A Paranormal Tale
Lazar shows his love of nature, mystery and the paranormal
Aaron Paul Lazar continues to share with readers his love for the blue sky, green trees and flowers, the mountains, the rushing streams, the tall trees and the other wonders of nature in his beloved northern Adirondacks. Lazar includes the natural beauty of the area in such a way that, rather than simply serving as a setting for the action in this mystery tale, it becomes a part of the story.
Three adults, one bird, and some odd characters create a mystery
We first meet Marcella, her husband Quinn, her mother Thelma, and the parakeet Ruby, their avian family member, on their way to a bird show at a luxury hotel called For The Birds, where they expect Ruby to take top show honors for “best new color.” This weekend stay at the hotel is a rare and unexpected gift from Thelma, and Marcella and Quinn, who couldn’t have afforded it themselves, have been looking forward to this trip with enthusiasm.
But things aren’t going well at the moment. It is a sweltering summer day, they are bouncing along a rutted road, over potholes and rocks in their 15-year-old Dodge Ram van with its air conditioning on the fritz, and they are in unfamiliar territory with an unreliable map. The van eventually gives up the ghost, and as they cluster in the shade of a nearby tree, wondering where help will come from, a white truck appears in the distance.
Ah, help at last. But the white truck doesn’t stop. It blows by them, leaving them coated in dust as it disappears into the distance. Thelma insists that the white truck means danger, but because her husband Raoul, Marcella’s stepfather, has recently died, Thelma has been showing signs of paranoia in recent days. Marcella, knowing her mother’s tendencies to melodrama, just ignores her fears.
When they finally arrive at For The Birds, it has been worth every dust cloud and bump and wrong turn in the road along the way. Lazar’s descriptions of the house, the bird-shaped swimming pool, the enormous glass-enclosed aviary, the fake two-story waterfall and rocks, the manmade rain forest and other delights made me want to pick up the phone and make reservations. The Inn is, according to Marcella. “. . . like a Disney scene, (with a) playful sense of elegance about the design.”
Water and electricity lead to some strange happenings
Soon our sweaty, weary travelers are settled in, and they head for the swimming pool for some relaxation, at last. Alas, Thelma, carrying Ruby in her cage, trips over a table and, pulling a string of mini-lights and Ruby along with her, tumbles into the pool. The result, not surprisingly in view of the incompatibility of electricity and water, is a sizzling, dazzling electrical eruption, and a near drowning of both Thelma and Ruby.
This incident sets the stage for much of the goings-on as the plot develops. Ruby and Thelma have shared this unexpected dunking in electrically charged water, and it soon appears that something strange has happened to each. I’ll leave it for the reader to find out what that something is and what the consequences are.
Lazar sets up a warm, believable and lovingly sensual relationship between Marcella and Quinn, which adds a tender touch to the story. At the same time, he creates some exceptional characters whose eccentricities fit the story line well.
Plot twists and turns will keep a mystery fan reading through to the end
- Unusual things happen: Mr. Tiramisu, who claims he is a “bird psychic,” turns up at the show. Why is he so interested in Ruby? And Thelma?
- Mysterious things happen: Who broke into Marcella and Quinn’s room?
- Frightening things happen: The white truck that earlier ignored them on the side of the road may be following them. Did the same white truck try to run them down in the street?
- Terrifying things happen: Thelma disappears from the hospital. Is this a kidnapping?
- Peculiar things happen: Who is Ramona? Where does a years-ago bank robbery fit in this mystery?
A good read, an entertaining, human story with paranormal touches
Finding the answers to these questions and many others makes for a good read on a cold winter afternoon. Or on a beach. Actually, it’s a fun read anywhere. All told, For the Birds is an entertaining, human story with some mysterious and paranormal touches. Readers can count on Lazar for something a little different, each time.
I recommend For the Birds.