Beat the heat this weekend with the chills of this short fiction/horror story...
Free on Amazon July 4th-7th (Kindle Exclusive)
Forrest County Sherriff’s Deputy Matthew Burroughs is having a bad day. First there was the cold winter weather, then a car accident on an icy bridge, and finally a routine stop to investigate a claim of neglected children. At an abandoned farm house in the middle of nowhere he finds a little girl and boy, and ends up dealing with far more than he ever expected.
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“He was born in Nuremberg in sixteen thirty-two.” The boy stopped putting clothes in his bag and looked at Matthew. “Can you even imagine what that must have been like, Deputy? Like a fairytale land. Like something out of a Terry Brooks story.”
“Keep packing. That was the deal,” Matthew said, pointing back at the large plastic bag. The boy sighed and turned, but kept his eyes on Matthew for a moment longer.
“His parents weren’t royal, but they weren’t poor either,” the boy continued, ignoring Matthew’s persistence. “They were educated for their time, with enough money to travel. You know, just to travel. But on a trip, when he was twelve, his parents got themselves caught up in the English Civil War.”
The boy was picking up each article of threadbare clothing from piles in the corner, to hold them out in front of him, and then gently refold them before placing them in the bag just so. He was stalling, and Matthew knew it. He was probably just biding his time, waiting for just the right moment to make a run for it. Matthew wasn’t going to let that happen. Not on his watch, not in this weather, and most certainly not with Holly waiting on him.
“They were killed -- his parents I mean. They were killed, right before his thirteenth birthday, and he was ferried off to what he was told would be the ‘safety of London’ in sixteen forty-five. He was put in an orphan’s home, but an ambitious woman sold him to a blacksmith for the price of a pair of boots. He was the blacksmith’s slave for almost a year before he escaped, only to be gathered up as a ‘ne’er-do-well,’ and shipped to the colonies to be a bound servant.”
“I’m going to check on…her. Is she your sister?”
“Yes, she is. But not in a way you’d understand.”
Matthew did his best to look sympathetic. This kid still saw children and adults as being in an ‘us versus them’ situation. “Hey, I was a kid once, too. I know you don’t think grown-ups understand you, and what you’re going through. I’m not your enemy though. I’m here to help.”
Shaking his head slowly, he replied, “You really don’t get it, Deputy.”
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