Monday, April 29, 2013

Goose Creek - Chapter 1

Rinsing curly hairs off a bar of soap, nineteen-year-old Dare Harriman screwed up his face—nasty. Just my luck to be the last one in the shower, he thought.

Penny insisted her men be clean and smell good or they couldn’t touch her. House rules. Shutting off the spigot, Dare jumped when a crack of lightning killed the power. “Scared the crap out of me,” he muttered to himself, groping in the dark for the shower curtain and pulling it aside.

Wrapping a towel around his waist, he called, “Hey, Penny, you got a flashlight or candles?”

He waited. No answer. “Come on guys. Somebody answer me.”

With the next boom an old black and white movie of a woman screaming in a shower flashed in his mind. Aware of his involuntary shudder, he chuckled at himself. What’s the name of that old movie? Weirdo or something like that. He chuckled again.

Finding the wall with his hand, Dare followed it to Penny’s room and rapped his knuckles on the door. “James, come on man, not funny. Say something.”

“Okay, I’m coming in, so you guys better not be doing it.” Awkward.

He found the knob and cracked the door. Hit by the odor of Penny’s drug store perfume melding with a nursing home diaper stink, Dare wrinkled his nose. What the hell? Something wasn’t right. His skin prickled.

Tilting his head Dare listened with his good ear. Nothingness except the storm raging outside. Goose bumps raised the hairs on his arms.

“James. Penny. Hey!”

Blind, Dare shuffled forward with arms outstretched. Memory guided him through the dark room toward the bed. Tripping over something large on the floor, he fell, grazing his head on the footboard. “Ow!” Warm, sticky wet coated his fingertips when he touched his brow.

Crawling, his towel untucked and fell away. He nudged a leg.  His breath hitched. Running a hand over the smooth limb, Dare knew it wasn’t James. Not hairy. Exploring further, his fingers sank into mush. The stench gagged him.

The power snapped on, restoring the light beside the bed.

Dare jerked his hand from the leg. Penny lay in front of him, splotched crimson decorating her breast, splattered and trickling onto the floor like a three dimensional drip painting. Eyes half closed, she stared upward, unblinking. Scrambling to stand, unable to look away, he backed into the door jamb. Retching, he stumbled from the room.

Slinging open the front door, smearing his blood and remnants of Penny’s last worldly excrement on the knob, Dare stepped out naked on the screened porch, chest heaving, quaffing in fresh air, he scanned the shimmering ebony of night rain. The unlatched wooden screened door flapped once, banging shut and blowing open again. He jumped. “James!”............

Available on Amazon Kindle Books

Starts off with a Bang! Goose Creek is an exceptional story examining the bane of bullying and the intricacies of male friendship, prejudice & pity. It is a story of small town lives with big town secrets and lies. The authors' knowledge of antiques and all things 'fine', his descriptive flair, and the conveyance of characters and relationships - both cutting and kind - are so real and satisfying as to paint pictures in your head that make you think 'I know these people, don't I? Great story of Family Honor and Redemption! B. Bales, April 23, 2013

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