Red Shoes (an excerpt from The Ghosts of Nagasaki)

I take myself to the middle of the park where the families and couples are starting to make their way back to their cars and homes. I stop near the entrance of the park and find myself waiting for something. A superreal something tells me that this is the right thing to do.

Before long, the flow of people coming down the park steps thickens. They finish their packed dinners, tell their kids they can have one more go on the swings, and then they’re walking down the steps toward me. It’s only a matter of time before I see them.

Red shoes.

Their logic, simple and superreal, makes it that much easier for me to follow. A pair of high heels at first, some sneakers there, a pair of red sandals of all things. One person, one pair of red shoes, and I follow them until the voice in my head says stop. Then I follow another. Red shoes to red shoes. Red shoes stop, and I wait for another pair to come along. This is stupid, the voice of reason tells me. This randomness will get you nowhere but lost. But my better self knows that really lost is better than simply lost and that if a vision could take me here—to a place as vague and surreal as Nagasaki―it must have greater plans for me.

You can read the full excerpt here:–novel-excerpt-3–red-shoes

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