During the month of October, I will share excerpts on Throwback Thursday from my novelette, novella, and novel that have paranormal-lite storylines. I call them ‘lite’, because the paranormal elements aren’t scary. They’re otherworldly. I don’t write scary/horror stories, and I don’t read or watch scary/horror, because…well…it scares me. hahahaha
Although, I have made it through The Shining movie once, but only because I was protected behind the barricade of the pillow clutched to my body that I peeked over now and then when I thought it was safe.
Today’s excerpt is from my novelette, For Love of a Brystile Witch. This story has humor, drama, falling in love, and a smidgeon of suspense. If I had to rate it, I give it a Parental Guidance rating.
Two hundred years ago, Reid Corvane’s ancestor condemned the first Brystile witch to death by hanging. On the gallows, she placed a curse of short life and great suffering on the men of the Corvane line.
As the last female in the Brystile line of hereditary witches, the curse has come down to Mercy. If she can overcome two centuries of generational hatred to find love and forgiveness for Reid, the curse will be broken. If not, then both the Brystile and Corvane lineage dies with them, and the spirits of all the Brystile witches who lived before Mercy will never find peace.
Mercy believes time is her ally. Reid knows his time is running out. Love must find them by midnight on All Hallow’s Eve, or the Brystile witch will claim the life of the last Corvane man.
Reid has 31 days and counting…
Reid Corvane hung suspended for the length of a heartbeat. Then the rope snapped, sending him plummeting to the ground, and his hat sailing through the air. He lay in a heap, the noose end of the rope still around his neck with the frayed end swinging overhead in the renewed breeze.
Mercy shimmied down the tree trunk and elbowed her way through the tight perimeter already forming around the fallen man. She made it to the center of the circle at the same time the two deputies lifted Reid to his feet. Sheriff Dunne, with Reverend Moser close on his heels, hurried down the gallows steps.
Swaying on unsteady feet, Reid tilted his head back and stared into the gaping hole of the gallows floor. Deputy Aikers retrieved Reid’s hat and situated it askew on the bewildered man’s head.
“Well, hell, Sheriff. Now what?” Deputy Stratman took off his hat and scratched his head while looking from one end of the broken rope to the other.
“Bob, I don’t know—”
“Sheriff Dunne! Wait!” Mercy’s voice rose above the murmurings. She didn’t care that people openly stared at her. She had thirty-two years of practice ignoring it.
He exhaled a what-are-you-stirring-up-this-time breath and tipped his hat back. “Miss Mercy, can’t you see I’ve got a problem on my hands right now?”
“Yes, and I have the solution.” Grabbing Reverend Moser by the hand, Mercy pulled him forward. “Reverend, I want to marry this man.” She gestured to Reid who stared at the hole in the gallows floor with such keen interest that he seemed oblivious to the conversation.
“Marriage? Miss Mercy, what in the blue blazes are you talking about?” Sheriff Dunne’s patience faded proportionately to his frown increasing.
“A wedding. Right now. In front of these witnesses.” Mercy swept her hand over the gathering. “The rope breaking is a sign he’s meant to live.”
“Much as I respect your mama and grandmothers, you know I don’t believe in your superstitious nonsense. The reason the rope broke is because it’s old, or there was a weak spot.”
“It is not superstition. Grandmother sneezed before breakfast this morning, and you know as well as I do that means company’s coming by nightfall. Then Mama dropped her knife on her plate. Knife falls, gentleman calls.”
The sheriff sighed as he shook his head. “Mercy, sneezing and dropping cutlery are common occurrences. They don’t mean anything.”
Reid groaned. “Damn. I need a drink.”
For Love of a Brystile Witch is available on Amazon for 99cents or free on KindleUnlimited.
Until we meet again,