|Photo (c) Thomas Bush|
The place was nothing fancy, really. It was just a huge white farm house with black shutters and trim. It was attached to a lot of land, though, mostly pine forest, so that made the estate quite valuable.
For miles and miles there was nothing but old growth forest with visible red clay cliffs where the roads cut through the area. Finally we rounded this sharp curve and there was the house. It was high up on a hill overlooking the road. At first glance we could tell the house was in a sad state of disrepair. Shanna gasped at the state it was in. I guessed she had planned to live in it. Mom said, "These old Southern houses, if you don't live in them, they go to seed quickly." And it's true. Heat, humidity, and the elements wear them down really fast.
We reached the house and got out to explore the ruins. At one time the house had been lovely, but it had since been vandalized. There was trash littered everywhere inside, and the floors were rotted. The roof was caving in places. To walk through it without falling through the floor, you had to brace a hand against the remaining wall beams, because they were the oldest parts of the house and the only thing really left standing in decent shape.
We walked through the back half of the house - it was too dangerous to go near the front windows - and the whole structure was creaking and trembling while we walked through it. I expected it to come down on us at any minute. However, we made it through a side door to what had been at one time a covered porch. Once outside, I noticed someone had backed up a flatbed trailer to the porch to make it easier to haul stuff away, but they had abandoned the project. There were boxes piled on the trailer that had been left exposed to the weather. The box nearest to me was full of books, and one of the covers caught my eye. It was a red cover of a very old Harlequin romance novel. The pages were yellowed and the back cover was ripped off. I picked up the book, and Mom said to me, "That's the first book we ever found in the house."
I knew this information was somehow significant, but when I tried to show it to Shanna, she walked ghost-like past the flatbed, and as she neared the front corner of the house, she vanished. That's when I woke up - with a nagging headache.
Stress is getting to me, I think. I'm currently working on two projects. I'm revising the final story in the Trick of Light collection, and I'm working on draft two of the Desire with the full request. It's going by soooo slowly, too. I can understand my frustration with editing the collection. That takes time, but I should really cut myself some slack with the Desire. I wrote the entire book in a month. It's all there on the page, it's just going to take some time to get it sorted out.
That said, it won't be much longer on the collection. I thought the final story was kind of wrecked, but after taking a break from the material, I can see it's not so bad after all. Just a few more passes and it should be ready to paste into the main file.
That's all for now. Mini just got home from school, and I need to help him with his homework. Until next time, happy wishes! ♔