Read Summer's Passing Online

Authors: Randy Mixter

Tags: #Mysterious, #Twists, #Everlasting, #Suspenseful, #Cryptic

Summer's Passing (17 page)

BOOK: Summer's Passing
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"I don't know." She stopped and faced me. "A voice told me what to do."

"A voice?" I asked.

"Later," she replied.

We were almost to the car when another loud blast shook the night.

"Don't look back," she said to me. 

I didn't.

"The burial put us a bit behind."

"It was the right thing to do."

Morgan stared at the dirt mound by the trees. "Still, he did threaten to kill me and undoubtedly would have, had you not brandished your bow."

"He was a good man, once. I'd like to think that's the man I buried and not the evil creature he'd become."

"Yes, let's hope for that," Morgan said.

"Are the horses prepared?"

"They're still skittish from the storm, but otherwise, yes, they're ready."

Rachel looked upon the grave one final time. She remembered when he was good, but the thought flickered like a candle about to die.

 

"I told you Esmeralda would come." The cat rested on a large canvas bag, draped across her horse's flank.

"She probably just wants a lift into town," Morgan added. 

The horses kept a steady pace and they arrived in the village before noon.

"I'll fetch the produce if you can handle the other supplies," Morgan said as they dismounted. "We'll meet back here soon."

"Fine," Rachel replied as she walked to the vendors.

"Oh, one other thing," Morgan added. "I need to borrow your necklace until I return."

"And why do you need my necklace?"

"It's a secret."

"Very well." She unclasped it from her neck. "I expect you'll guard it with your life."

"Yes, my lady."

 

"I see you secured more canvasses to weigh us down," Morgan said when he returned.

"That's the concern of the horses, not us," Rachel replied.

They kept a casual pace as they left the village behind.

"It appears we still have Esmeralda."

Rachel glanced at the sleeping cat. "I don't believe she's awakened since we left the cottage."

"Last night, you took a risk at that distance, in a windstorm. The arrow might have just as easily pierced my neck as the man behind me."

"You taught me well," Rachel said.

"Still, it was a bold move. I applaud you for it."

She would not tell him of the voice that came to her in that moment, a voice she knew from long ago, a voice that steadied her hand. No, it would be the one secret she would call her own.

Rachel looked to the rider on her left. The bandage on his neck showed little blood. It was a good sign.

"We should make the Bridge of Sorrows by nightfall. We'll eat and sleep there," Morgan said.

"Aren't you forgetting something?" Rachel held out her hand.

"I'm sure I don't know what you mean?"

"My necklace." She wiggled her fingers. "Please."

"Alright then." Morgan reached into his shirt pocket and retrieved the ornament. He put it in her hand. "If you insist."

"I'm curious as to why you wanted it in the first place," Rachel said as she went to clasp it to her neck.

"Have a look at it."

Rachel held it high in her hand. "I see no difference."

"Turn the cross around."

She did.

"I had the jeweler make the change."

In the sunlight, the letters RC stood out clearly.

"Now it will be forever known as yours alone," Morgan said.

Rachel clasped the necklace around her neck then took Morgan's hand and kissed it.

"You can thank me in a more suitable manner at the Bridge of Sorrows. For now, adventure awaits." Morgan urged his horse into a steady gallop. 

Rachel did the same. She looked to see Esmeralda still sleeping despite the bouncing around. She wrapped a hand around the cross. It felt warm to her touch.

 

Mine forever.

Epilogue

It was a warm sunny Sunday afternoon. We sat on the beach, Beckie and I, she under the umbrella, me working on my tan. She had a stack of papers in her lap, the manuscript of my book.

Two weeks had passed since the pier house fire. The word around Port Grace was that the fire resulted from a lightning strike during the storm. The landlord's insurance covered all damages. "I might build again, but I sort of doubt it," he was quoted as saying in the local newspaper. I thought he wouldn't bother.

We hadn’t spoken of that night since, and I was certain we never would. Some things are best left in mystery.

Beckie started her job the following Tuesday and absolutely loved it. At the end of her first day, Samuel gave her the painting of the pier house. "A signing bonus," he said.

I received a call from Port Grace Books the following day. They had a full-time opening starting in mid-September if I was interested. I accepted the job. It would do for now. At one time, not that long ago, I had wanted to be a teacher. Now I wasn't sure. Maybe I wanted to be a writer instead. 

The day after the storm, Beckie summoned me to the beach house kitchen. "I want you to hear something," she said.

She punched some numbers into the telephone and put it on speaker. It rang five times before a voice answered. "Hello."

It sounded like the voice of her father.

"I'm not here right now. Leave a message."

"I didn't wait long enough when I called before." Beckie lowered the phone into its cradle. "It was an answering machine. He was here the entire time."

We found an apartment in town. Nothing great, but close enough to our jobs to walk or ride a bike to work. 

We decided to have a November wedding, but my parents couldn't wait until then to see Beckie. They were driving down next week.

This would be our last week in the beach house. I know I'm going to miss the place and I'm sure Beckie will too. I'd like to think I fell in love here, but most likely it was my first night with Beckie in Port Grace Hospital. Most likely it was within the first seconds of seeing her.

I looked over at Beckie and Sophie, who lay beside her.

"Two more pages," she said without looking up.

"I'm going to get my feet wet." I stood as she waved me on without looking up. "I'll join you there in a minute."

