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CAT Magazine

Author Fast Five - Lakeside University by Charles Taylor




Title: Lakeside University Cover Up
Author Name: Charles A. Taylor


Author Bio: Dr. Charles “Chuck” Taylor, author, speaker and diversity expert is currently a professor in the school of education at a Midwestern college. Although he has written and edited over 10 books, this is his first novel. Chuck has also written a full-length children’s musical, a highly acclaimed documentary on the Milwaukee, Wisconsin civil rights movement and continues to serve as a national consultant to college campuses in the areas of racial diversity and inclusion. Please visit his website for additional information: http://drcharlestaylor.com/about/

Author Links


Author Fast Five

1. Favorite Author & give one quote from your favorite book by them

Walter Mosley and his Easy Rawlins crime series. “They say Jackson Blue is some kind of genius, but there ain’t a man I evah met knows people better than you, Easy. You read a man’s face like a little kid reading Dick and Jane.”


2. One thing readers would be surprised to know about you. 

I have a twin sister

3. Describe your office 

–cluttered but every pile is organized

4. First dinner you had with your Significant Other.

-At Perkins Restaurant. I had volunteered at a phone-a-thon to raise funds for her non-profit agency. I asked her to grab a bit to eat with me. We hit it off immediately and talked so much we never finished the meal.

5. Using the letters of Angel as an acronym, describe your book.

A-authentic
N-necessary
G-gritty
E-engaging

L-likeable 




Book Genre: Mystery Thriller
Publisher: Roar Enterprises, Inc.
Release Date: January, 2012


Book Description: A cross is burned in the yard of two black Lakeside University students. When campus officials call the incident a harmless prank, both black and white student organizations, launch a series of protests to force the administration into conducting a full investigation.
Instead, the administration devises a divide and conquer scheme to create a rift between black and white students. Feel the tension mounting as the students react to the Administration’s response to the incident. As black students turn up the pressure, the campus stands on the verge of a racial explosion. Campus leaders must find a way out of the crisis so they seek the help of Dr. Wendell Oliver, the country’s leading expert in diffusing racial tension.
Watch Dr. Oliver as he masterfully guides the feuding students into looking beyond themselves on a weekend retreat that is filled with action, danger, sexual attraction, and racial conflict. Discover the hidden lessons that students learn about friendship, betrayal and forgiveness. Follow the love story as the plot unfolds. Experience this roller coaster ride of emotions for yourself! Learn the secret behind the cross burning as the leading character Gloria finds her voice.

Students come to realize that the cross burning is more than just about racism. Its wicked flames shed light on corrupt cops, complicit college administrators and misguided attitudes that point to a major cover up. When students finally piece the puzzle together, justice is served but it comes with a steep price. Lakeside University will never be the same again.


Excerpt One:

Enough was enough. Dean of Students, Todd Severson stormed into President David Horning’s office and slammed the door. “Sir, we need to do something!” Severson said, lowering himself into the chair across from Horning’s antique desk. “Your divide and conquer strategy is backfiring—we have to do something and do it fast, or this university will explode!”
President Horning glanced up from his coffee. “That’s a bit dramatic, Todd, don’t you think?”
Severson leaned forward in his chair and pressed his palms against the desktop. “A black student has just been attacked!” he said. “Classes are being disrupted. The police are running themselves ragged, trying to keep everything under control. Now we have threats of a major civil rights demonstration being held on our campus!”
Horning looked at Severson and frowned. “Why don’t you just calm down,” he said. “We’ve weathered crises before. This isn’t any different.”
Severson stared back, his jaw askew. “Sir, I beg to disagree! We may have been able to smooth things over in the past, but this is very different. This could turn violent—even more violent than it already has become. And it's just a matter of time before the media plasters this mess all over the front page.”
Before Horning could respond, his phone rang. As he reached to answer it, Severson stood to leave. “Hold on Todd. Let me get this. This might be the call that will get us out of this damn mess,” Horning said, as Severson paced the floor.
***

