January’s Guest Storyteller, William D. Holland
William D. Holland is the author of five full-length novels, one non-fiction book about the craft of writing, and five novellas in the “Billy the Kid” chronicles. He can be found hanging out on his website https://artistrywithwords.com/ when he isn’t tending to his urban farm in Olympia, Washington.
Sarah says: I’m delighted to welcome as this month’s guest storyteller, one of my newer blogging friends, William (his WordPress username Billybuc). I really look forward to his weekly Tuesday posts that are always packed full of interesting and informative things.
Time to hand over to him now, for a two-sentence hook, followed by an extract from his latest novel, Shadows Over A Hangman’s Noose…
Eli Baker has dreams, and Melanie Hooper has visited him in one, along with four other orphans who are also missing.
The search is on, and Eli Baker is the right man to delve into the case of the missing orphans; however, Eli soon finds that evil acts are not only performed by evil men, but by Evil itself.
“I’m no psychiatrist or psychologist. I don’t know a damned thing about how the human mind works, why one abuse victim will become a counselor while another will become an abuser, why serial killers snap and feel a need to destroy innocence, or why one day a soccer dad buys an AR-15 and unloads a magazine in a crowded mall. All I know is the aftermath stains us all forever, and the whys will visit us in our dreams until the day we draw our last breath.
The second case I had as an army investigator was a child abuse case, a little nine-year old girl in the hospital for a broken arm, doctors and nurses suspicious about bruises on her upper arms. They made the phone call that dragged me out of bed at two a.m. on a muggy night near Fort Hood, Texas. The girl, curly blond locks pasted to her forehead, her mother holding her good hand, her two sisters standing nearby, told me she fell down the stairs and she was so sorry she bothered everyone, and mom nodding and saying her daughter was just clumsy like her mommy, laughing with a little too much nervous energy to appease me.
I coaxed an address out of the mother, drove to the off-post housing and found dad, a master sergeant, sleeping the sleep of the innocent. He wasn’t too happy, me waking him up, and he was even less happy when I mentioned the bruises on his daughter’s arms, and he was downright pissed when I asked him if he had anything to do with those bruises. He pulled his right arm back, fixing to turn out my lights with a massive punch, and I snap-kicked his kneecap.
That was ten years ago. The master sergeant is still in prison on three counts of child abuse, a history of beating his three kids in some confused attempt to quiet the demons only he could see and hear.
No, I’m no psychiatrist. All I know is the stain never goes away, and rabid dogs need to be shot.”