ANOTHER STORY TIME WITH THE INTROVERT: EXCERPT FROM SOUL SCENT

A scene from the second book in the Zackie Story series, SOUL SCENT…

“Can you tell me about the baby?”

Cam lifted a shoulder and then stared at the bottle in his hands. “Not much to tell, really. It was 1975 and I was working a job in Kings Worthy.” Glancing at me, he elaborated. “That’s in England. It’s a very old place. It was listed in the Domesday Book – you know, the survey taken in 1066?”

I bristled a little. “By William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest. I know. I was a history major, remember?”

Nodding, Cam took up the story again. “Anyway, I was busy trying to lay the ghost of a Victorian clergyman who had taken up residence in the old church. At the same time, there was an archaeological dig taking place in the churchyard. They were interested in the old Anglo-Saxon burials and they eventually unearthed the skeletal remains of a young woman.” He took another drink and affected nonchalance as he continued the story. “Lying between the long bones of her legs, they found the skull of a full-term infant, but the fetal leg bones were still clearly within her pelvic cavity.”

“A coffin birth?” My eyes went wide at this thought.

Cam nodded again. “It happens. A pregnant woman dies and is buried and because of pressure from the gases that build up during decomposition, the dead fetus is expelled from the equally dead mother.” Looking down at his hands again, Cam picked at the label on the bottle. “Anyway, shortly after this find, the cries of a baby could be heard coming from the graveyard. It so disturbed the archaeological team that no one wanted to dig anymore and the work came to a grinding halt.”

“And did it also disturb you? Cam, I can tell this is difficult to talk about.”

Cam rolled his eyes and exhaled deeply, his words were clipped. “Yes, right. It bothered me a great deal. The baby was an innocent and completely blameless, yet she was left to suffer horribly for centuries.”

“But wasn’t the mother with the baby? How did you finally help her to move on?”

“I went into the churchyard with Zackie late one night to find the baby. The mother was nowhere to be found, so I assume she crossed over shortly after her death.”

“She left the baby?” My mouth hung open, aghast at the thought of just taking off and leaving an infant. “She probably didn’t know the baby remained. In her time, the belief was that unbaptized infants went to Limbo, so in all likelihood, she died assuming that the baby would find its way and be taken care of.” Cam shrugged again. “Who knows? All I know is that earthbound souls of infants are a rarity, so most of the time, they move on with no difficulties. Something went wrong for this one.” Cam frowned as he stared into the middle distance for a beat. “But, you know, as soon as she saw Zackie, she quieted and stopped crying. Getting her to go through the portal was a breeze compared to the clergyman. I had to work another two weeks before the clergyman moved on.”

Copyright © 2017 by Reyna Favis

Photo credit: Daderot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

+ + +

If you would like to comment on anything in these posts, I would be delighted to hear from you. Please visit my author’s website to learn more about progress with the Zackie Story series, author appearances, or to send me a message, etc. Or if you prefer, you can also find me on Facebook (at least until another social media platform emerges that will actually safeguard user privacy). Feel free to friend me and send me a message so I’ll know you’re not just a bot.

Soul SearchSoul Scent, and Soul Sign, novels of supernatural suspense, have been described as Marley & Me meets The Sixth Sense. Readers have praised these novels for the very human stories behind the hauntings that create unexpected plot twists, drama, and even moments of humor. The Zackie Stories are available for purchase as ebook, audiobook, and paperback on Amazon and Audible, and free on Kindle Unlimited.

If you enjoy the Zackie stories, please, please consider leaving a short review on Amazon and/or Goodreads and/or Bookbub. Your review makes a difference and is incredibly valuable, drawing in other readers and providing access to promotional opportunities that require a specific number of reviews to engage. I’ll be your best friend forever if you write a review.

If you would like to subscribe to this blog, click on the three bars at the upper right. The next full post will be available on or before the last day of the month.

ANOTHER STORY TIME WITH THE INTROVERT: EXCERPT FROM SOUL SCENT

Introvert Declares Mojo the Worst Dog Ever

The story of how kitten Mojo came into our lives was told in an earlier post. From a scrawny, one-week old, abandoned kitten who needed to be fed by syringe, he has grown into a 14 pound monster who is more dog than cat. As a cat, he has many strange behaviors; as a dog, he leaves much to be desired.

