About the book:
Vampires, Zombies, Ghosts, and Other Things That Go Bump in the Night is a collection of stories about monsters…. The characters in these stories are normal people-children and adult-but the monsters aren’t always who they seem.
Short story anthology.
Drollerie Press LLC, May 2009
2010 Eppie Award Finalist!
(from “Accused.” Other stories by Heather S. Ingemar in this anthology are: “Dead Woman Walking”)
The needled pine branches scraped against my heavy canvas coat. I adjusted my grip on my rifle. The heft wore on my shoulders; I paused to sling the gun onto my back. “Honey?” I called, keeping my voice soft in case they were close.
“Up here, Val.”
I trudged through the underbrush toward his voice, my need to stay with him
warring with the importance of remaining quiet. Ducking around a particularly bushy tree, I came within view of a small clearing, more a thin space between the thick tree trunks. Nick stood in the middle, eyes half closed, his 30-06 slung over his shoulder. I could tell he was listening to the noises, deciphering whether we had evaded them, or if they lay in wait for us. The awkward bulge in the pocket of his heavy outdoor blazer comforted me a little; he’d thought to grab the Colt .45 before we left.
I hadn’t even remembered my pea-shooter, just my hunting rifle.
He opened his eyes then, glancing at me. A brief smile flashed across his face,
exposing the tiny pointed canines on his upper jaw. I breathed a sigh of relief, and stepped forward so I could sit down on the ground. “How long?” I asked. Crossing my legs, I lay my rifle on my lap.
“Forty-five minutes, maybe longer. We can rest for a few, at least.”
I nodded, reaching up to take his rifle from him as he sat beside me. The ground cover rustled a bit as he settled himself in. I handed him back his gun. A bird twittered a ways away. My breathing sounded loud compared to his silence.
“How are you doing?” he asked, reaching up and brushing a piece of my hair back behind my ear. He then proceeded to pick the brambles and stray pine needles from the rest of my hair. After a bit, I reached up, pulling loose my hair tie to make his task easier. He chuckled.
“I’m doing all right,” I said. I smiled at him, and could tell from his glance that he didn’t believe me. Who was I kidding? Here we were, in the middle of the National Forest, prepared to kill the first self-righteous goons we saw when the most we’d ever done was target shoot and hunt whitetail in the fall. I didn’t know if I could do it, but in all honesty, the threat to his life frightened me more.
He finished picking the forest detritus from my hair and I reached up to bind it into a ponytail again. His pale, grey eyes watched my every motion. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, even though we’d been married for seven years.
“Are you sure?” he said, taking my hand in his. I nodded. “They won’t bother you if you leave me now,” he continued. I watched his eyebrows knot together as worry broke through.
“When I said ‘till death do us part,’ I meant it.”
- Desktops: one . two
- Accused Readers’ Guide, MS Word document, 290 kb
- Dead Woman Walking Readers’ Guide, MS Word document, 289 kb