Hi everyone, and thanks for dropping back into campbellsworld this evening.
As we come to the end of WordPress Wednesday, I’ve got something I’d like to share with you.
One scorcher of an evening around first of July I was out on a walk with Campbell. I’d had snatches of a story rolling round all day long in my head and as we headed toward home, with the roar of the factory a stone’s throw away echoing in the distance, the heat of the day baking off the sidewalk under our feet, and the humidity clinging to us as if it were made of a thin coating of plastic wrap, the whole thing just clicked into place.
Now, there are some I’m sure who will think I should keep this all to myself, finish it to its completion and either self-publish or try to sell it to a publisher, but I’ve got a real aching in my storytelling bones to just have some fun. I’ve only got the first three chapters written and I plan to write the rest as I go along.
Today I’m only sharing the first chapter, and from here on out each week at the end of WordPress Wednesday I’ll share another.
Just to get all the disclaimer junk out of the way up front, none of the places, people, or events told of in this story are real. I’m just writing from what I know.
OK. Before I lose my nerve, here we go…
ABOUT THE BOOK…
Blending Adventure, mystery, supernatural, Romance, and Suspense, author Patty L. Fletcher weaves a tale of fiction, all readers are sure to enjoy.
James Landing Tennessee was a peaceful little town just trying to keep up with its neighbors, which seemed to always be growing by leaps and bounds around it. Then one day Roy Dingus took over Friedman chemicals, a lady of unknown origin known only as Miss Mazie bought the old house on the outskirts of town and as the heat of August blazed with no end in sight, what was once a city with no promise came to life.
Follow the adventures of three small-town boys, Joe, Ronnie, and Jake, and their newfound friend Billy Ray as they try to unravel the mystery that surrounds the newcomers and all the strange goings on before James Landing is no more.
BY: PATTY L. FLETCHER
CHAPTER ONE: JOE’S WARNING
The Mid-August sun sank slowly toward the horizon like a hot molten ball of liquid fire. Sweat continuously ran into his eyes, and the wind scorched his face as if it came from the pits of hell itself.
“Why in blue blazes did I ever think this door to door salesmen job was such a great idea anyhow?” Billy Ray grumbled to himself as he trudged slowly up the graveled road toward the old dilapidated looking house at the end of the lane. “Anyone living in a house like that probably don’t have the money to buy a set.” He thought out loud, but he had to try, now more than ever to sell a case of bibles before end of the day. His worn-out station wagon had broken down a mile or two back and he had to have the money to have that old redneck mechanic he’d talked to at the gas station come out and see if he could fix the blasted thing. If he couldn’t do anything for it, he’d have to have it towed.
“WAHOO! WEE!” The three blond haired dirt streaked boys shouted as they came barreling out of the woods to his left. Billy Ray jumped back in surprise, dropping his satchel full of bibles as he did, and the boys stopped dead in their tracks at the sight of him.
“S…S…Sorry sir.” the biggest of the three stammered. “Didn’t know you was there. We didn’t mean no harm. Just havin’ a little fun is all.”
Billy Ray took a breath to steady himself and wiping the sweat from his face he said, “Ah, it’s alright. You just startled me. It’s not been so long ago since I was a young pup runnin’ through the woods with my friends like a bunch of wild Indians.”
The boy who had spoken stood looking at the salesman with mischievous curious green eyes for a moment then asked, “Where ya headed anyhow, if ya don’t mind my askin’.”
“Out to that old house there at the end of the lane.” Billy ray answered, pointing a finger in the direction of the old house, that looked like a good puff of wind would blow it down. “Last house marked on my route for the day.”
“Ah, I wouldn’t if I’s you sir. Miss Mazie aint likely to buy one of them bibles from ya, let alone a whole case.”
The other boys who had gathered around the spokesman for the group giggled shyly behind their hands.
“Don’t think so?” Billy Ray asked dejectedly. “Why not? Don’t she go to church like most other folks in town?”
“Nah. She’s a strange lady to be sure mister.” The middle-sized boy observed. “Keeps to herself, and don’t hardly talk to nobody when she comes to town to buy supplies. Says she’s gonna fix up that old house this year, but it’s middle of summer already and she aint done a thing about it yet. She keeps a big black brute of a dog out there with her too, and while I aint never heard of old Bubba biting anyone, it’s a safe bet he might if she told him too.”