Three Weeks Earlier
It was a cool, cloudy Sunday night in early autumn. Two figures huddled in the shadows next to a small house, near the Lakeside University campus. They set to work quickly, and soon a sharp chemical odor drifted through the air.
“Man, this shit really stinks,” said the first one, muffling a cough in his gloved hand. “Are you sure this will work?”
“It has to,” said the second. “You heard what they said. We’ve got to take care of this tonight.” “Okay, okay,” said the first. “Just light the damn thing so I can make the call and we can get the hell out of here!”
***
Inside the small house, Lakeside University student Ashante Melashe was working on a recording for her broadcast engineering class. Just as she hit the record button, the shrill ring of the telephone echoed through the house. "Oh, no!” she moaned, “I forgot to turn off the ringer!” She pushed her chair back from the table. “Well, that’s another sound bite down the drain."
"I'm coming," she grumbled as the phone continued its loud summons. "Hello?"
"Look outside,” said a gruff, male voice. “You’ll see how we feel about niggers at Lakeside University."
"What did you just say? Who is this?"
"Just look outside, bitch."
“Is this some kind of joke?” Ashante asked, but the only answer was the dial tone.
Shaking her head in disgust, she took a deep breath and stepped out into the front yard. The shock of the flames sucked the air from her lungs in a choked gasp. A strange smell burned her eyes and throat. She stood frozen, glaring at the blaze of bright red and orange fire burning against the cold, black starless night.
Then the realization hit her with as much force as if someone had kicked her in the stomach. Suddenly she knew what she was staring at: a huge cross, whose wicked flames lit up the yard and filled her with soul wrenching horror.

 "Oh, my God," Ashante whispered. 







The Eagle's Last Flight by Ron Standerfer (Book Tour & Giveaway)

Ron-Standerfer-Long

The Eagle's Last Flight

by Ron Standerfer

Ron Standerfer was born and raised in Belleville, Illinois, a town across the Mississippi river from St. Louis, Missouri. While attending the University of Illinois he took his first airplane ride in a World War II-Vintage B-25 bomber assigned to the local ROTC detachment. It was a defining moment in his life. Weeks later, he left college to enlist in the Air Force's aviation cadet program. He graduated from flight training at the age of twenty and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Another defining moment occurred early in his career. In August 1957, he participated in an atomic test at Yucca Flat, Nevada. Standing on an observation platform eight miles from ground zero, he watched the detonation of an atomic bomb code named Smoky. The test yielded an unexpected 44 kilotons---more than twice the size of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. He never forgot Smoky, and the memory of that experience weighed heavily on his mind when he wrote The Eagle's Last Flight, a semi-autobiographical novel about his life as an Air Force fighter pilot during the Cold War. Ron's twenty seven-year Air Force career spanned the Cold War years between 1954 and 1981. During that time, he flew a variety of high performance fighters including the F-100, F-102, F-105, F-4 and A-7. He flew over 200 combat missions during the Vietnam conflict and was awarded two Silver Stars, thirteen Air Medals and the Purple Heart. The latter was received after he was shot down over Tchepone, Laos in 1969. He retired from the Air Force just as the Cold War ended as a full Colonel after tours in the Pentagon and Tactical Air Command headquarters in Virginia. He continued to pursue his passion for aviation after retiring. He was a marketing director for Falcon Jet Corporation, a subsidiary of the French aerospace manufacturer Dassault Aviation. In that capacity, he was responsible for launching the marketing campaign for the Falcon 900, a long-range business jet. Later, he was an owner of an aircraft charter and management company in Elmira, NY and also a marketing consultant. Ron is a prolific writer and journalist. He appeared on WOR TV in New York City during the first days of the Persian Gulf War, providing real time analysis of the air war as it progressed. His book reviews and syndicated news articles are published regularly in the online and print news media, as well as in military journals. These days Ron and his wife Marzenna, the daughter of a distinguished theatrical family in Poland, spend their time in their homes in Gulf Stream, Florida and Warsaw.  

