Fair warning: “Parallel Play,” from the anthology Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning, isn’t a holiday story at all, but I hope readers might still enjoy a little seasonal present of free reading—a story that my wife Tara has said may be the best thing I’ve ever written.
I’m not sure whether she’s right, but it’s sure nice feedback—as was this review from a more objective source: Kristopher Zgorski at BOLO Books:
Art Taylor has won practically every award possible for his short stories and he might want to rearrange his shelves to make way for another statue for this story. Taylor once again excels at delving into the mind of his female protagonist. But this time, Art has also crafted a particularly devious and evil villain. This tension filled story of a mother who will go to any lengths to protect her child unfolds like a mini-movie on the page – both touching and terrifying.
In any case, hope you might enjoy reading the story below on one of these cold winter nights—and in the meantime, happy holidays to all!