Updated: Jan 19
Back when I started writing, I read every article I could get my hands on about 'keeping in touch with your audience'. One suggestion that I must have seen fifty times was to write a monthly blog. And, like most other blogs, I did that at first ...then faded into twice a year ...then not at all.
So, I'm kicking this back off with a commitment to write in it every month. I won't be promising any dates for a novel. Lesson learned. But I will share insights and maybe even an occasional short story, here and there.
Speaking of which, as I'm working away on two more novels (taking forever, I know), I've also started a collection of short stories. This will be a dozen or so short stories, ranging in length from very short to maybe 5000 words. I recently read the first page of one of them to my wife, Anjee. As I got to the last line, she promptly said "Stop! That's it. That's the whole story right there."
I think she's right.
I hope you like it.
-See ya next month.
There's something in the woods.
Ah shit. I said it.
I didn't really say it out loud, but I did form the sentence in my head. I’ve been trying to avoid doing that, ever since we moved out here. As if doing so somehow made it more real.
A cold chill comes over me, and I instantly regret saying it... or... even thinking it.
Rider, my old Husky, suddenly pulls tight on the leash, as if to run away. He's been more skittish on walks, lately.
Dogs, unlike people, don't question their instincts.
I keep my eyes locked on him as we work our way around the edge of the giant, fallen oak. It’s a landmark on this trail, impossibly huge and covered with a thick layer of furry, pea-green moss. Beyond it, there’s a clump of vines and overgrowth. It gets so dense that it looks almost like a black spot, among all the greenery. I know this because I’ve seen it before, on previous walks out here. But I’m not looking over there this time. I’m afraid I’ll see something. We’re almost a mile from the house. Rider might be able to make it back at a full sprint, but I can’t.
It’s hard to explain, without sounding silly, but I do believe there’s something deep inside all of us that was put there as a sort of security system. It’s the reason you get things like the cold sweat I'm currently having. That pit in the bottom of your stomach. Modern medical articles use the slang term ‘gut-brain’. Call it whatever you want, but it’s our body’s way of saying “get the fuck out of here”.
Rider tugs the leash again, and I pick up the pace, moving us further from the overgrowth, and a few steps closer to the house.
To be clear, I’ve never thought there was someone in these woods. I’m not concerned about some deranged killer, hiding out here. No, it’s not a person. It’s not an animal either. It’s something else altogether.
The best way I could describe it would be to call it menacing. But then, saying “there’s a menace in the woods” might as well be referring to woodpeckers taking down my favorite tree, or a bear shitting on the path.
Whatever it is, it’s older than anything else out there.
Maybe older than anything, anywhere.
And, oh man… it is pissed off.
I can’t tell you how I know this.
Except to say that my gut-brain told me.