An excerpt from Marc's romance novel, AGAIN...
"Saturday came soon enough. Richard dressed his best, shaved his closest and combed every hair. He was ready to meet the parents. On the way, he stopped off at the Reading Terminal Market and bought fresh flowers for Patricia’s mother. He also bought a few pints of Bassetts ice cream, an exclusive gift from the gods offered at the
market and a Philadelphia delicacy since 1861. It was Patricia’s favorite food on earth.
So, fully loaded to impress as best he could, Richard circled the streets around 22nd and Lombard until he finally found a legal parking space. Then he walked the three blocks to Patricia’s house and climbed the steps to the front door. Despite psyching himself out regarding previous feelings about the house, he noticed his hand
shaking nervously as he reached up to knock on the door. Within a brief moment, the door opened and there stood, not Patricia, but her mother.
“Well lookie here,” she said. “You must be Richard, the drive-by boyfriend who has finally decided to come meet the parents. And as luck would have it, it’s the mother you must face first.” Louise was all smiles. Richard smiled back.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Peterson, well worth parking the car. And not to worry, I am up for the challenge because your daughter is the wonder of my life.”
“Do come in, you’ve won round one.” Louise told him as she opened the door wider. Richard held up the flowers.
“These are for you.”
“And round two, also” Louise said as she took the flowers. By now Patricia was running up behind her mother.
“Oops, I guess I’m too late,” she said as she gave Richard a brief kiss on his cheek. “At least she hasn’t eaten you alive.”
“Yet,” said Richard.
“That’s because he came with a bribe,” Mrs. Peterson said as she showed the flowers to Patricia.
“I told you he was smart,” Patricia said.
“Hey, I got my “A” game on tonight,” Richard said as he handed an insulated bag to Patricia.
“Is this what I think it is?” she asked.
“Yep, but I get some of the French Vanilla.”
“Come in the kitchen while I put this in the freezer,” Patricia said as she took the ice cream from Richard. He followed her and as he walked through the doorway into the kitchen he froze and just stood staring throughout the room. It was the most incredible feeling he had ever had and it must have shown.
“My God, what is wrong Richard?” Patricia asked.“You look like you’ve seen a real ghost.” He didn’t respond. He kept staring with an intense look of puzzlement.
“Richard!” Patricia said, this time loudly.
“I’ve been in this room before. I can’t explain it. But I know this room. There used to be a wall there, between the door and the entrance into the parlor.”
“Parlor?” Patricia asked. “You mean the living room, don’t you? No one says parlor anymore. And besides, many of these old houses have the same floor plan so you’ve probably seen it somewhere else.”
“But he is right,” Mrs. Peterson said. “There used to be a wall there. My mother told me it was one of the first changes made to the house.”
“And just under the bottom edge of the cabinet over there.” Richard said as he pointed, “you can see where the floor is scorched. That’s where the oven used to be. And right up there, see on the wall where there’s a slight round impression under the paint? That’s where the stovepipe went out through the wall.”
By now, both Louise and Patricia were staring at Richard with concern. Richard reached over and pulled a chair out from under the table.
“This is all too much,” he said. “I have to sit down. None of this makes any sense. I don’t know how to handle it. But if ever there was déjà vu, this is it.”"
Excerpt from Marc's Suspense Mystery, DEAD LETTER...
"Adding to the difficulty of launching an assault against some of Japan’s best troops, the American effort would be hampered by miscalculations and unanticipated problems.
The tide levels expected for launch time were misjudged. The Higgins boats were not able to make it over the coral reef offshore. Consequently, many sat stranded atop the hard coral, easy targets for enemy fire. A good number of them were merely blown apart where they sat. Their troops were disgorged in the explosions, flying through the air and then landing in the shallow water beneath them.
Those aboard crafts that were not yet hit, quickly abandoned them, finding themselves in chest-high water with the weight of full gear and no protection from the horrendous shower of machine gun fire from some of the 500 Japanese pillboxes that populated the rise above the beach.
Robert peered slightly over the side of the Higgins boat and watched in horror at what was happening all around him. There were bodies everywhere, many of them floating lifelessly in the surf. Many were in pieces only. The water had turned red all around him. Most of the Marines in the boat with him were hunched over with blank stares or quivering lips that were muttering prayers and other thoughts out loud. Many were throwing up from nerves or
Years of riding out storms or heavy swells on the Chesapeake had made his body accustomed to rough seas. He was alert to everything going on around him. This was definitely not the Chesapeake. Nor was it the tranquil, scenic shore of the Corsica River. And, most certainly, it was not like looking down at the water lapping up against the dock of an old abandoned boat shed where he sat next to
a beautiful girl whose laughter he could no longer hear.
No, where he was now was unlike anything he could have
ever envisioned. This was some strange, horrific nightmare
he was in...and all of it was so far from home, and so distant
from all that he had once known and loved.
A total of 125 landing craft, Amtraks and Higgins, were
launched that day onto the beach at Tarawa. Only 35 completed their mission."