Thursday, August 9, 2012

Teaser ALERT!

My ghost story collection is almost ready. I'm just tweaking a few of the ghosts.

Here's an excerpt from one of the stories:

The Satchel

The rain had been falling since the early morning hours. Night was finally there but the rain continued falling harder and harder. In the distance thunder rumbled. Lightening flickered and stretched out its spidery fingers in an answer to the deep roar.

Richard Harris looked up at the sky. He knew he had to hurry if he wanted to get across the bridge before the waters of the growing river covered it. He clasped the well-worn satchel to his chest and hurried along.

“Who do they think they are?” He questioned the wind whipping around him. “Do they really think they will get my gold? It’s mine! Mine! Mine!” he screamed at the top of his lungs.

Several times Richard stumbled and fell. Each time he got up a little slower. Fatigue plagued him.

“Harris! Harris, where are you?” The wind carried the faint voice through the trees.

Richard Harris grabbed at the limb in front of him. Staggering slightly, he ran blindly through the forest toward the river.

“Where can that old man be?” asked the voice. No one answered it.  “Harris!” it called again.

It was getting harder and harder for Richard to breathe. The pain in his chest surged through his body with each step he took. Still he clutched the satchel as if it meant more to him than life itself.

“You can’t have it!” he again screamed. The rain lashed at him. “It’s mine! All mine!” He challenged the elements that mocked him.

Richard Harris gasped for breath. The pain in his chest was unbearable, but the river was near, and he had to get across.

He took a couple of unsteady steps forward and suddenly slumped against an old mesquite tree. He could no longer ignore the pain. It was too great. Clutching his chest and gasping for breath, Richard tried to crawl toward the river, but never reached his destination. Under the old mesquite tree in the dark of night, Richard Harris died, still clutching the worn leather satchel to his chest.

Just before dawn the storm broke. The first rays of sunshine filtered through the treetops, casting a golden glow over everything they touched. The swollen river gurgled and churned over its banks. It completely covered the lower section of the bridge. Only the top railings poked out of the wildly churning waters.

“I wonder how much of the bank washed away from the bridge?” asked a deep and gruff voice.

“Doubt we’ll see very much,” said a second voice that was just a little higher pitched.

“Hey, Jimmy, don’t get too close to that there water,” warned the deep, gruff voice.

“I know what I’m doing,” replied Jimmy.

“That bank’s awfully soggy. The ground’s likely to give way and take you with it.”

“Frank, you’re an old fool,” commented Jimmy as he took a couple of steps backward.

“Not much to see out here.” Frank scratched his head. He scanned the area, taking note of the destruction caused by the rains and the flood waters.

“We had better be getting back. Can’t do much here until the waters go down.” Jimmy turned to go back the way they had come.

“Yeah, you’re right,” mumbled Frank. “It’s just that I—” He abruptly stopped talking.

Jimmy turned back to his companion. “What’s wrong?” he asked.