Novel Excerpt 2/4/2017

“Here,” Mom said, sneaking ahead of me.

She pushed the door open. Its hinge popped in intervals. The dark cabin felt stale and musty. Mom reached her hands into the shadowed threshold.

“Everyone back up. Unless you want to be doused.”

We shuffled against the cabin’s siding, clearing the way behind her. With a swoop of her hands, a low wind reverberated through the log home. Mom stepped out of the doorway as a pluming column of dust and cobwebs blew out of the cabin and settled over top nearby ferns.

“Mind if I take the bed?” Melinda asked.

Mom gestured to the doorway.

“Please, by all means.”

Melinda led us in. The cabin’s vaulted ceilings made our footsteps echo.

“Is there a light switch?” I asked.

“Is there electricity?” Arthur asked.

“No,” Dad said, “but luckily…”

Mom clapped her hands and gas lanterns around the living room ignited, slowly filling the dark, wooded room with warmth. Arthur sat on the couch and stared at the stone fireplace. Fishing knick-knacks covered the walls. A fly-fishing pole served as a curtain wand.

“Nothing’s changed, Lor,” Dad said, pulling Mom against his side. He rubbed her arm and kissed her forehead.

“When was the last time you were here?” I asked.

I ran my hand across the polished tree stump end table, which looked freshly waxed from Mom’s spell.

“Ten years?” Mom said, thinking about it.

Trent and Cain paced outside, unable to fit through the front door. Gwen watched out the window, hiding herself behind the crunchy, green curtains.

“Gwen?” Mom asked.

Melinda stopped her trek into the dark hallway leading to what I assumed was the bedroom.

“They’re regrouping. Seeing who’s left,” she said, turning back to face the group. “We should be safe for the night.”

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