Murder or a Duck Published

Time travel. Afternoon tea. Scandal. My new story, “Murder or a Duck,” is up at Escape Pod.

Snippet:

The convergence point, for once, was clear. To discover Mrs. Lane’s intentions, she only needed to determine if the park on Stanton Street still existed. If the park was there, murder. If not, the duck.

Read or listen to the rest here.

Many thanks to Amy H. Sturgis for her wonderful narration and Alasdair Stuart for the thoughtful comments at the end of the podcast.

I thought up this story because I’d forgotten to bring a book along while visiting some relatives. While everyone else was engaged, I started building what would become “Murder or a Duck.” I didn’t think I was going to write it, but then bits of the plot kept slotting into place, until it was churning along like a many-geared machine.

As for the duck…

I’m always surprised by the things from my past that find their way into my writing. For “Murder or a Duck,” I suspect some of the inspiration came from a game I used to play with my friends. It goes something like this:

“Would you like to buy a duck?” says Player One.

“A what?” says Player Two

“A duck.”

“Does it quack?”

“Of course it quacks.”

The game continues when the second player asks the next person in line if she’d like to buy a duck.

The best part about this game is that, as more players are added, the response goes down the line. Soon, the game sounds like this:

“Would you like to buy a duck?”

“A what?”

“A what?”

“A what?”

“A duck.”

“A duck.”

“A duck.”

I have many fond memories of playing “Would You Like to Buy a Duck.” Hours of amusement! This probably says a lot about me and my life choices. Hope you enjoy the story!