My painting “The Guardian”
In the following excerpt of my novel, the young narrator, Brooklyn is desperately searching for a dog she loves and seems to have the power to protect her from supernatural death threats.
I went to some of the places I’d gone to during my rambling days, which led me to my secret hideout—the place where the Coney Island Creek abruptly ended. It was filled with dark stagnant water, a few tires, pipes, and the skeletal remains of a shopping cart sticking out along the left bank. I stood at the railing on the part of Shell Road that had never been paved, under the Belt Parkway, breathing in car exhaust and listening to the whoosh of traffic overhead. In the distance I could see a small pier sticking out into the water. The other side of the creek was covered in trees and underbrush as far as you could see. Strange, but as many times as I’d been here, I’d never seen a person or even a car.
Just then I heard something that made the hairs on my arms stand up. It sounded like barking, but muffled and under the surface, far, far away.
Photo of creek and train graveyard by Jim Blythe
I used to bike over there when I was a kid to draw. Like a lot of places in Coney Island it seemed to radiate spirits of the past. It backed up against the train graveyard. I could almost hear that lonesome whistle blow.