Continue reading “Introvert Declares Mojo the Worst Dog Ever”
Introvert Declares Mojo the Worst Dog Ever

Story Time with the Introvert

Sit back and enjoy an excerpt from the SOUL SEARCH audiobook, available on Audible. In this clip, we introduce the Psychopomp. Like a seeing-eye dog, Zackie guides lost souls to the afterlife; like a therapy dog, she offers comfort to these souls and the dying. But faithful to a real Plott Hound, this character can be equal parts terrifying and amusing.

+ + +

If you would like to comment on anything in these posts, I would be delighted to hear from you. Please visit my author’s website to learn more about progress with the Zackie Story series, author appearances, or to send me a message, etc. Or if you prefer, you can also find me on Facebook (at least until another social media platform emerges that will actually safeguard user privacy). Feel free to friend me and send me a message so I’ll know you’re not just a bot.

Soul SearchSoul Scent, and Soul Sign, novels of supernatural suspense, have been described as Marley & Me meets The Sixth Sense. Readers have praised these novels for the very human stories behind the hauntings that create unexpected plot twists, drama, and even moments of humor. The Zackie Stories are available for purchase as ebook, audiobook, and paperback on Amazon and Audible, and free on Kindle Unlimited.

If you enjoy the Zackie stories, please, please consider leaving a short review on Amazon and/or Goodreads and/or Bookbub. Your review makes a difference and is incredibly valuable, drawing in other readers and providing access to promotional opportunities that require a specific number of reviews to engage. I’ll be your best friend forever if you write a review.

If you would like to subscribe to this blog, click on the three bars at the upper right. The next full post will be available on or before the last day of the month.

Story Time with the Introvert

Holiday Gift from the Introvert: “Soul Sign” Preview

Topsecretsidebar

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays! As a special treat, please enjoy an excerpt from the next Zackie Story scheduled to be released in 2019.

SOUL SIGN: A Zackie Story

CHAPTER 1 


Any day on this side of the dirt is a good day.

Like other mostly true proverbs, there were exceptions to the rule. For instance, there were those whose remains rested below the dirt, but whose spirits wandered around topside. These souls suffered miserably until they got the help they needed to find their way. After meeting Cam and Zackie, I had gained vast experience in the art of surviving and dealing with these restless spirits.

I clenched my teeth and repeated the mantra about it being a good day as I carried out another moldy box of broken kitchen gadgets from the basement. What had started as an outing to see the restoration of the eighteenth-century Roseberry Homestead had turned into forced volunteer labor. My only consolation was that I had invited Cam to see the house.

Covered in cobwebs and dust, he carried a similar decaying cardboard box. Cam extended his lower lip and blew upward to dislodge a dust bunny from a shaggy, gray eyebrow. His face flushed with exertion, he glared at me. “Fia, the least you could do when you issue an invitation is to simultaneously issue a warning that there will be work involved. I could have politely declined to become a 911-call-waiting-to-happen.”

Shrugging, I walked on to the dump area. “Blame it on Peyton. I didn’t know either.” I tossed my box with a satisfied sigh, wiped the sweat from my face with a dirty sleeve and took a break to watch Cam struggle.

Cam was like me, except old and British. He was in his fifties and I was in my twenties, so we had just enough in common to argue about. Besides being search and rescue workers, we shared the ability to communicate with the dead, and we were both dedicated to helping lost spirits move on. The moving on part would not have been possible without Zackie.

Zackie was…complicated. First and foremost, she was a Psychopomp, escorting these lost spirits to the afterlife. Whenever I asked Cam about her true age, he’d dance around the subject, but he did once mention Anubis, the ancient Egyptian jackal god, patron of lost souls and the helpless. These days, she resembled a Plott Hound – so much so, that a backwoods bear hunter christened her Zackie when he offered to buy her from Cam. Too amused by this nom de guerre to establish a better name, Cam just went with it, and so, Zackie she remained. Fortunately, she had a sense of humor, even if she tended to lack empathy for the living. She demonstrated this trait by lazing in the sun while Cam and I labored with the endless boxes.

“Hey, you two. Less chatter, more hauling.” Peyton hefted two stacked boxes to the dump zone and deposited them neatly on top of the pile. She was a large, muscled woman, ex-military and resource officer on my search team. Peyton was also training to be a master stonemason, so I was sure she was enjoying seeing how the old stone house was being restored. More important, she was recovering from a spirit haunting and needed something to brighten her outlook.

