Story Pieces: Eyes of Fear

The dirt clogged Jacob’s throat like landslides blocked streams. He’d been riding through the desert for what seemed like months. All because of one woman, and he didn’t even know Miss Elder’s first name. He’d last seen her as bandits carried her away. She and Jacob the only two breathing members of their wagon train bound for the Mississippi River area. He’d been shot. She kidnapped by a long-haired single-toothed varmint of a scoundrel.

The fear in her eyes would haunt him until the day he died. He had to find her. He’d been a boy when he started this quest. The trail and the outlaws since  had hardened him into a man. A man who would complete his quest or die.

 

Story Pieces are pieces of stories under development. If you’d like to see more, reply to this post or on Twitter or Facebook.

Story Pieces: The Maars House

Every time I descend this hill, I’m amazed by the beauty before me. A curtain of trees stretches as far as my eyes can see. And then I wonder what it looked like to my ancestors. The people responsible for my creation. The settlers who donated their genes.

Admittedly, this particular hill wasn’t here. It’s man-made to accommodate modern transportation. The pioneers who came to this valley didn’t need one more hill to climb with horse and Conestoga wagon, they’d faced enough obstacles. Why create more?That’s the thing with people. We make advances but then place obstacles in our way under the guise of efficiency. Really, quite crazy, but we are who we are. Changing isn’t easy.

I was here for a reason other than to admire the view. Seemed like I did that too much in life. The view got obscured by the work. And the work was always there. Today, I was here to interview the residents of The Maars house for my magazine “Haunted and Happy.” As you probably guessed, it’s a magazine about people who live and work in haunted homes and buildings.

Every time I walk into a Haunted Home, I expect to find Gomez and Morticia. But I’ve yet to meet them. Most families who live in haunted homes are really quite normal people. If there is anything such as normal in the world anymore. One wonders.

Anyway, as I turned onto the slightly wider than a cowpath Maars road my pulse reeved in anticipation. Even though I worked in a haunted building for several years, I’d never actually seen a ghost that I knew was a ghost. I’ve heard and seen an angel a time or two, but never actually seen a ghost. With each house that I came to, I hoped that this time would be the time. This time I’d actually see the ghost.

If Maars road was slightly wider than a cowpath, the Maars’ driveway was slightly narrower than a cow path. Willow trees on each side provided a covered path to beckon me forward. These trees would be a great place for Ghosts to hid. I watched way too much Scooby-Doo as a child. My mind wild with creepy things that could jump out of the trees and attack my car.

Someone asked me once, why I did what I did.

How could I not? I was a thrill seeker of the paranormal kind.

I was hoping for the Psycho House. What I found was a Civil War era farmhouse exquisitely maintained.

Darn.

Oh, well. Gomez could still be inside.

I rapped on double mahogany doors with a brass knocker. Very Ghost-house like, and a man short with wire-rimmed glasses and balding black hair met me at the door. Okay, so Gomez he was not. More like works out of his basement accountant before computers, he was.

Once in the door, he escorted me to a grand room with a white carved mantle over an expansive fireplace. A low fire burned. I turned to admire the flames and there in the fire was his wife. Based on the mantle photos.

Story Pieces are just that. Pieces of stories sometimes off the cuff and sometimes from writing exercises that are waiting to be developed. If you’d like to read more, please let me know.

Story pieces: Zebra in my Window

It was Saturday night, and I was once again at home alone, curled on the couch watching Blue Bloods reruns. Tom Selleck will always be one heck of a sexy guy. I looked out my window facing Lake Michigan, and there was a Zebra starring at me. I rubbed my eyes and looked again. Zebra still there. I checked the bottle I drank from, Diet Sunkist. The liquid inside was the customary orange. I sniffed. Smelled like Diet Sunkist always smelled. Not that I had ever really thought about smelling the soda, but if it smelled different, I would have noticed. Okay, so chances were pretty good I wasn’t drunk.  I’d been drinking the same beverage all night.

A bumping noise came from the window. Zebra nose connected in a rhythmic pattern with my window. It wanted me to come outside, at least, I thought so.

Are Zebra’s dangerous? This had to be somebody’s pet. Right? Michigan didn’t grow wild Zebras. Here they lived on game preserves and in zoos. Perhaps he was in trouble and sensed I would help. I pulled on my boots, opened the door, and stepped into sixty-degree spring air. A half moon lite the deck of my cottage compliments of Mrs. E.G. Warnhome while I wrote the story of her life.

No Zebra on the deck. As quietly as I could in rubber boots on week-old wood-grain plastic decking, I snuck around to the east window. No Zebra face, but about twenty feet down the private bluff I spied what I assumed was a Zebra’s behind and next to it a lion’s tail.

Was this the end? Was I being summoned to the next ark? Should I grab my purse? What does one take on the final voyage?

 

Story Pieces are pieces of story ideas floating in my head but are not yet developed. They will appear every few days. If you’d like to read more, please comment.