she is bellowing again and he starts up the aisle. He stops outside the entrance, composing in his mind a condolent phrase to explain her comrade’s state. It’s on his lips when another thought intercedes: what if the news affects her so acutely that she decides to plunge the aircraft into the ground? Their altitude is tenuous; a crash would be instantaneous.

“Hey!” she shouts again, and he attempts a neutral expression before he steps into the doorway. She turns, and her eyes linger on his forehead.

He lifts his hand to touch himself there, remembers the blood, stops, instead places his hand on his throat.

“Think you need to sit down,” she says, nodding to the co-pilot’s chair. He is relieved to be given a task. It’s a tight squeeze, difficult with his gangly frame, but he eventually wrangles himself into the seat. He sees on a hook beside his knee a radio headset; he dons it and is glad that the earcups suppress the engines’ roar. The night is deepening and the glow of dials fills the cockpit with glaucous illumination. Lights from the occasional car or farmhouse flash below at an alarming rate. Cordell recalls the thunder of the plane’s passage over his house.

“Dead, isn’t he,” she states flatly.

Cordell sighs and looks at his hands, at the blood. “Yes,” he replies, relieved that he didn’t have to say it himself.

“God almighty,” she says, then, more emphatically, “God almighty! You sure?”

“He’s lost a staggering volume of blood.”

“He’s a tough bastard.”

“No pulse, no respiration.”

“Not doubting you. Still, maybe there’s something you can try.”

“Even with the right equipment . . .”

“I mean I’m sure you’ve done all you can.”

“Look, even if I were a doctor, I –”

“Whoa, whoa, wait a second. What do you mean, even if you were . . . ?”

“Just that even with training and the right equipment I’m certain —”

“You’re not a doctor?”

“Not a . . . what? No. Not a medical doctor anyway. I mean I know a little first aid from books on the topic but —”

She unclasps her shoulder harness and seatbelt.

Cordell sits up in the seat. “What are you —”

“Take the controls,” she says, then she releases the yoke and stands. Cordell seizes the wheel before him. She taps the altimeter, says, “Stay between 1400 and 1500 feet, heading 230. And whatever you do, keep the airspeed well above 90 knots. Got that?”

Before Cordell can answer she has pitched the headset into her seat and is gone. He grips the wheel and fixes his gaze on the dials. He consults the artificial horizon, ensuring that the plane is straight and level. The altimeter begins to spin slowly clockwise, 1500, 1525, 1550, and he eases the yoke forward until the trend ceases. He applies more pressure and the needle descends, back through 1550, 1525, 1500, then accelerating to 1475, 1450, so he pulls up again and the descent slows, reverses. The altimeter shoots past 1500 and a moment later swings through 1600, climbing for 1700. A glance at the airspeed indicator shows 115 knots, falling, falling. He pushes the control and the ascent halts and then, very carefully, he eases the wheel forward. This time he eyes the vertical speed indicator, letting its tip quiver just below the zero mark. When they are nearing 1500 feet of altitude he nudges the wheel back and the plane stabilizes. He gulps air.

He examines the instruments and everything appears correct and balanced. He allows himself an instant of pride, until he notes that their heading has drifted far eastward, to 175 degrees.

“Dammit,” he whispers.

A protracted period of fiddling ensues, as Cordell experiments with yoke and pedals, banking, rolling, yawing, until everything is normalized, altitude 1500, heading 230, airspeed 130. Something hot stabs into his left eye and fearful of releasing the wheel he rubs it with his shoulder. Sweat. His face and armpits and back are soaked. His throat parched. For some minutes he maintains their course, keeping adjustments small and trying not to chase the needles. He takes a quick look through the windscreen, but it’s too dark to see. And then he thinks: turn around. Why has he been maintaining a southerly heading when he has an opportunity to swing the craft around and head for home? He glances at the throttle cluster, the pitch levers. He’ll need to increase engine power before he begins a bank. His hand is hovering over the controls when a fist strikes his shoulder. The plane lurches and he fights to bring it back in line.

“Thanks for the rollercoaster ride,” the woman says, taking her seat and donning the headset. “Can let go now, I’ve got it.” Cordell pries his hands from the wheel and stretches his bloodless fingers, casts a look at the woman. For all her bluster he detects defeat in her slumped posture. Cordell himself sits bent in the dry and peeling leather of the co-pilot’s chair, his arms folded across his breast and an elixir of emotions souring in his gut, inciting a raw nausea, chilling the sweat on his back and brow into a cold film. The thrill of piloting an airplane, the wretchedness of having squandered the opportunity to turn around, and then he can’t help but feel sympathy for the woman grieving beside him. He suffers horror at the thought of the corpse at the rear of the plane. But he resents her too, for evacuating him from his home, his life, when all he wanted to do was help. A hint of worry for this craft’s mission too, which has obviously gone awry. And all of this bound up in a raw panic about rushing further and further from home and wife and life. A massive confluence of emotions. He wants to bawl, scream, groan, laugh, and he grips the armrests while he fights to keep his passions in check.

