Entanglement: Quantum and Otherwise
By John K Danenbarger
Genre: Literary Crime Fiction
About the Book
They look like the perfect family.
But every family has its secrets.
Can we ever know the people we love?
Imagine flipping through old family albums. The faces are familiar; their true stories lost to time—half-forgotten family anecdotes woven together by generations of proud aunts and kindly grandmothers conceal more than they reveal.
“Entanglement” explores the blank spaces in our family trees.
The lives of eight souls intertwine in a sprawling family history. The family story is a legacy of addiction, kidnapping, crime, and murders unresolved and unforgiven.
Enjoy this epic achievement in the experimental tradition of David Mitchell and Ian McEwan, with the darkly exotic undertones of books like Mexican Gothic and The Cutting Season.
Glacial ice. Layered. Thick. Forming after the bewildering storm in her head and creeping up her spine. The courier’s delivery from Joe Tink lies like a white patch of snow on her desk. Being alone in her office, she doesn’t have to explain to anyone why she is waiting for it to melt. But it doesn’t. Finally, with curiosity spreading like hoar-frost, she feels forced to open this unwarranted denunciatory thing in front of her. To decide if she should leave.
Your father is dead.
That’s it? She’s vexed. Almost angry. What’s with this couriered letter? He could just as easily have called her from Bangor. Always had. They were close, weren’t they? Closer than normal.
Besides, she had long hoped her father would kill himself.
But Joe wrote more. Pages and pages.
This late-September afternoon, in some sort of unfamiliar circuitous telepathy, Geena has been thinking about Joe—Pickled Tink Joe—more than usual. She was reminded of him earlier by two different women in her Kansas City office asking Geena about the fall season back in New England, presuming that she knew all about New England and its leaves.
You know, Geena, how beautiful it must be!
With Geena’s children out of the nest and her ex a near-forgotten fugitive from marriage, she had moved to a smaller apartment in Prairie Village, west of Kansas City, to live alone, but rarely feeling alone. Her two boys, or more probably their spouses, dependably call about visiting her with the grandchildren during holidays, and neighbors in the building complex drop in daily to see if she needs anything.
While early on in younger years if she had lived there in Prairie Village—if she would have had time to think—she might have found this neighborly spontaneity a bothersome lack of privacy. Now, in her fifties, she loves this place and the midwestern populace who go nowhere. No New Englander had ever seemed as outgoing and optimistic as these Kansas busybodies. And, although Geena found that the religious tethering of the Bible Belt could be a nuisance, she has several local social friends who are comfortably unbridled and who distract Geena from her shrouded pathos, often recruiting her into playing bridge on Sunday afternoons and in occasional local tournaments.
Geena would never tell any one of these people, or anyone else for that matter, how she had grown up seeing the fall season as death-and-dying. Invariably depressing. Kansas is nosy neighbors, but still, New England is the epitome of fall presenting itself in all its dispiriting glory. In New England she had thought she smelled the dying in the rotting leaves, and she had heard death’s unambiguous footsteps in Maine’s ice and snow, inwardly cringing with the sound of each bone-crushing footfall in the long, dark winters.
Or maybe not. Maybe the winters are not the reason at all. Maine reminds her, in overkill, of the past, the shivers of buried darkness, ruining sleep. Anguish, grief, agony. Words that mean nothing compared to the reality.
Thus, many years ago, when offered a full-time position after temping in Kansas City during college, she decided to continue living in Kansas, away from New England. Geena is running her own construction consulting business, her towering height underscoring her authoritative presence, both for her few employees and for her clients. She has made sure her office staff have only seen her as a stoic engineer, a just but distant boss. Thus, the arrival of Joe’s letter forces her to leave the office as if struck by a sudden illness, which is, in fact, substantially true. She has escaped—not remembering the drive home—to hide her soul in the bedroom corner with her mother’s memories, in the few things she has kept: the cushioned chair—a maudlin carver chair she would never have bought—and the dorm-room lamp, as stringent as its droll Ikea name, that her mother bought Geena years ago.
Lost in the bedroom corner to scrutinize this bewildering letter, she doesn’t remember having ever screamed before, but at the end of this letter, she has screamed. Now crying quietly, the soft reverberations of her emotional outburst, Geena feels a punishing sensation sweeping harshly over her with the intensity of a squalid wind, a punishment for all things hidden inside her.
About the Author
John was a merchant marine captain, sailing the New England coast (including round-trips to Bermuda), and now writes literary crime fiction. He spends much of his creative time in Italy with his wife.