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A Very Entertaining Death

by Martin Hill Ortiz

About the Author: Along with a score of short stories, Martin Hill Ortiz is the author of the mystery, Never Kill A Friend, Ransom Note Press, and the historical thriller A Predator's Game, featuring Nikola Tesla, Arthur Conan Doyle and Henry H. Holmes, due out from Acedrex Publishing in early 2016. He is a professor of Pharmacology at the Ponce University of Health Sciences in Ponce, Puerto Rico where he lives with his wife and eight-year-old son.


While waiting for the spectacle to begin, I cut and shuffled a deck of cards with my left hand, keeping the ace on top, practicing a skill I would never again use. The goose-honk of a squeeze-bulb car-horn announced the impending arrival of the hearse. I dropped the deck in my jacket pocket.

Giggling bathing beauties stood planted on the running boards of the approaching lemon-yellow Packard. Its nose-end acted as a ship’s bow, parting the crowd which swept back in rippling waves. Curtains cloaked the windows of its stretched-out cargo hold. The vehicle rolled to a stop at the brink of a neatly-carved rectangular pit.

Flappers in their tube-like dresses, the tassels on their knee-high hems shimmying, strained against the cordoned-off perimeter. Some blew kisses. Dandies, resuscitated after a night of celebrating Prohibition—genteel gentlemen for whom daylight was a curse word—balanced on their toes to witness the hullabaloo. Young nippers roosted on tombstones; some braved the roofs of mausoleums.

Story Comments

Mar 12 - Frances Dunn

This was a great story. I had to know how the escape would work and, unfortunately, how Frenchini died. Well written story.

May 24 - Robert Petyo

Truly terrific puzzle mystery. Who doesn't love an escape artist?

Jun 22 - Harley Quin

The first principle of any magic trick is misdirection. Good story.

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