The gulf was calm, the waves small and friendly. I walked into the surf until it lapped at my knees. The sun-warmed water splashed around me.

I was lost in my thoughts when Beckie joined me.

"Your story, it's about us. It's about our summer."

"Yes, it is."

"And it didn't end. The last page was blank."

"I wrapped my arm around her. “It won't stay that way," I said. 

"So this was the story your mystery woman told you before you came here?"

"No. She didn't tell me a story. She told me to go to Port Grace. She said the story would write itself."

Beckie said nothing. We stared out at the horizon.

It was a while before Beckie spoke. "You have yet to tell me the name of the woman who sent you here."

"You're right, I never did. Her name was..." 

Beckie interrupted me. "I never told you my mother's name either. Her maiden name was Adams, and her first name was Anne, but she liked to be called Annie."

I watched the horizon, where the sea met the sky. The sea we owned, named by Beckie on a sunset past. Life is so mysterious, more questions than answers. But sometimes an answer is right in front of you the entire time, waiting to be found.

I remembered now. I remembered Annie's face, and I remembered what she wore around her neck.

We faced each other at the same time. "Was that the name of the girl who sent you here, Doug? Was her name Annie? Annie Adams?"

"Yes," I said. "That was her name."

A mother's love for her daughter is eternal. Nothing can hold it back, not time, not space, not death. It is everlasting.

"Did she look like me?"

I saw a tear run down Beckie's cheek. I gently wiped it away with my hand.

 

"She had your eyes."

Also by Randy Mixter

SARAH OF THE MOON

The Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in 1967. Alex Conley, a part-time writer for a Baltimore newspaper, is dispatched to chronicle the events occurring there. It is June of 1967, and the summer of love is in full swing.

Alone, in this strange and magical place, he meets a girl named Sarah, a free spirit who is as mysterious as she is beautiful. What are the secrets of her past? Why does she dance each night under the light of the moon?

These are just a few of the puzzles Alex needs to solve in the short time he has in that city.

SORCERER

Keira Merlin's father is in trouble. He told her that in a dream. He has an artifact that others want; evil people, who will stop at nothing to own it. Keira knows where her father hides, deep in a mountain's forest, but she needs help to reach him. She needs Jake Stanton.

FBI agent Jake Stanton is a wanted man. He is wanted by the same individuals who search for Keira's father, Silvanus Merlin, his partner in a previous case, and the man who once saved his life.

Together, Stanton and Keira will journey to a place dark and dangerous, a place where an amazing discovery awaits and a secret that may change the world as we know it.

MORNING STAR

A Child. A Horse. A Miracle.

Eight year old Dannie Walker is fighting for her life. Her doctors have told her father she has an incurable disease. All hope is lost. Or is it?

A mysterious horse has come to the Walker ranch. A horse that may have mystical powers.

His name is Morning Star and he might be Dannie's only hope.

SWAN LOCH

Bodies are disappearing in New England.

Danger has come to the peaceful New England town of Swan Loch, Maine, in the form of an elusive killer who strikes quickly and then vanishes after each murder, leaving no bodies behind.

Police Chief Chris Hayward, with the help of FBI agent Jake Stanton, tries to solve a crime that seems unsolvable, and now it is personal. Hayward's wife has become the killer's latest victim.

When all hope seems lost, a young girl wanders into Swan Loch. She claims the wind brought her there, and she has a message for Chris Hayward. Your wife is alive, and I know where to find her.

And so a journey begins, a journey that may, or may not, return Chris to the only woman he ever loved.The quest will not be easy. They will go to a place far away.A place where all mysteries will be solved, and where evil has found the perfect hiding place.

They must hurry, because in less than twelve hours the killer will strike again. And this time none will be saved.

LETTERS FROM LONG BINH

Awarded Honorable Mention in the Memoir category by the Military Writers Association of America.

I boarded the plane to Vietnam at exactly midnight on January 1st, 1967. I was a 19-year-old soldier with pen and paper in hand. I began to write.

"Letters from Long Binh gives the reader an honest appraisal of the everyday life of an MP in Vietnam. Sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous, but always gripping, the book is written with a deep sense of respect for his fellow brothers-in-arms in a war-torn country."

Lou Fantauzzi - Vietnam 1966-67

THE BOYS OF NORTHWOOD

"What a great piece of writing and remembering. Insert your name, some friends and places, and take a memorable trip back in time!" -
Mike Warren

SHORT STORIES

RED MOON

The moon is rising, and a killer prowls the night.

Jake Stanton, FBI Agent and former member of the U.S. Army's elite Omega force, is dispatched to Virginia to find the murderer known only as the Red Moon Killer.

Together with Silvanus Merlin, a man with extraordinary talents, they track the elusive killer who attacks only on nights of the full moon.

They must hurry, for soon the moon will be full once more, and the killer will strike again.

ETERNAL

"Wow. I just finished Eternal. What a heartbreaking story! It really stabbed me right in the heart, having been married to the love of my life for 37 years. Brilliant job!"

Carole Bellacera
- author of
Lilly Of The Springs
and
Border Crossings

THE ROCKING CHAIR LADY

The Rocking Chair Lady
is a fictional short story based on a young boy's fascination with an elderly lady's stories of her adventurous, and sometimes magical life.

 

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Summer's Passing
, please consider writing a review on the book's Amazon sales page.

 

Thank you.

BOOK: Summer's Passing
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ads

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