Oh, I SO know how he feels! I’ve been dragging around in Subpar Mode for so long, it’s ridiculous. (And to think that at my age, I consider every minute of wasted time to be a cardinal sin!) But the good (or at least better) news is, I am going to fix this problem, one way or the other!
Yes, yes, Snape! I should be writing and I’m GOING to be writing, because after all, Cole, Cole & Dupree cannot finish itself, now can it? But I wanted to share my earthshattering improved health news here on TWS first. Plus I thought maybe sharing here might get me even more in the mood to move on with this story. I mean, it’s got a lot going for it, I think. From a very strange mystery for CC&D to solve, to Rabbit’s astonishing find of a Fairy Cross (staurolite) on a wooded trail, to the fun (I hope) relationship between Rabbit and his adopted family, including his sort-of adopted big brother, Austin Dupree.
Oh, fairy crosses, you ask? Well, they look like this, and are a completely natural and totally REAL (though very rare) rock formation, wherein a natural “twinning process” produces these amazing stones in every size. See:
And here’s one more: a precious little miniature one sent to me from my friend in Wales, Trish, alias Alex Craigie. (Thank you again, Trish!)
But putting all that aside, the main reason to post about what I hope will be my return to Cole, Cole, & Dupree is that it gives me an excuse to share an excerpt with you good folks, and perhaps find out if this prologue would make you want to turn the page for the rest of the story. So without further ado, here you go:
Just Past Midnight in a Frosty Winter Pasture
Sunday, January 11, 2015
“THOUGHT YOU NEEDED to see this, boss. Called as soon as I found ‘em.”
“You were right to call, Kip. Any idea what the hell happened here?”
“Not a one. Never seen anything like it.”
Alvy Ballard moved his flashlight in a slow arc across the scene in front of him, as he struggled to make sense of all the darkened forms humped along the ground. With a look of dread in his eyes, he turned back to his foreman. “Big Red?”
“Big Red, too, boss. He’s over by the east fence.”
The two men walked around the fence line, stopping to check each bloody body along the way. Alvy gave a slow, stunned shake of his head. “All dead. Every single one of them dead. What could have done something like this, Kip?”
“I got no idea. Every throat torn out. All ten horses, gone. It ain’t natural.”
When they neared the middle of the east fence line, Kip stopped and laid his hand on Alvy’s arm. “You sure you want to look at him?”
Alvy nodded. “I need to see for myself.”
Kip watched as his boss continued along the fence to where the body of his prize stallion lay. For a moment the big man stood staring in shock, then he dropped to his knees. Draping himself across his horse, Alvy Ballard wept like a child, shoulders shaking with loud, heartbroken sobs.
Kip knew his boss well enough to understand his need for privacy, so he remained where he was until Alvy stood, wiped his eyes, and returned.
“I still don’t understand what happened to them,” Alvy said, his voice husky with emotion.
“Me, neither, boss. For sure, it wasn’t no animal I’ve ever seen. Animals don’t kill ‘less they’re hungry. All them horses are dead, all right, but not a single one’s been eaten on.”
Well, there you have it. I hope you are intrigued and ready to find out what the heck happened in Alvy Ballard’s pasture. And you can rest assured, when the good sheriff Raleigh Wardell shows up to consult with them, Cole, Cole, & Dupree will be ready to take on this case!
Thanks for reading this morning,
and here’s to a GREAT start to your week!