Author Links



  1. Favorite Author & give one quote from your favorite book by them
To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation”. The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
  1. Fantasy or Mystery
Call me old-fashioned, but the wizard of Oz is still my favorite fantasy,
  1. Horror or Comedy
Just about everything Stephen King writes scares me, but I would have to pick The Shining.
  1. Soda or Tea
Tea is for me---more class less gas!
  1. Indoors or Outdoors
That’s like asking me to choose one half of the world over the other. Certainly, I love being outdoors, walking outside enjoying the fresh air and wildlife---especially with a camera in hand. But I also I treasure my warm cozy hours inside, dreaming and thinking.
  1. One thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
My mind is years younger than my body. It always has been and always will be. Therefore, you might be surprised by my actual age.
  1. Describe your office
A bright, cheery room with one window facing the Atlantic ocean which just yards away. One wall is covered by book shelves while a small couch sits on another for day dreaming. I work on a long plain, table on which a computer and printer sit, crowded by an unruly mob of unread books and unfinished paper work which refuse to go away.
  1. Night owl or early bird.
It is nearly midnight and I am just starting on this questionnaire which is due tomorrow morning. Does that answer your question?
  1. First dinner you had with your Significant Other.
I met my wife to be while taking classes in a Berlitz language school. She was taking a refresher course in German, and I was learning to speak Japanese. She was gorgeous (and still is) and I was immediately attracted to her. After summing up my courage, I asked her out for dinner one evening when class was finished. It was slow going at first, but I finally won her over. Marrying her was the best decision I ever made in my life.
  1. Using the letters of Angel as an acronym, describe your book.
Action-packed Aviator’s story
Nuclear radiation was the demise of the hero.
Gave his all in both war and peace.
Early exposure to Korean Vets steered him wrong.
Love story an integral part of this book.



About The Book

Book Genre: Fiction, Military History/Aviation
Publisher:The Pelican Communications Group (A proud Indie publisher)
Release Date: September 9, 2013
Buy Link(s):


Book Description:

Skip O’Neill lies dying of leukemia in a New York hospital, determined to live until the new millennium. His wasted body shows scant evidence of the man he once was—an Air Force fighter pilot and decorated combat veteran.  O’Neill’s first assignment as a young lieutenant places him among hard drinking World War II—and Korean War—era fighter pilots who quickly teach him their ways. He almost washes out of pilot training but is persistent and manages to graduate. In Vietnam, he proves to be a skillful and courageous pilot who faces dangers of all kinds with equanimity. But the greatest—and most deadly danger—materializes years after O’Neill volunteers to be an observer at an atomic test site. In the end, O’Neill decides that when his time comes, he will dash at it fearlessly. He anticipates being greeted by departed friends—but what awaits him is something totally unexpected.  

Excerpt:

Skip never forgot his experience at Camp Desert Rock. Years later, he ran into
a Marine at the officers club who had participated in one of the tests and the two of them compared notes about what they had experienced.
‘‘It was the damnedest thing,’’ the Marine said, ‘‘There we were, almost at ground zero. I mean we were sitting in trenches, three miles away. Three miles! Not on some piddley-assed platform eight miles away, like those Air Force and Navy pussies.’’
Skip let that comment pass, based on his longstanding belief that arguing with a Marine who has been drinking, was not a smart thing to do.
‘‘And get this…right after the blast we were supposed to leap out of the trenches so we could be moved up to a point three hundred yards away.’’
‘‘Three hundred yards?’’ Skip exclaimed. ‘‘Why so close, for God’s sake?’’ ‘‘Why? To set up a mock defensive perimeter against anyone who theoretically
might have survived the attack.’’
‘‘Yeah right…like anybody would.’’
‘‘Exactly. When we moved into position, there was nothing to see, much less to defend against. I mean nothing, just a few piles of molten metal here and there. And, oh yeah, the charred flesh of sheep that were used in the test.’’
‘‘Sheep?’’
‘‘Yeah, sheep. There I was with my men, tromping around in this fallout shit…you know…that white ash that crunches under your feet?’’
‘‘Fallout at three hundred yards, that stuff had to be big time radioactive.’’ ‘‘Right, but of course I wasn’t afraid, because afterwards we were gonna get
brushed off with brooms and hosed down. I mean, brooms, man. How dumb could we have been?’’
‘‘Anyway,’’ he continued, ‘‘about the same time, this guy shows up over the top of the hill, all dressed out in some kind of shiny, silver, protective suit with a ventilator and face mask. When he sees us, he comes roaring over, like someone lit a rocket in his ass. What are you guys doing here? Where is your protective gear? He yelled. All the time he’s talking, he’s pointing this Geiger counter thing at us, which is going click, click, click.
I yelled back, we’re just doing some reconnoitering, getting ready to kick some ass.
Well, you guys shouldn’t be here, he replied. Are you crazy?
Well, yeah. I told him. We are crazy. I mean…we’re Marines, which is basi- cally the same thing…right?
It turns out this dude was some kind of technician from the Atomic Energy Commission. They were the guys who were supposed to be running the tests. And, get this…he didn’t even know the military was operating that close to ground zero!’’
‘‘No way,’’ Skip said.
‘‘Yep, and when I got him settled down, I found out that he wasn’t pissed at all. He was just scared…for us. That should have been my first clue.’’
‘‘Don’t take this the wrong way,’’ Skip said, ‘‘but it sounds to me like the gov- ernment was using you guys as guinea pigs.’’
‘‘Guinea pigs?’’ The Marine snorted derisively. ‘‘We should have been so lucky. The laboratory animals they used in those tests were washed down with soap and water afterwards, and their health was carefully monitored. It’s been fif- teen years since that test and nobody has asked me shit about my health. It’s like it never happened!’’
‘‘Or like you guys were expendable, so it didn’t matter,’’ Skip offered
‘‘We were all expendable. You, me, and the 250,000 or so troops who partici- pated in all those years of testing. And that, my friend, is the way it is.




