The FlipSide is presenting an excerpt from Seasons of Death by Marlene Mitchell and Gary Yeagle. First let’s start off by finding out a bit about the authors…
Marlene Mitchell: Originally from St. Louis, Marlene makes her home in Kentucky now. A mother and grandmother, Marlene has a wide range of interests including watercolor and oil painting, yet writing has always been her passion. That comes through loud and clear in her wonderful novels! These novels reflect a genuine sincerity with very strong characters to which her readers can relate. To quote Marlene: “It took me a long time to start writing, but now I can’t stop. The stories just keep on coming.”
Gary Yeagle: Gary Yeagle was born and raised in Williamsport, Pa., the birthplace of Little League Baseball. He grew up living just down the street from the site of the very first Little League game, played in 1939. He currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife and four cats. He is the proud grandparent of three and is an active member of the Jeffersontown United Methodist Church. Gary is a Civil War buff , and enjoys swimming, spending time at the beach, model railroading, reading, and writing.
Now let’s get to that excerpt! From Seasons of Death…
The man nodded his head in an affirmative fashion, smiled, leaned over and unzipped the bag. When he stood back up he held a large pocket knife in his hand, which he proceeded to open as he displayed the knife to Asa. A broad smile came to Asa’s face. He realized the joke was coming to an end. He was now going to be freed and he, his pals, and the man would all have a good laugh. But then the man leaned over once again and extracted something else from the bag; a roll of duct tape. Asa watched silently. The man brought the tape up to his mouth, where with the use of his teeth, he gripped the edge of the loose end and pulled the roll forward, stopping when a six-inch section appeared, at which point the man cut it. He then stuck the knife into the trunk of a nearby tree and hung the roll on the knife. Asa was once again confused. He looked toward the tree line for his friends, then back to the man who was again smiling. He was about to say something when the man placed his index finger across his lips indicating that Asa should be silent, then placed the tape across Asa’s mouth and smoothed it to ensure a tight fit. Asa’s objection sounded like nothing more than muffled, indescribable words.
The man removed the knife and tape from the tree and placed them back in the bag. “I realize that taping your mouth may seem a bit uncomfortable but it’s necessary. We wouldn’t want anyone who just happens to be out walking in the woods this morning to hear you screaming…now would we?”
The man then pulled a pair of old brown gloves from his coat pocket, and after wiggling his fingers into them, leaned over and removed some sort of a tool from the bag that he held up in front of Asa’s face. As Asa stared at the heavy-duty lopping shears he once again began to object, the only sound coming from his taped mouth was senseless mumbling. “Now, now,” said the stranger. “You need to calm down so I can explain what is going to happen. I want to make sure you understand.” Examining the shears, he explained, “I’ve had this tool for years. I originally purchased it to cut unwanted branches down from the trees in my backyard. It really does work quite well: a fifteen inch, heavy-duty wooden handles with plastic grips, four inch blades that can snap anything from a small twig up to a sizable branch.” Reaching up he placed the shears around a two-inch, low hanging branch and with both hands squeezed the handles, the sharp blade snapping the branch off instantly. The sharp snap sent a shiver through Asa’s body. “Everyone should own one of these,” said the man. “You see it can be used for many other things…like locks. Just last week I went out to my storage shed and wouldn’t you know it, I had lost the key. Then, I thought about my lopping shears. They did the trick. Cut right through that metal lock like a hot knife through butter. Cutting through skin and bone should be a piece of cake.” Reaching out he took Asa’s left hand and balanced it on his raised knee, placing the shears around Asa’s pinky finger. Asa’s eyes grew wide with fear. He tried to pull his arm back, but the duct tape restricted his movement. The man gripped his arm tightly and then lopped off the little finger. Following a spurt of blood the finger fell to the ground as Asa let out a scream that sounded like the lowing of cattle. As the stranger reached for his right hand Asa resisted as best he could. The man, growing impatient with Asa’s feeble struggling brought the lopping shears down across Asa’s right knee. The instant pain in his leg captured Asa’s attention for the next second at which point the man calmly grabbed his right hand and repeated the lopping shear process, Asa’s right pinky falling to the ground.
The man leaned the now bloody shears up against the trunk of a nearby tree then placed his hands on his hips, admiring his handy work. Asa’s muffled screaming and weak attempts to loosen himself from his restraints caused the man to smile. He sat on a tree stump, removed a pipe from his trench coat pocket and pointed the pipe at Asa. “The more you thrash around the worse it’s going to get. The faster your heart beats the more blood you’ll lose. If you will try to remain calm the loss of blood will not be so rapid. You might want to cup your hands to slow down the process of bleeding out.” Looking down at his slightly blood smattered trench coat, he remarked, “Good thing I wore this old coat. I knew this was going to be messy work.”
Asa stared at his hands, his two blood-stained little fingers lying on the ground at his feet, blood slowly dripping from where his fingers moments earlier had been attached. He couldn’t believe what had just happened. His heart was racing and it felt like the life-giving muscle would pop right through his heaving chest. Placing his head back against the tree he closed his eyes and tried to scream but it was to no avail. Taking the stranger’s advice he slowly cupped his hands. The bleeding didn’t seem to slow, but rather than dripping directly down to the ground the blood momentarily delayed its flow where the fingers had been severed. Within seconds it ran across his hands forming a small ever-growing pool of blood in his palms, then dripped in between his fingers and onto the ground.
Getting up, the man walked over to the tree and wiped Asa’s forehead with a white handkerchief that he had taken from his trench coat. “There, there now, you’re really sweating. Try and relax. The pain you are feeling is nothing more than mental. If you’ll calm down I’ll tell you why all of this is happening.”
Fantastic huh? Let’s take a look at Seasons of Death…
In the fall of 1969 in the mountains of eastern Tennessee, a poor backwoods farmer and his wife were brutally shot and killed by four drunken hunters, along with their three dogs, horse and two fawns. The farmer’s two young sons managed to escape but were unable to identify the killers. Now decades later, the murders of the Pender family remain unsolved. In Townsend, Tennessee, in Blount County, someone has decided to take revenge.
And Echoes of Death…
It’s springtime in the Smokies and despite the four murders of the previous year, tourists from every corner of the country have made the journey to Townsend, Tennessee. The hiking trails are packed, the restaurants are jammed, and the campsites are full. Vacation season is in full swing in the peaceful side of the Smokies.
But then… there is another murder.
Don’t forget to click on the covers to be whisked away to Amazon!