Good morning fellow readers and bloggers. Thanks to today's host! I thought I’d share the first chapter with you all.
“I was murdered.”
The voice whispered through rustling trees. Startled, Elena Dkany looked around for the source. Nothing. No voice except the priest praying over her grandmother’s coffin. In ninety-degree weather, goose bumps popped out on her arms. Hearing non-existent voices was not a good thing. She shook the cobwebs from her brain. Must be imagining things, a result from the long tragic week.
Briar Hill College’s faculty and staff stood close by under the shade of the oak trees. They’d abandoned their classes to pay tribute to the widow of the man who’d been their president for decades.
As the coffin disappeared into the ground, a vapor materialized into a solid shape by her side and the scent of roses permeated Elena's immediate space. Its perfume overpowered the pines and moldy earth, but no rose bushes grew in the small cemetery. Roses where there was no rose garden. This is not happening.
But it was. Her grandmother stood by her side as though she’d never died—-like they were attending somebody else’s funeral. And nobody else seemed to notice. No startled looks, no wide-eyes, or 'oh my God's.'
The ghost of Magda Dkany spoke. “You must find your son.” Was it a voice or the wisp of wind that sounded like a murmur or a sigh?
My son? But, he died nine years ago before he’d even been a month old.
Elena focused on her apparition. It appeared like she’d looked only two days ago.
“Murdered. Your life...in danger. Your son in danger. Find Alexander.”
Her heart pounded fast enough without hearing her life might be in danger, or the name Alexander Brancusi. Not exactly someone she wanted to hear about. Overhead sea gulls squawked. A light wind blew in from Lake Michigan, dropping the temperature. Elena froze, but her chill didn’t come from the air. She turned too fast to the dematerializing ghost. “You're dead. You can’t talk to me.”
But the ghost's presence continued to thin. The voice softened. “Go to Dkany. Find your son.” Now she was hardly an outline. Then, just air.
“No. Please, don’t go. Why are you saying this?”
The scent of roses dissipated.
“Why do you have to leave?”
The onlookers across the coffin began to look at her with puzzled expressions. Worried looks crossed their faces.
Magda’s presence knocked Elena off balance. She scrambled to keep from toppling onto the casket halfway down into the earth. A man with musky aftershave replaced Magda's image and caught Elena's arm.
Outside the cemetery, a car horn honked, kids cheered from the little league field across the street, and somewhere a dog howled.
Father Christofides, the American-Romanian Orthodox priest who’d baptized Elena, appeared strange and intimidating. A huge crucifix hung around his neck like an ominous albatross of death. Everything moved in slow motion, a surrealistic emptiness of space and time. “Eternal your memory, Magda, our sister, worthy of blessedness and ever-remembered.”
With his words, the ceremony ended.
Elena turned to thank the man, but her friend Marina Brancusi now held her. She didn't know when Marina and the stranger changed places.
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LEGACY OF DANGER - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1024Y8/
Inheriting a castle, Elena Dkany travels to Romania, a land dipped in Myths, Folklore, and as legend has it, the Walking Dead.
From the onset of her arrival, hearing a local proverb: “Do not speak badly of the Devil, because you cannot know to whom you will belong,” she soon understands the importance of adhering to this warning in this mysterious land.
* * *
Patricia A. Guthrie is the author of romantic suspense novels, mysteries and short stories. She resides in the Chicago area and has taught in the Chicago Public School system.
Guthrie’s current published novels ‘In the Arms of the Enemy,’ ‘Waterlilies Over My Grave’ and ‘Legacy of Danger’ are available in online bookstores such as Amazon.com. She also has short stories published in Amazon.com, Skyline Magazine and Affaire de Coeur and non-fiction articles in the Collie Cassette and the online ‘Nature Journal.’ She’s currently working on a mystery novel that she hopes to have published in 2018.
Guthrie is an accomplished musician: opera singer, church soloist and music teacher. After leaving the opera, Guthrie became a music therapist in a school for children with special needs and then went on to teach music in the Chicago Public School system.
She’s an avid animal lover and advocate.
You can find her books on Amazon.com, as well as other online booksellers.
Follow Patricia on Social Media:
Blogspot - www.paguthrie.blogspot.com
Facebook - https:///facebook.com?LegacyOfDanger
Twitter - @paguthrie1
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