Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between

Excerpt: “Glass Transit”

The scene on the bridge

Eddie on the bridge...with Luftwaffe. Art by Edd Coutts.

Bumbling sorcerers Eddie Woodhouse and Ducky
“Duke” Orr get more than they bargain for when
they leap from a magical bottle into the skies over
Lakehurst, New Jersey.

At least the skid marks match, Eddie thought groggily as he attempted to disentangle himself from the rumpled featherbed. The real bunk felt just like its reflection—surprisingly comfortable, especially for someone who’d been sleeping in a bottle for who knew how long. He rolled on his shoulder and caught his first good look out the window. Trees, sand and the occasional roof flowed past at a leisurely rate. They were flying a lot lower, slower and more smoothly than a plane.

A piercing whistle, like a tea kettle on the boil, erupted behind him. Ducky grabbed him by the shoulders and hauled him upright. He shook him until his teeth snapped.

“Do you know where we are? Do you have any idea?” Ducky shrieked.

“Some kind of blimp? I’ve never seen one with beds, but that doesn’t mean…”

Ducky smacked him across the face.

“Ducky,” he whined in protest.

“It isn’t a blimp.” Ducky hissed. “It’s a zeppelin, and it’s not just any zeppelin. It’s the Hindenburg.”

“The one that blew up?” Eddie yipped as Ducky pushed him back into the bunk.

“Oh, you’ve heard about that, have you? Do you happen to recall the date?”

“Is this some kind of test?”

“Only of my patience.” Ducky plucked an envelope from the litter of glass and playing cards on the carpet, and flung it at Eddie.

The two zeppelin stamps were pretty cool; the stamps showing helmeted men with shields and the swastika rising behind the world, not so much. But other than that, he couldn’t see what Ducky was getting so worked up about. It was just a plain white envelope from some guy named Schrader to an address in Mexico City.

Ducky made that high-pitched steaming noise again. “It was franked on the ship,” he hissed. Look at the date.”

“May 6, 1937. So?”

white space

Read more in Hellfire Lounge 4: Reflections of Evil
(2014, Bold Venture Press and Black Cat Media)

Interior illustration for “Glass Transit” by Ed Coutts