Night of the Hell Hounds, Part 3

I’m continuing to add the stories that appeared in my 2014 book, The Green Crystal Stories, in chapter-by-chapter installments. Today’s chapter is the final one from the 2013 short story, “Night of the Hell Hounds.” This was the first book of five in The Green Crystal Stories and had nothing to do with the title, which is why I’m rewriting the book.

So, sit back, relax if you can, and read on while teenagers Lenny Stevens, Dave and Amy Evans, and Vree Erickson continue encountering ghosts and demon dogs … and struggle to survive atop the mysterious Myers Ridge.

Night of the Hell Hounds

Beware the strangeness at night that it may come for you.

November 3, 2012

Chapter 3

cover06 thumb“They’re after me,” Dave yelled as he ran from around the side of the barn and headed toward them. “Get in the tents. Hurry.”

In a puff of red smoke, the Rottweiler appeared in front of Dave, blocking the way.

Dave skidded to a stop and stared wildly at the dog. Then he bolted to his right and vanished into the field and darkness there.

Two hounds glowing green raced into view from around the side of the barn and charged after him.

The Rottweiler followed, almost flying across the ground as it too vanished in the dark.

“They’re heading toward Widow’s Ravine,” Lenny said. “We have to help—”

Just then, horrible howls from below the hill filled the air. Amy and Vree screamed as they stared down the hillside. The remaining dogs charged the hill.

“They’re real,” Amy said before she tore past Lenny, the blanket dropping to the ground. Vree followed, close at her heels.

Lenny looked once more at the hellish ghost dogs coming at him before he raced after the girls heading to Mr. Evans’s house, which was lit up inside and looked so safe and inviting.

“But what about Dave?” he called out.

The girls kept running, but he stopped. His best friend was being chased to a dangerous place with sinkholes and cliffs. He turned and hurried after Dave as the remaining hellhounds crested the hill and raced after him.

Book01 640-400He plowed blindly into brambles and thorny weeds that slapped and poked and grabbed him, scratched his face and hands, and scarred his clothes and shoes.

The hellhounds closed their distance quickly. His drumming heart climbed into his throat when he realized he couldn’t outrun them. Still, he shielded his face with his arms as he pushed on.

The dangerous terrain looked foreign in the low-lit night, yet he followed the sound of the hellhounds ahead of him and thought only of Dave’s safety.

His inhales and exhales sounded like whimpers and moans when moonlight broke through the clouds and he burst through the confining brambles at a clearing atop a steep cliff of Myers Ridge.

Dave was there, at the edge but safe for the moment, doubled over and breathing hard. The hellhounds that had followed him had their heads lowered and their rear ends in the air like wolves that had just pinned their prey.

Lenny hurried and kicked at the Rottweiler’s backside, hoping to punt it over the cliff. Instead, his foot went through the apparition and he landed on his backside.

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Night of the Hell Hounds, Part 2

book cover 1-5 400-640As I said in my last blog post, while I rewrite the stories that appeared in my 2014 book, The Green Crystal Stories, I am offering the original stories here in chapter-by-chapter installments. Today’s chapter is from the 2013 short story, “Night of the Hell Hounds.” This is different from the novel with the same name that I wrote last year. Here, Dave, Amy and Vree are friends instead of siblings like in the novel, and Dave and Amy live where Lenny lives in the novel. Also, Ben and Cathleen Myers aren’t Lenny’s great-grandparents in this story (Ben is Reginald Myers in the novel), and the strange Ademia Savakis appears here like she did in my original story published online a decade ago.

Sit back, relax if you can, and read on while teenagers Lenny Stevens, Dave and Amy Evans, and Vree Erickson encounter ghosts and demon dogs and struggle to survive atop the mysterious Myers Ridge.

Night of the Hell Hounds

Beware the strangeness at night that it may come for you.

November 3, 2012

Chapter 2

Book01 640-400“Who are you?” Dave said, almost shouting, which drew Vree’s and Amy’s attention. “This is private land.”

Fiery hues of the campfire revealed a stunning woman. Flame glinted from her long black hair, her bronze face, and her long, sweeping black dress tied off at the waist. A white lace collar hung around her neck, and pearl buttons sparkled in a row between her ample breasts. Tall and curvy, she looked at the four teenagers with mesmerizing and penetrating eyes — blacker than either her hair or dress, or the rubies set in the gold rings that she wore on eight fingers and two thumbs.

“This parcel of land is owned by Margaret Evans,” she replied as she strolled to stand next to the fire between Dave and the rest of them.