Billy Ray sighed. “Well, I’ve got to try. Damned old car broke down a mile or so back and I got to get it looked at.
“Well, good luck.” The spokesman for the group who looked to be about 13 or so said. “if it was me, I’d charge the bill to Uncle Harvey and move on. Some say Miss Mazie’s a witch. Say if she don’t like ya and don’t want ya on her place, she’s just liable to turn the demons loose on ya.”
“Ah now. TSK…TSK… a smart boy such as yourself don’t believe such nonsense, do you?” Billy Ray chuckled as he picked up his satchel of bibles and made to head out again.
“Sir.” The oldest boy said urgently, grabbing Billy Ray’s sleeve. “I don’t know what I believe and what I don’t. All I know is that strange things been happening since Miss Mazie came here in the middle of spring and I wouldn’t go out there if I was you.”
“I’ll use the upmost caution.” Billy Ray said with a smile as he began walking again. “I’ll see you round boys. Maybe at the Friedman Chemicals Company ice cream supper tomorrow. Saw a sign for it at the gas station when I was talking to the mechanic while I was filling up. Did you say he was your uncle?”
“Nah, he aint’ nobody’s uncle that I know of, just a nice old man the town took in long time ago. See ya round, and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Momma says we’re supposed to show kindness to strangers.”
Billy Ray stopped and turned around, leveling his gaze on the boy. “Don’t that include your Miss Mazie?”
The big boy lowered his head and dug a hole in the gravel with his dirty bare toe, “Well, yeah, I suppose so, but I aint’ got to get the hounds of hell set on me in the process.”
“Well, thanks for the tip. I’ll keep it in mind. By the way? What’s your names?”
“Oh! Excuse our manners sir.” The boy said looking up his strawberry blond hair falling into his eyes, and a flush of embarrassment reddening his cheeks. “I’m Joe, the middle-man here’s Ronnie, and the runt of the pack is Jake.”
“I aint no runt!” The smallest of the three shouted squaring his shoulders and turning to Joe with his grimy hands balled into fists.
“Ah, heck Jake, I’m just messin’ with ya. Don’t get your fur up.” Joe said ruffling Jake’s dark blond hair and brushing a leaf off his chubby freckled face.
Billy Ray laughed. “Yawl sound like brothers. It’s nice to meet you, and you can call me Billy Ray. My daddy was sir.”
“We are brothers.” Joe answered. “I’m 12, fixin’ to turn 13, Ronnie’s 10, and Jake, who aint’ a runt is 8, and It’s nice to meet you too Billy Ray. See ya round.”
“Turned on your southern talk just a bit thick didn’t you Joe?” Ronnie laughed as they walked away. “Shush. He’ll hear you.” “Yeah, and momma’ll switch you if she hears you going on with that junk.” Jake warned. “Whatever. He ought not go out there.” Joe hissed.”
Billy Ray stood watching the three boys as they walked off together, grouped into a tight little knot whispering to one another as they went. Laughing to himself he turned and started again toward the house. “That Joe’s a jokester if I ever saw one. A lot more educated too, I’m sure.” Billy Ray observed. “Well, if nothing else, maybe Miss Mazie will offer me a glass of iced tea or lemonade. Hotter than all hell out here.”
Just as he stepped from the heat baked road into the dooryard a huge black dog slowly raised itself up out from underneath an overgrown bush and lumbering purposefully toward Billy Ray began to growl and show his teeth. “Well, you must be Bubba.”
“That’s right.” A gruff woman’s voice called from somewhere ahead in the shadows, and just who might you be?”
TO BE CONTINUED…
Well, thanks for joining us here on this WordPress Wednesday and do come back next week for another great day filled with posts from all my totally talented Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing family clients and to read more of my summer’s tale.
If you enjoyed this post, please do comment to let me know and if you like you’re welcome to give a share.
JUST A BIT ABOUT ME…
ABOUT PATTY L. FLETCHER
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer and Social Media Promotional Assistant.
She is the owner and creator of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing (Author, Blogger, Business Assist), and is the published author of two books, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, and Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye.
She can also be found in two anthologies which are, December Awethology Light
And A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales
For more details visit: