Saturday, November 11, 2017

Dusk before dawn...

I was skimming my files and happened across the following passage, a new ending in my novella Night Bird. Written years ago, this is still a favorite story for me.
Although it deals with death and the unknown, it also leans toward the possibilities of something more. That death is not the end, but the beginning..   
*   *   * 

       Heavy clouds shadowed the courtyard like a widow’s cloak, the wind coming inland like a sigh. Rattling chains from a pair of shackles broke the eerie silence as a young man of nineteen was led across the plank floor. Somber steps tread cautiously as if each was his last…and indeed it was.
       The lad tottered precariously upon the rickety scaffold, his thin body shaking from the icy chill that seemed ever-present in the prison. He turned toward the pocked face henchman as a thick noose was placed around his neck. Mind weary and weak from starvation, the lad trembled with a fear of what was to come.
       “Billy Ray, you were found guilty of helping yourself to His Majesty’s stables, thus sentenced to hang for your crimes,” the hangman began in a dreary tone. “Have ye’ any last confessions?” he said, cocking an unruly brow. The jailer’s wide mouth twisted with a mocking smile. “Or any last requests, boy?” His laughter filled the platform and echoed throughout the yard.
        The lad’s shoulders sagged beneath the cumbersome weight of the rope. A gusty wind picked up, howling mournfully, and causing his tattered sleeves and torn britches to whip tight around him outlining the frailness of his body. Billy struggled to remain on his feet. An ugly bruise marred his cheek as the wind tugged at his hair. Even at a distance the scars circling his wrists where the steel manacles had been were visible.

        “Well?” the jailer prodded. “Have ye’ nothin’ to say fer’ yerself?”

Night Bird can be read free on Kindle Unlimited or purchased for .99 cents. 

Check it out. 

Blurb: Travis Howland washes up on the shores of Lost Isle and into the arms of an angel. 
Known as the Night Bird, Emma Samson dedicates her afterlife to a solitary existence of Lost Isle, easing the passage of the dying. When she finds Travis near death and desperate, she gives him a unique gift- a few more days to settle his affairs before his death. 
Sorely lacking in faith, Travis lives life with no thought for the future. When his lovely rescuer claims he has died, he's determined to tie up loose ends. He must warn his father that their ship was plundered by a greedy business partner. Only a leap of faith can save him. 
Together, Emma and Travis use his last hours to avenge the traitorous deeds that torment him, and along the way discover that love can be found at any stage of life...even after death,


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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. You're awesome!