A sigh draws his eyes to the seat beside him where the woman sits stiffly upright, one hand on the yoke but the other pressed over her mouth as if to restrain a yell. Tears run in swift currents down her cheeks. She looks straight ahead, rigid, trembling, trying to govern a more extravagant response, and this display of restraint chastens Cordell’s self-pity. He is alive, his loved ones are safe. What horrors has this women experienced in the last few hours? He draws a breath and says, “What can I do?”

She remains mute for perhaps two minutes before she lifts her hand away and says, “Tissue. Box under your seat.”

Cordell reaches beneath the chair and plies his hand through an array of detritus: cardboard, bottles, magazines, until he feels a curious shape which he lifts as high as his knees. A handgun. He regards it calmly, while forces deep within his psyche swell and riot. The gun is black and heavy and his head throbs as he clutches it. He looks at the woman, who is rubbing her eyes and hasn’t seen it. He stows it back under the seat and after more sifting lifts into his lap a box of tissues. The carton is lightweight and mercifully floral after the weapon. He plucks a tissue and hands it to her.

“Thanks,” she says, dabbing her eyes. “His name was Vic.”

Her gratitude startles him, and in a swell of bonhomie he states, “I’m Cordell Bechard.”

His name jars her out of her gloom. “Jesus,” she says. “Kind of goddamn name is that?”

Cordell sits back in his chair, befuddled. The mood’s tenor is shifting so quickly that he can’t keep up, and after a moment he says: “My goddamn name.”

She looks at him again, reassessing, then says, “I’m Tessa.”

“I’ve got to get home, Tessa.”

She gives him a hard look, then scans the instruments, adjusts the trim tab before she says, “Yeah, I know.”

He feels a rush of hope at her reply and is about to respond when she says, “But I can’t find that field in the dark.”

Cordell inhales to challenge the remark, but she’s right. Night has fully developed; the chances of locating the field after the hundreds of kilometres they’ve flown — let alone landing safely once they find it — are next to impossible.

“But,” he says at last, trying to control his voice. “But there was a mistake. I was never supposed to leave. To take off. My wife . . . she watched me climb aboard. But she has no idea what’s happened to me.”

“You didn’t tell her?”

“What?”

“You didn’t tell her what you were doing? Where you were going?”

“I didn’t know what to expect.”

“What were you told?”

“Nothing. Just to put out the windsock and be ready to help.”

“That’s it?”

He nods.

“What you got a windsock for anyway?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing. Nothing, oh nothing. Everybody’s got a windsock.”

“I know it seems strange. But I fly kites sometimes. It helps to know wind direction and speed.”

“Kites,” she says with distaste. “You mean your wife doesn’t know?”

“Doesn’t know what?”

“What you do. Your involvement with Luz.”

Cordell is so astonished to hear that word — Luz — spoken aloud that he flinches. She chuckles at his reaction, says it again, “Luz.” Then, in full Spanish: “Luz de la Libertad.” He stares at her, agape. He wants to say it aloud himself, but so ingrained is his commitment to this secret that he cannot.

“You look like a fish who just jumped from his bowl.” She takes a laboured gasp, imitating him.

“It’s just . . . I’m not accustomed to talking about . . . it. That.”

“Luz de la Libertad.”

He grinds his teeth, nodding.

“Your wife has no idea of your involvement?”

He lets out a moan, doubles forward, mutters, “My wife. Oh god. Oh god, Marla!”

“Easy now.”

“This is no good! She has no idea what’s happened to me!”

“Look, I’m sorry. Just worked out this way.”

“But why?” he demands fiercely. “Why land? What on earth did you think I could do for you?”

“We took some hits, didn’t know how bad. Thought Vic had a chance. Thought you were a goddamn doctor. I couldn’t let go the controls long enough to look at him.”

“What happened? What went wrong?”

“Don’t ask. Still trying to figure it out. And I couldn’t stay down there, on your field. They might be right behind us.”

“They? Who’s they? Someone’s following us?”

“Possibly. Russians. Russian bastards who killed him.”

Cordell feels a prickle on the back of his neck, resists the urge to look behind him.

