Paradise by the Dashboard Lights Chapter 1: Feckless Eric

The stories that stand out to people tend to be the ones that are full of twists, turns, death, and pain. When you read a novel, it’s easy to start seeing a character’s life as one long, unending ride of pain, horror, and knowledge-steeped monologue. But life is more complicated than that. Life is full of interminable stretches of just getting by. Talking just to talk, boring walks, mindless activities, cases that don’t have any huge significance. Not every case I take ends with me getting threatened with a brutal and sudden death.

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Chapter 18: This Too Shall Pass

A secretary, a paralegal and a partner in a city law firm are walking through a park on their way to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke. The Genie says, “I usually only grant three wishes, so I’ll give each of you just one.”
“Me first! Me first!” says the secretary. “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.”
Poof! She’s gone.
“Me next! Me next!” says the paralegal. “I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of pina coladas and the love of my life.”
Poof! He’s gone.
“You’re next,” the Genie says to the partner.
The partner says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”

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Chapter 17: Sunrise

The court went silent. The aura around Hun-Came was cold, even on this frigid night. The grass around her grew frosty, crystallizing. She was tall, imperious, and her arms folded around herself. A leathery robe hung around her body, attached to her arms, almost like a pair of wings. She lifted her head, her abnormally long ears almost elfin, her eyes glittering black in the night. She took a slow, deep breath. She was hovering nearly an inch off the ground, and the trees were faintly visible through her body. Lady Ann Willing stood immediately, her eyes narrowed. “Lies. A trick! This is an illusion, not-”

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Chapter 16: Hun-Came Appears

I groaned. My mouth was dry as sawdust. My skull was pounding. The funny thing is, I’ve almost never had a hangover that really made me feel wretched. This is at least partially because growing up, I would often wake up severely dehydrated. The experience of waking up, tongue like a piece of leather, head aching, body numb, is one that I went through on a regular basis. Having it induced by alcohol, rather than dry air, was not a major change. So I did what I always did, and groped for water by the side of my bed. My palm brushed the tabletop, and pain lanced through it, forcing my eyes open.

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