“She’s our grandmother,” Dave said. “Our dad lives here now.”

“Yes, I know of your family, David,” she said to him. “And Amy.” She smiled and looked kindly at Amy, beaming those mysterious charcoal eyes. Then she looked at Lenny and lingered with a puzzled, yet bewitching gaze.

He held her gaze until Dave asked, “How can we help you?”

She looked away and said, “I must rest a moment. The journey here has tired me.”

She sat with a grace that made her seem to glide to the grass. There, she tucked her legs delicately beside herself and covered her bare feet beneath her dress. Her gaze shifted back to Lenny, then to Vree, and then to him again.

“I don’t know you two,” she said.

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Night of the Hell Hounds, Part 1

book cover 1-5 400-640I am rewriting the stories that appeared in my 2014 book, The Green Crystal Stories, and published at Amazon for a short while before I shelved it. Why did I shelve it after I spent months designing the cover and editing the writing to what I considered a polish? Because it wasn’t done. By the time my readers reached the last sentence of the last story, they discovered that I hadn’t resolved the main character’s major problem. “To be continued” I wrote at the end, which, in hindsight, wasn’t fair to everyone who expected a true ending. So, I am republishing the book with a true ending this year and offer it free as often as Amazon will allow. I owe it to my readers.

Book01 640-400Meanwhile, between writing and polishing that ending, I am offering the original stories here in chapter-by-chapter installments. The first one is the short story, “Night of the Hell Hounds.” This is different from the novel with the same name that I wrote last year. For example, friends Dave and Amy Evans and Vree Erickson are siblings in the novel, and Lenny Stevens lives where Dave and Amy live in the short story. If you’re confused, read the novel for clarification, drop me an email, or both.

Anyway, in the short story, “Teenagers Lenny Stevens, Dave and Amy Evans, and Vree Erickson encounter ghosts and demons and struggle to survive atop mysterious Myers Ridge.”

Night of the Hell Hounds

Beware the strangeness at night that it may come for you.

November 3, 2012

Chapter 1

It was the weekend after Halloween, dark and cold on the night Lenny Stevens parked his Schwinn next to the garage at Dave Evans’s place on Myers Ridge. Dave had told him he would be behind his dad’s barn. Lenny found him there, roasting hot dogs on a stick at a fire that failed to advance any warmth. His tent was set up behind him, and his twin sister Amy had her own tent behind her. She sat cross-legged across the fire from Dave, whispering and giggling with Vree Erickson. Lenny’s heart pattered while his gaze caressed Vree’s long hair looking golden in the firelight. Amy saw him, patted her sleeping bag and told him to sit next to her. He did, sandwiching himself between the two girls and snuggling under Amy’s blue blanket, which she draped over their shoulders. He quickly warmed, all the while smelling hot dogs and wood smoke and perfume that smelled like oranges.

They wore sweatshirts and blue jeans and jackets to ward off the night’s chill, and Vree had on white furry mittens that seemed to make her all the more beautiful to Lenny. He said hello to her and she nodded and smiled and remained silent while Amy controlled the conversation about Mr. Baretti — a tenth grade teacher she didn’t like. When she finished, Lenny opened his mouth to make small talk with Vree. He never got a word out.

“I’m glad you’re here,” Dave said, seeming to awaken from the trance the fire had put him in. “Take a look at the old Myers place and tell me what you see.”

The old, burnt shell of Myers Mansion was to Lenny’s right and at the bottom of a hill. It languished inside a thicket of property almost a hundred yards away and barely visible in the darkness. No moonlight broke the cloud cover then, so he squinted to see the spooky remnants of the mansion destroyed in June by an unknown arsonist. The police were still investigating the fire and Lenny and his friends had their suspicions of the culprit — he figured it was Craig Coleman and his gang of toadies who liked to smoke and drink there, even though the place was supposed to be haunted.

“Dave thought he saw ghosts,” Amy said. She gave him her whittled stick and a hot dog to roast. “Always with the ghosts.”

He looked again at the house, excited about this new turn of events. The once prominent house had been built ninety years ago by a once-famous Broadway playwright named Benjamin Myers who became even more popular writing blockbuster screenplays for Hollywood before he and his wife mysteriously disappeared.

“You saw Myers and his wife’s ghosts?” he asked.

“Apparitions of some dogs,” Dave said; “three of them as plain as day. They vanished right before you came.”

“You saw his dogs? The hunting dogs that froze to death?” Lenny almost dropped his hotdog while he fumbled to pierce it with the stick.

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