“Plus I got this cargo to deliver.”

“Fine. All right, I don’t want to hear any more.”

“You sure you work for Luz? What do you do for them?”

“Nothing. Occasional shipments. Of intelligence. For the global network. It’s nothing.”

“Why’d they think you were a doctor?”

“I don’t know. I do have a doctorate. But it’s in English Literature.”

“You’re joking.”

“I’m not.”

“But that’s ridiculous.”

Cordell wonders what she is calling ridiculous: the misunderstanding, or his doctorate. He looks out the side window and sees a sliver of moon keeping pace with the aircraft. The density of lights on the ground thickens as they continue southwards. This observation reinforces the increasingly critical problem of how he’s going to get home.

Tessa is studying a navigation map folded to fit her kneeboard. With a chewed pencil she sketches a complex route, and Cordell notes that it avoids population centres and controlled airspaces. Airports, with their radio beacons and illuminated runways, offer the only option for a safe night landing. The plane is flying below radar with some kind of contraband; the mission is clearly covert. Which means radio silence, and no way to get a message to Marla. They are heading south, towards the United States. This thought arouses a new burst of fears: he’s never been there, and what about necessary identification, currency, travel insurance?

“What?” Tessa suddenly demands, breaking his thoughts. He is hunched forward with his forehead on his fist, and he slowly raises his head.

“I’m not supposed to be here,” he says.

“Clearly.”

“I need to get home.”

“You can’t. Not right now.”

“And we can’t contact anyone.”

She gives him an exasperated look.

“And we can’t land,” he adds.

“We can’t goddamn land,” she growls.

“Then what am I supposed to do?”

“How about shutting the fuck up?”

Cordell is stunned. He thinks suddenly about the gun beneath his seat, wonders if it was the dead man’s, wonders if another is concealed beneath Tessa’s chair.

His shock and fear must be explicit on his face, for Tessa says in a milder tone, “Listen Bechard. This sounds nuts coming out my mouth, but right now I need you. Yeah, crazy. See, I gotta fly this plane. There’s a ways to go and this has been one hell of a day. I know you’re in for more than you bargained. I don’t know what you do for Luz, and I don’t really care, but at this moment, you have to be here for me, for company, for support, for whatever you want to call it. I am wiped out. I feel like a steamroller ran me down. And flying this airplane at two hundred feet may be more than I can handle alone. So this is what you will do, this is what you can do, for me, and for Luz.”

“But how am I going to get —”

“Let me finish. One thing I don’t want to hear is, ‘how am I going to get home.’ I understand your concern. Know it’s something that will have to be figured out. But right now, I don’t know. I don’t know how to get you home. Not without endangering my mission. Not without getting us killed trying to find a slab of grass in the dark. In a few hours we land. In a few hours we work it out.”

“But how am I —”

“Stop! Stop it, Bechard. And I’d buckle up right about now.”

Cordell opens his mouth to reply, but Tessa pitches the plane hard to the left, and Cordell scrambles for his lap belt and shoulder harness. The plane has penetrated more populous territory; he sees cars beetling along highways, each preceded by a plough of light, sees plazas and strip malls, their iconic signs distinct: Tim Horton’s, Loblaws, Pizza Hut.

While consulting the map on the kneeboard Tessa hauls the aircraft through a series of dizzying maneuvers. Through the side window Cordell sees the starry sky, but a moment later he’s looking at residential neighbourhoods dotted with streetlights. His brain rolls and pitches in synchrony with the dashboard gauges. He shuts his eyes and tries to swallow the nausea. The feeling subsides; when he opens his eyes, Tessa is holding the controls level and the craft is flying straight. Beyond her, through the side window, he sees receding behind the port wing a thread of lights stretching to the horizon. They are flying into darkness. He turns to his right and spies a fingernail moon in the sky, and below it a rippling reflection.

“We’re over water,” he mutters. “Lake Ontario.”

“Yeah.”

Cordell swallows. He looks at the moon and its scattered companion two hundred feet below, shuddering and jittering in concordance with his heart.

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Read Chapter 12 of Night is a Shadow Cast By the World by Brian Panhuyzen.

Night is a Shadow Cast By the World is available as an ebook priced at $2.99. To purchase it, please go to www.nightisashadow.com/acquire.php.

Brian Panhuyzen’s first book was a collection of short stories entitled The Death of the Moon, published by Cormorant Books. He has worked as a publisher, magazine editor and as a typesetter for House of Anansi. His new book, a novel entitled Night is a Shadow Cast By the World, is available exclusively as an ebook. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two boys.

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