French artist Paul Farrell kills four people in Paris and walks into a hail of police fire at JFK Airport. A Russian history professor and shaman with a dark secret steals the body. Police on both sides of the Atlantic are on the case, but they each have secrets of their own. And a powerful enemy watches from the shadows, one who could destroy them all.
Possessing a quixotic fondness for difficult careers, Paula R. Stiles has driven ambulances, taught fish farming for the Peace Corps in West Africa and earned a Scottish PhD in medieval history, studying Templars and non-Christians in Spain. She is the author of upcoming dark fantasy novel, "The Mighty Quinn," co-written supernatural mystery novel, "Fraterfamilias," and non-fiction medieval history book, "Templar Convivencia: Templars and Their Associates in 12th and 13th Century Iberia." She is Editor in Chief of the Lovecraft/Mythos 'zine/micropress Innsmouth Free Press. You can find her at: http://thesnowleopard.net.
In this scene, I wanted to look at how someone trained in Siberian-style shamanism might adapt his skills to the modern world. I wanted to ground it in reality. What would he use for tools? What kind of spirits would he encounter? What would he need to do about them in going about his day? In this case, the ghost is just a distraction, but others down the line will prove more dangerous - and harder to banish.
He seemed harmless enough, albeit malevolent, but my patience was thin enough already. I didn't need that slaughterhouse reek in my face. The chill cut right through my soaking-wet army surplus jacket - my current poor excuse for a shaman's coat - making me wheeze and shake. I didn't need any more reminders that I was a sick old man right then, either. I turned my head and glared up at him. His face looked almost solid - a recent ghost. Definitely that jumper.