I’m at Tri Pride today, our area’s Pride event, amid the sold-out vendor booths hawking my titles and books for Mountain Gap Books, the small publisher I’m a part of. We’re featuring prerelease copies of our anthology Haints and Hollers: New Ghost Tales from Appalachia, so I thought I’d share a snippet from one of my stories in the anthology.
Welcome to my 111th #Rainbowsnippets. This one, as always, is uniquely mine, but there are lots of other great snippets to read so after you finish here click the FB link at the bottom of the post to discover other great LGBTQIA authors and their works.
Are my stories in Haints and Hollers queer? Well, they’re recounts of my own experiences and I’m queer so… yep. They most certainly are but you have to look closely to see it.
Blurb: Thirteen tales plus one, an uprooting of tradition with another just for fun. A strong mix of history, speculation, and, perhaps, a wee bit of fear. The haints in these hills are listenin’, child, so come sit a spell. You’ll hear tales you ain’t before; dark yahoos, wishes gone wrong, veil walkers, and someone’s head might well roll. Ain’t nothin’ really, just a few new stories you can take back to the holler and share with you and yours. Maybe they’ll shiver. Maybe you will too. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll hug someone tight when things get scary enough.
This is an anthology of nontraditional Appalachian ghost tales. It’s not that we don’t like the classics. Rather, we’re ready for something new.
Today, I’m sharing a bit from “A Visit from a Peculiar Entity.” Yes, this is a bit over the six sentence suggested limit, but I wanted to give a good intro to the story.
I’m long past tired and on toward exhausted when I finish teaching my American Literature night course, and I still have an hour drive ahead of me. Day classes, night classes, a two-hour round-trip commute, so goes my life. As a parent of three children, I desperately need a job with benefits, which is why I make the commute four days a week, but on Wednesdays I remain on campus from nine a.m. until nearly ten p.m. The trip home those nights requires caffeine and a snack so I’ll remain wide awake until I leave the interstate. At that point, the road becomes a wide two-lane state highway through mainly farmland, so I normally relax, but I also try to remain alert. It’s well into fall, and that means white-tailed deer will cross the road before me at least once more nights than not.
This night has been no exception. I see two does leap across the road as soon as I exit the interstate, and a young buck crosses ahead of me a few miles later, this time at the last major turn off before I reach home. I only have three miles after that, so I turn up the radio and switch on my high beams, a small warning beacon to whatever might be thinking about crossing the road.
Stay out of my way. I’m tired. I’ve had a thirteen-hour day. I… What the hell is that?
I’ll share a bit more from this story next week then I’ll move along to another of my contributions from the anthology.
*RainbowSnippets is a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ authors, readers, and bloggers to share 6 sentences each week from a work of fiction—published or in-progress—or a book recommendation. Feel free to join in.