As per usual, things have been pretty busy in the Olson household. Boyo is currently out on summer break, but not for long! The extended school year program starts in a week and a half, and while it’s not as long or as frequent as his normal preschool, it should help keep him busy. John will be starting work soon, and our lease on our current apartment will be ending soon. We were hoping that we would be in a house by then, but it looks like we’ll have to remain in an apartment for a bit longer. Whether that will be here at this place, or at another complex we have our eye on is up in the air until we get our renewal notice.
At least most of our stuff is still packed.
I have managed to get a bit of writing done lately. It’s not much, but it’s something! I’ve also tweaked the cover for Revenants – which I’ll be sharing next week in celebration of my birthday.
But it’s Wednesday so that means it’s….
This week I’ll be sharing another snippet from the next installation of The Undying Ones – Elusion.
Since today is June 27th, here are nine paragraphs featuring Liam. He’s gone into the woods to see if he can find any sign of where Mattie was staying, and he’s run across an old family friend. As always, it’s a rough first draft, so please forgive any spelling errors or other mistakes.
They finally reached the safety of the Hunter’s camp. A bit of thin twine was strung around the camp with small twigs, stones, and bones hanging from it at regular intervals. Liam’s horse almost tripped over it, and set the trap into a cacophony of sound. The horse, relieved to finally be so far away from the clearing with the cave, snorted at the noise and wrinkled his nose. He dug in his hooves and refused to go one step further. So Liam hobbled him and left him to pick at the sparse grass nearby.
Inside the circle of twine, a small lean-to had been constructed out of branches and other brambles. Hides of various animals were strung on frame in different stages of drying, and nearby a fire sputtered as fat from the two rabbits spitted over it dropped onto the flames. Jack pulled them off their spits and presented one to Liam, who accepted it gratefully. However, where Jack tore into his, Liam slowly whittled away at the meat with his knife before eating it. It wasn’t fancy by any means, since the hunter didn’t see the point in traveling with herbs, but it certainly filled the gnawing in his belly.
“So, you’ve seen them?” Liam prompted after they had finished their meal.
“Once, many years ago.” Jack took a sip from the flask Liam offered him before passing it back. He hissed as the whiskey inside burned its way down his throat. “They might have been men once, but they aren’t now. Too much of them is missing. So it can’t be make up, even though those mummers that come through around the solstice are pretty crafty.”
“What do you mean?”
“One I saw had no nose or ears, and much of his face was missing his skin. Another looked like someone had tried to cook him, like that rabbit you just enjoyed. He was burnt black to the bone.” What remained of Liam’s dinner suddenly lost its appeal, and he tossed it back into the fire. Jack chuckled at his discomfort. “There’s been others. In boots and old red coats. One reminded me of a wild cat, with his lips all turned up in a snarl. And his friend had no skin at all – just bones.”
“How did you escape them, if they passed so close that you could see them?”
“I was up in a deer blind, soaked in doe piss so the buck I was hunting wouldn’t smell me. I suspect that that helped a bit.” Jack pointed back the way they had come. “Some of them use that cave to sleep in. Others come from further down South – where I found your sister’s necklace.”
Liam’s jaw clenched at the mention of his missing sister. “Do you think they took her?”