Harry enters a building others in the town dare not venture. He encounters Lilly the ethereal leader of a group claiming they are held against their will. All is not what it seems in this abandoned place. The youths are subjected to demands by a tyrant who must win an absurd game he once championed. At every opportunity, Harry’s attempt to escape is thwarted. In frustration, he turns to the group who appear resigned to an awful destiny. The circumstances and tragedy of each youth are told, including the cruel fate of young Barnaby. As each story unravels, the lives of these kindred spirits are in some part reflected in Harry’s own troubled life. Harry is attracted to Lilly and she to him, but a future together can never be contemplated. She helps him understand the truth of his life in order to consider a better future…his own. The biggest dilemma Harry must face is he is not who he seems. A story of hope and self-discovery.
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Henry’s theory of ghosts.
The ancients had no word for the colour ‘blue’ because it is believed they couldn’t see it. Homer writes of the ‘wine-dark sea’. Our eyes detect frequency change in the visible light spectrum, but it is our brain that invents colour—in fact, our brains create reality. If we accept that colour is real, then ghostly manifestations of our ‘large brains’ must also be real to the one experiencing it. Other Tricks was inspired by an episode of parasomnia (complex visual hallucinations upon waking up). The author witnessed a severed head, formed perfectly and floating just above the bedroom doorway. The apparition lasted several minutes.
A. J. Henry lives in Queensland, Australia. He owns a wooden boat that sometimes sees water and rides a bicycle sold by a pawnbroker. He studied creative writing over six years in the eighties and had until now published short stories in various anthologies over the last couple of decades while working as a factory hand, courier driver, and television series production as day jobs.