I sincerely find research, reading about improving my writing in all technical aspects, learning the ins and outs of a new occupation, absorbing historical facts, and firing up my imagination by reading other authors in a vast array of genres one of my biggest thrills in the journey I began when I knew I wanted to become a writer. But no part of this years-long-process have I come to such an exciting place as now. All my tools are dancing at my fingertips as I began what I hope to be at least an eight book plus series on a group of strong women that belong to an informal sorority that enables each other to reach their fondest wish! The Brass Ringers.
Halleluiah! Someone very special to me actually wants me to write a series on Canadian women set right in my home province of Manitoba and use my old alma mater as the basis, the University of Manitoba, where I spend many happy years.
In honor of this special occasion I wanted to share a short excerpt with you to show how very much I am wallowing in this delicious experience. Happy Writing!
Winning Casey excerpt:
Yet it isn’t the gold that I’m wanting
So much as just finding the gold.
Casey glared at the stuffed moose head and it stared right back at her, its one broken antler leering.
“What are you looking at? You think this is easy? Who piles this many friggin’ rocks over their treasure anyway? Yeah, yeah, I know, someone trying to hide it.”
She took a deep breath, adjusted her white and blue striped canvas work gloves, and inserted the heavy red-tipped crowbar under the final stone slab. Air hissed out of her mouth and nose as she put her back and thighs into the task, straining to pry it loose.
She sniffed loudly, her nose dripping. The damn soot covered rocks had been in use as a fire pit. Had to give it to Hefty though—clever ruse.
Ignoring the black soot, she leaned against the huge pile of stones and wiped her nose on her hoodie sleeve before shining her flashlight on Hefty McGee’s journal. She thumbed through the tattered pages, confident that the university wouldn’t miss the dusty old thing for one weekend.
“Hmm, says here Hefty won a moose head from a saloon keeper in a card game right here in Dawson City. Furthermore, that you lost that antler in the ensuring fistfight when it turned out that the gambler was a poor loser. Know anything about that?”
Tucking the journal back into her hoodie, she reinserted the crowbar.
“Okay, here goes!” She attacked the slab with all her might. A loud squeal of protest as rock ground against rock. Ah, it moved. Just another few inches. Grunting, she pushed harder until the heavy cover slid off enough she could shine her flashlight inside the hole pickaxed into the cave floor.
The sight of a large rotted pile of leather securely wrapped and tied with a cord quickened her breath. On top weighing the package down was a small smooth rock, underneath a torn piece of brown butcher paper. She pulled it out and shone the light on it.
She read the faded hand written words aloud figuring the moose had a right to know as well, “Abandon hope all ye who steals Soapy’s Gold. It be cursed. Gave me the pox. Hefty McGee.” She chuckled despite the discomfort of the past few hours of digging in the tight damp quarters, giving the moose head a glance. “Just proves, old man, I’m in the right place.”
She thrust her arm inside the large hole in the cave floor and tugged on the heavy parcel. Damn, not enough room to lift it out. She had to get the blasted stone to move over further. She glanced back at the doorway of the cave. She only had a short while until the spring waters of the rising Yukon River would flood the low lying cave. She had taken the chance, unwilling to wait, knowing she had to be back at the university Monday morning come rain or shine. Reading week was coming to an end.
“Be nice if you could lend a hand, buster,” she said, directing her comments at the moose head. It was beginning to creep her out, staring down at her with glassy, lifeless eyes. Perhaps coming alone had not been her best option but she needed to know if all her research was going to pay off. And, just maybe, it was about to. Big time.
The pry bar slipped as the rock jerked ahead under the extreme pressure. It swung in an arc upward toward the moose head sending her pitching forward. It hit the beast a solid blow on its huge bulbous nose knocking it loose from its perch on the rock wall and right down onto her head.
The last thought she had as pain drilled into her brain was the old miner who had gone to the trouble to hide his stolen gold in the wilds of Northern Canada might have gotten it right. The curse was effective. If you were a klutz.
November 12, 2016