Cam muttered some dark expletive under his breath and brought his box to the mound of garbage. Eying the top of the pile critically, he shook his head and then opened his arms to let gravity do the work. His box dropped heavily, landing at the foot of Peyton’s growing mountain of junk. Unsurprisingly, the cardboard burst open on impact and a cascade of very old, but still colorful, brittle plastic toys tumbled on to the grass.

Peyton blew out a breath. “Now look what you’ve done.” She knelt by the spill and began scooping the debris back into what remained of the box, but then paused in mid action. “Hold on…what’s this?” Reaching into the ruined box, she pulled out a stack of sepia photographs, the edges curled and brittle with age.

Cam and I watched over her shoulder as she flipped through the old photos. “What the f-ff…”  Her hands stilled and she froze. “They’re all dead. These are pictures of dead people.”

“Hand them here.” Cam reached out his hand and took the stack. I stood at his elbow and looked more carefully at the photographs. There were pictures of children and adults, eyes sunken and their bodies lacking the vitality and animation of the living. Some were on beds or in caskets and surrounded by flower arrangements. Others were propped up by what may have been family members or, even more disturbing, wooden supports that fixed the bodies in standing positions. Hands, unless carefully posed, were frozen in uneasy and unnatural positions that registered in a primal part of my brain and branded the people in these images as empty of life.

Copyright © 2018 by Reyna Favis

+ + +

Image attribution: By Acid the meme machine (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

+ + +

If you would like to comment on anything in these posts, I would be delighted to hear from you. Please visit my author’s website to learn more about progress with the Zackie Story series, author appearances, or to send me a message, etc. Or if you prefer, you can also find me on Facebook (at least until another social media platform emerges that will actually safeguard user privacy).

Soul Search and Soul Scent, novels blending fantasy and supernatural suspense, are available for purchase on Amazon and are free on Kindle Unlimited.

If you enjoy the Zackie stories, please, please consider leaving a short review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Your review makes a difference and is incredibly valuable, drawing in other readers and providing access to promotional opportunities that require a specific number of reviews to engage. I’ll be your best friend forever if you write a review.

If you would like to subscribe to this blog, click on the three bars at the upper right. The next full post will be available on or before the last day of the month.


Holiday Gift from the Introvert: “Soul Sign” Preview

Introvert Says “The Muse Will Not Escape My Plott Hound”

escaping-1582369_640

Giving a reader a great story that allows them to take time off from the work-a-day world isn’t easy.

Escapism requires work…a whole lot of work.

I’ve written a little over 30,000 words for SOUL SIGN, escapist literature and the third book in the Zackie Stories, and I’ve hit the 30K slump.  And that’s okay. I’ve been here before with the previous two books, so this is right on schedule. Continue reading “Introvert Says “The Muse Will Not Escape My Plott Hound””

Introvert Says “The Muse Will Not Escape My Plott Hound”

Introvert’s Guide to Dogs

Sammy

Dogs deserve better than humans. While humans have very little to recommend them these days, dogs are steadfastly a force for good in this world. It was with this sentiment in mind that I found myself floored when a CNN article (The mysterious science behind lifesaving dogscited the conclusion of a study on canine empathy:  Continue reading “Introvert’s Guide to Dogs”

Introvert’s Guide to Dogs

Introvert’s Night Out

wildfirewillie

I went grudgingly, all the while thinking I’m too freakin’ old for this. Going out on a Saturday night to see a band was an infrequent thing even when I was in my twenties. These days I am hauling that particular decade of my life on a trailer hitch.  Continue reading “Introvert’s Night Out”

Introvert’s Night Out

Introversion and e-DNA in Loch Ness

Nessie

Parts of SOUL SIGN, the third book in the Zackie Stories, will take place in Scotland. All things Scottish draw my attention these days and I do have a fondness for monsters, so…

So, the Loch Ness Monster is an introvert. According to lore, the beast rarely makes public appearances, which is completely consistent with introversion. (Check this previous post on defining introversion if you don’t believe me.) The sparse history of all eye-witness accounts can be found on the Loch Ness Information Website, but a quick summary of the highlights is included below.

Continue reading “Introversion and e-DNA in Loch Ness”
Introversion and e-DNA in Loch Ness