A woman is left homeless after a fire destroys her apartment building. At the same time, a severe thunderstorm warning is issued. Trying to get out of the city at night in a downpour while caught in heavy traffic she makes a wrong turn. Evelyn finds a farmhouse by accident. About to knock and ask directions, the door creaks open.
The old dark house stood alone on the right side of a dirt road. Power lines came down when severe thunderstorms tore through southern Louisiana earlier in the day. She got a flashlight from the trunk of her car, and climbed the steps to the wraparound porch. A cool breeze rippled her T-shirt. Lightning cast her elongated shadow onto the door. About to knock and ask directions, the door creaked open. Evelyn backed up. A wind gust whipped her long hair in a frenzy. She took a deep breath and quickly exhaled.
“Hello?” she called out in a soft tone, nudging the door open wider with the flashlight.
Standing in the foyer at the foot of the stairs, she cast the beam high and low. On her left was the living room. A hallway separated it from the stairs. She poked her head through the doorless entrance long enough to see that the room was large and partially furnished. The light threw a shadow on a cheap seascape hanging off-kilter on the wall. There are no other doors in the living room. No reason whatsoever to set foot in the unwelcoming space.
A slow and deliberate inspection of the first floor revealed no one lives there anymore.
Following the untimely death of his parents, Daniel, a teenage outcast, reluctantly moves into his uncle’s home in the country where he’s left feeling even more friendless and isolated.
He discovers a lonely girl is haunting the old mansion when he sees her standing at the outside entrance to the cellar. Her name is Lizze, she tells him, and this is where she stood the night she was murdered in 1897 on her seventeenth birthday. Daniel’s great grandfather shot her because he had reason to believe his wife was about to find out he’d been having an affair with her servant. Lizze’s body was hidden in the cellar and then forgotten.
Daniel and Lizze become fast friends. By year’s end they are deeply in love. When he turns eighteen, his uncle orders him to go out and seek his own fortune. Torn between two worlds, a foiled robbery attempt changes Daniel’s life forever.
The paramedics had taken his parents to the morgue long before he stepped off the high school bus. Severe weather warning sirens echoed hollowly as they wound down. The rain had stopped but a new round of lightning raised fears of another bad storm on the horizon. Daniel walked close to the remains of his home, the roof and walls scattered about like a high-speed fan had hit a house of cards. A fierce and devastating EF-5 tornado had made a direct hit on the low-income neighborhood and completely flattened it.
He stopped and looked around, his vision blurred by heavy tears. On the ground a couple of feet beyond where the front door once stood was his father’s favorite baseball cap. He picked it up. Swallowed the lump in his throat. Unzipped his backpack, and put the cap inside.
The sounds of pain and misery were all around him.
A woman is left homeless after a fire destroys her apartment building. At the same time, a severe thunderstorm warning is issued. Trying to get out of the city at night in a downpour while caught in heavy traffic she makes a wrong turn.
Evelyn finds a farmhouse by accident. About to knock and ask directions, the door screeches open.
I've updated most of my book covers, and added an excerpt of Bad Mojo: The Complete Series (or something else) to the end of every story.
Changed the titles of two short stories: Bonnie Parker Smile is now Bonnie and Claude. Stay With Me will be Madden Manor (haven't uploaded this one yet). Gar has a new look, too (not uploaded yet). The covers will remain the same for The Plot and Night of the Dark.