Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gerald Costlow - A Distant Call excerpt

Gerald Costlow is a happily married man living in Michigan. His short fantasy and science fiction stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies over the past few years and his first novel, a romantic fable titled "The Weaving", was published by Pill Hill Press in 2010 to glowing reviews. This was quickly followed by A Plethory of Powers.

Gerald was asked by Victory Tales Press to write a story for their 2010 Christmas Anthology, and is honored to be invited back to contribute to this Mystery Anthology.

You can learn more about Gerald here:

Blurb for A Distant Call

The Appalachian Mountains hold mysteries galore for the unwary and the full moon increases the danger. Jessie Corman is new to the area, a preacher determined to start a church. Then he meets a beautiful young woman who catches fish with her bare hands and offers him a job and home-cooking. Jessie is soon warned about witches and the call which leads the hearer into the woods to disappear forever. Anna May Sherritt and her granny know all about the call and how folks disappear. Can Anna save Jessie and solve the disappearances or is she part of the problem?


"Anna May!" her grandmother interrupted, "I told you about believing in foolish superstition. A crow flying across your path means bad luck? Anyone with sense knows it has to be a raven, and the raven has to follow you home and try to get in the cabin."

"Yes, Gran." Anna had learned not to argue with the woman who had taught her everything she knew about the world, while privately disagreeing. One of the first lessons Gran taught was that everyone had to be wrong once in a while. "Still, could you give me a reading? I feel in my bones that something's going to happen. I don't like it."

"Something's always happening, dear. That's what life is: something happening." Anna gulped the rest of the tea and handed Gran the empty teacup. "You shouldn't be afraid of change," the old woman continued. "A young, healthy woman needs more out of life than milking goats and fetching honey for her old Grandma. When I was your age, I ran off to join a circus, even dressed like one of them heathen Gypsies across the sea, telling fortunes with a fake accent and leaving a trail of broken hearts clear across the territory. Most fun I had in my life."

She turned the cup three times clockwise and muttered before peering into it. "You should learn to do this for yourself. I'm not going to be around forever."

"I tried reading the leaves, Gran. When I focus my Talent on it, I just get all dizzy and confused. It's like a whole flock of birds trying to talk to me at once."

The old woman took her time, humming while she focused her own Talent on the pattern left in the bottom of the cup. Then her milky eyes widened and she started laughing.

"Tall, dark, and handsome, is it? All the times I told that whopper to young girls yearning for a little romance, and here it finally shows up for real."

She looked at her granddaughter sitting across the table. "Something's going to happen, sure enough. It's time for my Anna to leave the nest. Had to happen sooner or later, you know."


Miss Mae said...

This was the first I've read from Gerald, and this was a different kind of story.

I liked how he used the "hillbilly" lingo so, dare I say 'expertly'!

I don't want to give spoilers, but when I discovered what was behind "the call", I felt a deep sympathy. I understood.

Good twist to end the story! :)