  Ron-Standerfer-Long    

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Book Tour & Giveaway: The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III

Book Tour & Giveaway: The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III

Paul-DeBlassie-Banner-Ad  

 About The Author

561989_551509354905000_1349582352_n  Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes psychological thrillers with an emphasis on the dark side of the human psyche. The mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic, provides the setting for the dark phantasmagoric narrative in his fiction. He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.   

Author Links: 

 Website pauldeblassieiii.com 
 Blog pauldeblassieiii.blogspot.com 
 Twitter https://twitter.com/pdeblassieiii 



Background of the book: The story comes out of over thirty years of treating patients in psychotherapy who are survivors of the dark side of religion…have been used and abused and cast to the side. I’ve seen that when this happens people, those around the victim, to include family and friends, often turn a blind eye and deny what has happened. Rather than writing a self help book I decided to approach this realm of human suffering in fiction. To tell a story moves the reader into a deep and unconscious dimension that bypasses conscious defenses, leaving us open to truths that otherwise would be blocked. So, dramatizing the dark side of religion, pulling what can be the most vile and evil, and pivoting it against an innocent and sincerely searching soul leaves the reader on edge, hopeful, but unsure as to what will happen and who in the end will survive…a truth conveyed symbolically and dramatically. To have written out a list of what to do or not to do in the midst of religious abuse might have helped some individuals, but would have left many people stone cold because there is no emotion is such guidance. In The Unholy, the story is pure emotion, fear and rage and hope and challenge, that inspires and frightens and causes us to stay up late at night in order to finish the story. Dream and chronic nightmares plagues people who’ve gone through the horror of being abused within a religious system. It could be emotional, spiritual, physical, or sexual torment---or all of the above---a true encounter with the unholy---that people undergo during childhood or adolescence or adulthood. They become anxious, depressed, or suffer a terrible emotional breakdown. I’ve treated them, helped them, and they helped to inspire the story of The Unholy!

Balancing life and writing; It’s a matter of listening to the energy coming from self, family, and friends so that nothing tips more one way than the other and the creative juices stay flowing rather than being depleted by excessive writing and are therefore constantly in a state of being replenished. I had a music teacher who once told me to practice or play up to the point that I feel bored, that the energy for it has been spent, and then to stop for the day. That’s what I do with writing. I stay with it, hit the page running each day, and go for as long and with as much intensity as I have for the scene that I’m writing. Then, I stop. And, if I don’t stop I’ll have nightmare that night that I’m being seduced and used by the muse and that such a thing could lead to utter ruination. There are horror stories about this. Writers in the stories feel the tug to write, the muse senses that someone is taking the bait and then the writer is hooked and reeled in. So, if I let myself be hooked and reeled in then I lose my balance. There is something to being hooked and reeled of course, but the true and balanced thing of it happens when it comes from a hook and a reeling that is my own and not one that causes me to be possessed by something other than my own common sense. After all, what matters is the living of life, and living a good one to the best of one’s ability, writing only a part of that.

