Nagler’s Secret: ‘These kids are like water, Frank’

Anna is the teen-age daughter of Leonard and Calista, Her story is central to the mystery of NAGLER’S SECRET, the work in progress Book 6 of the Frank Nagler Mysteries, published by Imzadi Publishing.

Here is part of her story:

“Destiny stood and walked toward center state, brushing her left hand through the dusty layer.

“I was like her, fighting for and against everything. Didn’t want anyone to love  me or care for me because it was weight I didn’t need to carry.” She turned back. “Kids like Anna are like water, Frank, finding some safe level to filter through, to change form, freeze, dissolve, evaporate and condense elsewhere.” She sat again, on the bottom step. “And I think she’s been in contact with that missing kid, Oscar.”

Nagler nodded. “Had a feeling, but with other kids dying…”

“But you never asked, did you?”  Anna’s shrill voice sliced the stiff air.

Anna entered the rear of the stage and dropped the plastic paint sample jars on the floor. They rolled with a soft echo across the wooden floor.

“Anna, I…” Frank began.

Density stood. “Hey, kid.”

“You never asked,” Anna yelled. “I’m just a kid. Don’t know nothin’. You just want us to tell. Never asked.”

Anna began to corral the plastic jars across the floor as  she walked in a wide circle edge to edge, tapping them soccer-style. “I was there, in the woods, in the trunk of a car,  slamming along a road, holding some kid who was bleeding.”

She kicked the jars in a tighter circle.

Nagler and Destiny were transfixed. He shook his head once when she motioned with her eyes about intervening.

“You glue our photos on the walls and billboards. Missing, the headlines  shout. Missing. Missing!  We are dying. Needles in our arms. Someone’s dick up our ass. Dying.”

Still kicking, circling.

“Standing on a road in god knows where Nebraska in the rain, sleeping under a bridge, calling for you. But it’s a whisper and you can’t hear us because you are talking, talking, talking all the time about how important it is to find us.”

Kicking, circling. A thumping dance step.

“Talking. Try looking, god dammit. You know where. Follow the greed, the indifference. Follow the fat cats in their shining limos as if their money will turn us up.”

Kicking, circling, smaller tighter, center stage, side stepping, tapping, corralling.

“We’re on the corner of Blackwell, Frank. In the dark with our pants unzipped. In the wrecked train cars, the stoveworks, sleeping with the rats. We splash our boots in rain, toss stones at windows to tell you we are here. But you don’t hear because you are talking about how important it is to find up. How you hope we are in good shape. How you’ll round up a search party, call out the dogs and the National Guard, pass out our picture at the bus station. But we’re not at the bus station. Never was. Never will be.”

Anna kneeled on the floor, and rounded up the paint jars with her hands.

“We are here, all together. Right in front of you and you don’t see us.”

She began to stack the jars.

“Here’s magenta and olive. Rozella with her striped hair and Gloria with her shining olive skin.”

Two more jars.

“And winter white, weathered tan. Sandy so pale like the light had never touched his skin and Jamika, the color of caramel. ”

Two more jars. She smoothed the sides of her tower.

“Glamorous green, the color of your eyes, gorgeous Georjean.”

She smiled and fluttered her eyelids.

“And sunset purple, dusky Danielle, hair streaked. The end of the day, deep, dark, then darker.” She held up the last jar. “Finally, black.” A whisper, heard  clearly because she had sucked the air out of the room. “This is us. Dying.”

She covered her face with her hands and into them said. “Dying.”


No one moved.

Anna stood and kicked over her stack of jars.

“Hi, Uncle Frank,” she said. “I always wanted be on the stage. I’m glad you were here to see that.”

Find the award winning Frank Nagler mysteries here:

Dragony: Dragony Rising: A Frank Nagler Novel – Book 5: 9781944653231: Daigle, Michael Stephen: Books

Dragony Rising: A Frank Nagler Novel – Book 5 by Michael Stephen Daigle, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (

About michaelstephendaigle

I have been writing most of my life. I am the author of the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series. "The Swamps of Jersey (2014); "A Game Called Dead" (2016) -- a Runner-Up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Author Contest; and "The Weight of Living" (2017) -- First Place winner for Mysteries in the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards Contest.
This entry was posted in Bergen County Cooperative Library System, Fiction, Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group, Hackettstown Public Library, Hot in Hunterdon Georjean Trinkle,, Imzadi Publishing LLC, Michael Stephen Daigle, Mystery Writers of America, New Jersey, Paramus Public Library, Parsippany Public Library, and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply