Create, Pitch, Sell

New Release - Lizze

Well, sort of.

LIZZE is the remake of STAY WITH ME.

Kindle : Nook : Apple : Kobo

About This Short Story
Paranormal Romance

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.

Tennessee, Mid-April

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. Terrified and injured pets hunted for their owners. Friends or relatives, huddled together in small groups, sought comfort while struggling to understand how such a horrible thing could have happened. Police officers, firefighters, and volunteers searched for the missing and the dead. Sobbing turned to wailing then to wretched screaming when a loved one was found. His next-door neighbors dug through a pile of rubble for pieces of the life they had when they woke up that morning. People came from all over the city to lend a helping hand, and to view the catastrophic damage.

No one came to console him, though. An outsider from the start of junior high, he’d never been able to rise to the challenge of trying to become popular at his new high school. He had less than two months to go until senior graduation. Now what? Start over, again, at another inner-city school? No thanks. Time to move on with his life. Who, besides his father, would even care if he became a dropout at age seventeen?

He spotted his father’s old model pickup truck, the hood crushed under the weight of an uprooted mature ash tree. Maybe he should move to another city. Far, far away.

“Daniel,” a man called out, startling him. He spun around. Saw his father’s brother wave his arm in a wide arc signaling for him to come over there.

He slung his backpack on one shoulder, shoved his hands in his pockets, lowered his head, and trudged to the curb where his uncle, Joseph Martin, a religious fanatic among other things, waited beside a shiny, midnight blue sedan with the motor humming quietly. Aunt Patricia sat in the passenger seat facing the windshield. When he drew nearer, she glanced his way and gave him a frosty welcome.

“Let’s go,” Joseph said to Daniel. “Don’t dwell on things you cannot change. Death decides who stays and who doesn’t. As for you, I’ve decided you should stay with me. For a while.”