Where do ideas come from? Ideas come from the deep repository of the collective unconscious mind that inspires images and symbols during the fantasies of waking life and during dreams and nightmares. Mainly, it’s the nightmare stuff that bodes best for writing psychological thrillers and dark fantasy such as is in The Unholy. When I wake up in a cold sweat with the characters of the novels threatening me (I remember when Archbishop William Anarch, sinister prelate in The Unholy tormented me for nights on end, demanding that I not write the story) that’s when I know that real inspiration is flowing and that to listen to it and follow the images and symbols that emerge from my deep, unconscious mind during sleep and during the reverie of writing the story will end up in the development of spine tingling realities that jettison both me as the writer and the reader into phantasmagoric realms that have a way of shaking up conscious mindsets and get our heads blown out in a very, very unsettling but ultimately useful way. My writing, in other words, comes from an inner place of torment that needs to be let out so it can be set right. When mind stuff is set right inside me I can feel it by sensing a quality of being at peace, that I’ve written to the best of my ability and been true to the deep, archetypal energies swirling through my mind during the narrative. It really is a trip to listen to ideas, let them become images, and suddenly have them take over a page. It’s like the pages catch fire and everyone has come to life and things become disorderly, fraught with conflict, and danger looms.


Advice for writers If you’re feeling the impulse to write it’s because you have writing in you so do not stop no matter what inner or outer critics have to say because it’s not about going down a dead end road and then giving up so much as taking turns in the road as they present themselves. Write and never stop. I read a famous horror writer state that each writer needs to know when they should just give up. Completely, totally, and utterly I disagree. There is no giving up for the authentic writer, one inspired, called by the gods. Writing is matter of sanity and life. To not write for a writer is no more possible than to not breathe. Writers everywhere keep on writing. Never has there been more opportunity to write and be published. Even being published is secondary. Write and never stop because at some point and in some way you’re going to hit a stride that will catch a publishers eye and they’ll want to take you on. So, as far as advice for writers, stay with it, never ever give up, catch your stride and without question you will one day meet up with your publisher and audience. Lastly, when despair comes over you as a writer, take it as a good thing since usually behind all things shadowy there is a truck load of potential. That potential eventually reaches consciousness providing that despair is understood as a fallow time and nothing more or less than that. It’s not a dead end. It’s a turn in the road or redirection of sorts that sends the writer deeper so she or he can listen with greater sensitivity and ultimately discover fresh inspiration.



About The Book

Book Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Sunstone Press
Release Date: August 2013
buy_at_amazon


The-Unholy-Book-CoverBook Description:

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, "The Unholy" is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.    

Excerpt

Prologue

Lightning streaked across a midnight dark sky, making the neck hairs
of a five-year-old girl crouched beneath a cluster of twenty-foot pines in the
Turquoise Mountains of Aztlan stand on end. The long wavy strands of her
auburn mane floated outward with the static charge. It felt as though the
world was about to end.

Seconds later, lightning struck a lone tree nearby and a crash of thunder
shook the ground. Her body rocked back and forth, trembling with terror. She
lost her footing, sandstone crumbling beneath her feet, and then regained it;
still, she did not feel safe. There appeared to be reddish eyes watching from
behind scrub oaks and mountain pines, scanning her every movement and
watching her quick breaths. Then everything became silent.
The girl leaned against the trunk of the nearest tree. The night air
wrapped its frigid arms tightly around her, and she wondered if she would
freeze to death or, even worse, stay there through the night and by morning be
nothing but the blood and bones left by hungry animals. Her breaths became
quicker and were so shallow that no air seemed to reach her lungs. The dusty
earth gave up quick bursts of sand from gusts of northerly winds that blew so
fiercely into her nostrils that she coughed but tried to stifle the sounds because
she didn’t want to be noticed.

As she squeezed her arms around the trunk of the pine tree, the scent of
sap was soothing. Finally, the wind died down and sand stopped blowing into
her face. She slowly opened her eyes, hoping she would be in another place,
but she was not; in fact, the reality of her waking nightmare was more obvious
than ever.

Wide-eyed with fear at the nightmarish scene playing out before her,
she clung to the tree. In the distance, she saw her mother raising a staff with
both hands, her arm muscles bulging underneath her soaked blouse. Directed
straight ahead, her mother’s gaze was like that of an eagle, her power as mighty
as the winds and the lightning. The girl loved her mother and, through her
mind, sent her strength so that she would win this battle and the two of them
could safely go away from this scary place.

