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Patricia Flaherty Pagan

dark Fiction & Poetry 

Strange Angels-Excerpt from my “The Angels of Pont-Saint-Esprit”


Can we find magic in strange truths? This is the question I asked myself when I read about the bizarre history of villagers experiencing hallucinations following a mysterious mass-poisoning in France in 1951. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and it fired my muse to create my flash story  “The Angels of Pont-Saint-Esprit.” Enjoy an excerpt from this tale, which reviewers cite as an example of my short fiction in which young women “find their safe places and guardian spirits in externalized fairy tale worlds, and in internal manifestations of hope.”


“…Silvery lights flash and my stomach convulses. Delicate bells of lily of the valley wrap me in their sweet aroma. I am grateful. As flames crackle in the river, seraphim rise on blue-tipped wings. Their celestial voices join in a libretto of glory. I also sing. Then I ride the crescendo of sound to them. They enfold me in their wings of sky,and we soar and dip above the spreading fire.”

“Quiet, child,” my mother says.

 No, I cannot have the bread, because it is cursed. No, I cannot have the water, because it is poisoned.


Learn how this young woman embraces her inner angels, and meet other bold women and spirits in my short collection, “Enduring Spirit: Stories.” It’s available in paperback from the Spider Road Press bookstore at, on Amazon, and in select TX bookstores. You can also download it as a Kindle ebook today!

Thank you for supporting my fiction about complex women. I donate 5% of the proceeds from all of my books to charities helping individuals with PTSD.