Spirits occupy a seaside inn, technology invades a marriage, troubled voices rise from an airliner graveyard, and an atheist is hijacked to Heaven. “One Before Bedtime” gathers a captivating collection of original short stories for young adults, and everyone older—sweeping together Gothic tales, dark mystery, and fantasy, with humor. These accounts offer satisfying reading to everyone for, as author N.S. Johnson has written, “The extraordinary and inexplicable occurs at least once to each of us.”
(to the memory of Ray Bradbury)
Blooming June. Morrisville rejoices in summer’s flower; schools
closing, family picnics in the park, canoeing on the Nashoba River,
swimming at Blake’s Pond, gathering blueberries in the south woods
and, in a month, the much-anticipated Morrisville 4th of July
festivities. This week, besides anticipated vacations, shorts and
short-sleeves, boating and bathing suits, beach balls and barbeques,
something else—something extraordinary—has the village all stirred
All week, they’ve been gossiping and texting about him— that man who
came to town last Sunday morning in a loudly-painted gypsy van—the one
who drove right up Main Street, then moved in and took ownership of
Ben’s Village Antiques. Old Ben died a year ago, his shop shut and
Who is Silas Keebler, this lanky, pale man with the black,
slicked-back hair and enormous, peering brown eyes and sporting
old-world garb, and whyhas he come to Morrisville?
Three women nattered over coffee and muffins in Popovers after their
morning jog. "Been over to Ben's since the new owner moved in?” Connie
Brooks, heavily into her forties, was madly curious. “Maybe we should
take a peek.”
Kim Anderson, early thirties, drummed her fingers on the table.
“Creeps me out—that weird face staring through the shop window. I
hear the whole place is infested with cobwebs.”
Joan Finney, the youngest, leaned forward, as if to reveal a secret.
“Perhaps he’s from outer-space—come to spy before they land.”
Connie set down her mug. “Before who lands?”
“The aliens, of course.” Joan whispered.
Kim jumped. “What?”
Joan narrowed her eyes and pointed her finger upwards, hummed the theme
from The Twilight Zone, and then they all laughed.
Excerpted from "One Before Bedtime" by N.S. Johnson. Copyright © 2015 by N.S. Johnson. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.