The girl turned to follow as her mother’s gaze shifted to an area farther
away and so dark that only shadows seemed to abide there. To and fro her
mother’s eyes darted before fixing on a black-cloaked figure who emerged from
behind a huge boulder surrounded by tall trees whose branches crisscrossed
the sky. He was much bigger than her mother, at least by a foot, and his cloak
flapped wildly as winds once again ripped through the mountains.
Swinging a long, hooked pole, the man bounded toward her mother like
a hungry beast toward its prey. His black cloak looked like the wings of a huge
bat as they reflected the eerie light of the full moon. As his pole caught the
moonlight and a golden glow bounced back onto the figure, the girl saw his
face with its cold blue eyes that pierced the nighttime chill. He seemed to grow
bigger with each step, and the girl’s heart pounded so loudly that she was sure
he would be able to hear it.

The stranger stopped a short distance from the girl. Crouched low
between rows of trees, trying to make herself disappear, she saw him clearly as
he threw his head back and let out a high-pitched cry like a rabid coyote. The
air crackled. Thunder struck. Lightning flashed. She was blinded and then
could see again.

Quick as a crazed coyote jumps and bites, the man struck her mother, his
black cape flapping wildly in the wind.
The girl leapt to her feet, her legs trembling, her knees buckling.
Straining to see through the branches, she was terrified.
The moon vanished behind dark clouds rolling overhead. Then came
a scream of terror that cut to the bone. Now the night was lit up again by
lightning flashing across the mountain range, and the girl could see the blackhooded
man hit her mother again and again.

Her mother crumpled to the ground and stopped moving.
The girl’s hand flew to her open mouth, stifling a scream.
The man stood over her mother, his long pole poised in the air, ready to
strike again.

A twig snapped in the forest, and the girl spun toward the sound, holding
her breath. Then she saw three gray forms slowly creeping toward her
through the darkness and recognized them as wolves. She was not afraid as
they encircled her, their warm fur brushing her skin. One after another, the
wolves lifted their snouts and looked into her eyes, each silently communicating
that she would be protected.
Her mother cried out again. The girl turned and saw her rising to her
feet, then striking the man’s chest with her staff.
As he batted his pole against her shoulders, her staff flew out of her
hands, landing yards away in a thicket of scrub oak.
Her mother screamed and blindly groped for it.

The girl jumped up, then stopped when the black-hooded figure looked
her way. Tears clouded her vision, and all she saw was darkness. Tears rolled
down her cheeks, dropping into the tiny stream of water running beneath the
tree she was clutching. She looked down and saw the dim reflection of her
frightened self.

As she peered through the trees to catch sight of her mother, a wailing
wind blew the man’s cloak into the air, making him again look like a monstrous
bat. Once more he swung his rod high and smashed it against the back
of her mother’s head. She saw and heard her mother’s body thump against the
hollowed trunk of the lightning-struck tree and slump to the ground. The evil
man bent over her mother’s limp body and howled.
Suddenly, the girl felt arms encircle her waist, and she was swept away,
deeper into the forest. She sobbed and at first let herself be taken because she
had no strength. But then she became angry and started pushing against the
arms carrying her, trying to escape and run back to her mother. She wanted to
make her mother well, and then this nightmare would stop and they could go
away.

Hush now, child,” said a voice she recognized as that of her mother’s
closest friend. “The man cannot harm you, mijita, as long as you are with us.
We will make him think you are dead. But you must be very quiet. Ya no
llores,” the woman warned, raising a finger to her lips.

The woman then carried her into a dark cave illuminated by the light
of a single candle. The cave was frightening, with shadows of what appeared
to be goblins and demons dancing on the red sandstone walls. “I will return for
you soon. You will be safe here,” the woman said. The girl watched the woman
walk away, shivering as a breeze blew through the cave’s narrow passages.

Closing her eyes, she rocked back and forth—imagining herself safe in
her mother’s arms—then opened her eyes to the light of the full moon shining
through the mouth of the cave. The shadows on the walls were just shadows
now, no longer goblins and demons. As she slipped into a trance, images
flickered in her mind. She saw the woman who had brought her to this place
scattering pieces of raw meat around the open mesa where her mother had
struggled, helped by two other women the girl could not identify.

Suddenly, the scene shifted to a stone ledge jutting over the mesa, and
she heard the pounding footsteps of a man running toward the women. The girl
felt her heart race and her breathing quicken, afraid that the bad man would
spot them and kill them. Then the image shifted again, and she now saw on the
mesa three gray wolves circling the raw meat and the man walking away from

the granite ledge. As he left, she heard his thought: The child is dead.



Paul-DeBlassie-Long
     

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