“Naming the Goat,” a Serafina Florio short story Sicily, September 1866 It took us weeks to name the goat. First we argued about whether she needed a name. Couldn’t we just call out to her, “Here, goat!” or, “Here, goaty-goat!” someone asked. No one answered until Vicenzu, the middle son, the one with all the numbers in his head, settled it by saying, “Bad for the soul, not to name the animals. That’s what Father would have said.” “Sylvia,” someone suggested. A few of us liked the sound of … [Read more...] about Naming the Goat
Excerpt from NO MORE BROTHERS Wednesday, February 13, 1867 “Have you ever seen an old woman sitting near the public gardens? She chants some gibberish.” “The gypsy queen?” “She’s a queen?” He shrugged. “That’s what Falco calls her. He said she has marvels. Once he saw her gazing into magic crystals and once, when a man passed by her and Falco was watching and the man was old and snarly just then as he was passing right in front of the gypsy queen she hummed at him and his arm turned into a … [Read more...] about Gazing into Magic Crystals
Excerpt from Death of a Serpent Sunday, October 7, 1866 The carriage slowed. “What’s that pounding I hear?” Rosa asked. “Nothing. The wind.” They stopped. She heard voices, laughter, roaring beasts, the crack of a whip, and squinted through clouds of dust to a long line of wagons. The madam stuck her head out the window. Holding her hat firmly on her head with one hand, she called out to the driver. “Why have we stopped?” “The circus blocks the road.” “Off the highway,” someone shouted. … [Read more...] about What’s That Pounding I Hear?
Excerpt from “Death of a Sad Face,” a Serafina short mystery Note: "Death of a Sad Face" is free at Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Late Wednesday evening, October 28, 1868 Teo slammed the pillow over his ears and tried not to think about his brother or about his parents. If his head were formed like the others at school, he wouldn’t have to leave, but there was nothing he could do about it, Falco had told him that. “When you’re older, if you’re lucky, your nose and lips will pop … [Read more...] about A Wall Eye and a Flat Face
Excerpt from Death of a Serpent Sicily, November 1866 Rosa wagged her finger. “Mark my words, think on it well: money is at the root of these crimes. I know it, I know it.” She twisted her fingers. “The killer promises them something for a big fee. He takes their coins and kills them. At the heart is lucre.” “That may be a part of it. Falco, for instance, gains by Bella’s death.” Rosa nodded. “But that’s not all, not the most important part. There’s a systematic … [Read more...] about A Lust for Lucre