Trespassing, Part 2

book cover 1-5 400-640While I rewrite the stories that appeared in my 2014 book, The Green Crystal Stories, I’m offering the original stories here in chapter-by-chapter installments. In this chapter of “Trespassing” (the second short story in the book), the green crystal uses its mysterious magical powers to aid teenager Vree Erickson to save her mother from a kidnapper rapist and strengthen its control of her.

This is a possession story, though the reader doesn’t know that … not yet. The crystal does a good thing by giving Vree the magic power to travel through time and space to save her mom. It also does bad by (spoiler alert!) using its power to kill the rapist. This puts Vree on the spot and sets up the ancient (and probably overused) dilemma theme of good/right versus bad/wrong. It also poses to Vree the question: “How do I get rid of it?” It’s magic, after all, so it isn’t going to be easy.

But I’m getting too far ahead. Right now, Vree is an innocent—a babe in the wilds of a strange, magic world. This won’t be the case, however, when I publish the revised version of The Green Crystal Stories. After all, she has battled and defeated a witch’s ghost in the novel Night of the Hellhounds. And she has a book of magic spells from that story. But again, I’m getting too far ahead. To see how she has changed, you’ll have to wait for me to publish the book. For now, find a comfortable place to sit and … you know the routine.


Would it be that a destination could be otherworldly?

November 4, 2012

Chapter 2

Book02 640-400At a near-empty Walmart parking lot in Ridgewood, a heavy man leered across the passenger seat of a white Impala and out a partially open window. A middle-aged woman bundled in black imitation fur slid from a van’s driver’s seat and dropped onto the black pavement. She wore her blonde hair shoulder length and was dressed in blue jeans and black pumps. She opened a yellow umbrella, looked up at the dark, galling sky, and held up a hand as though trying to catch raindrops. Then she reached far inside the van for a black purse before she hurried across the sparsely lighted lot and entered the store.

The man heard no blip from the automatic door lock on her keychain. He waited a moment, then wiped away fingerprints with a rag from under the seat before he squeezed his large body from behind the steering wheel and wiped away prints from the door. Then he looked at the van in contempt as he crossed behind it.

“Honor this,” he said as he raised a middle finger at the MY CHILD IS AN HONOR STUDENT bumper sticker.

He opened the van’s hydraulic sliding door, which pulled from his grasp and opened itself, and climbed inside on all fours.

The roomy rear interior contained two rows of bench seats. A magazine titled Elle Decor, some paperback books, and a box of glitter crayons littered the first seat. A day planner had fallen behind the passenger seat. He opened the notebook.

“Karrie Erickson,” he said; “I can’t wait to see you naked.”

He flipped away the planner, closed the door (which actually closed itself when he pulled at the handle), and hunkered on the floor of the back row seat. He snatched a crumpled bag from McDonalds beneath the seat in front of him and ate some old fries.

Drippings of sweat pooled across his forehead and mixed with the rain there. He undid the top three buttons of his flannel jacket before he wiped his fat face with his sleeves. He was a short, floppy man with graying hair that seemed to explode from his head. He had a mocking thick-lipped face that appeared angry from behind pudgy grease-stained fingers always lurking there. And his bulbous brown eyes — not so much looking as unable to relax — were forever in motion.

After many minutes, Karrie Erickson returned to her van, got in, tossed two plastic bags on the passenger seat and started the ignition. A pleasant tone from the dashboard reminded her to buckle up. She jabbed at the radio and a lamenting song about lost love encircled her and the mostly concealed intruder behind her.

Read More »

Trespassing, Part 1

book cover 1-5 400-640When teenager Vree Erickson falls in a sinkhole caused by an earthquake on Myers Ridge, she finds a green crystal and unleashes its mysterious magical powers. She uses its power to escape the hole, whereupon the crystal possesses her and shows her a crime in process: a stranger in town is kidnapping her mother. Vree uses the crystal’s power to save her mother, thereby strengthening the crystal’s control of her.

“Trespassing” is the second short story installment of The Green Crystal Stories—an eerie tale set in and around the town of Ridgewood, PA. It’s also the introduction to the green crystal (which should have been part of the first story).

C.S. Lewis, best known for his fictional work The Chronicles of Narnia said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” I remembered this when I wrote the second book of The Green Crystal Stories. I also recalled his quote: “People (d)on’t write the books I want, so I have to do it for myself.” That was the foundation of The Green Crystal Stories from the beginning: Stories that I wanted to read!

So, sit back, relax, and read on while Vree Erickson encounters earthquakes, sinkholes, and the mysterious power of a magic green crystal.


Would it be that a destination could be otherworldly?

November 4, 2012

Chapter 1

Book02 640-400The day after Lenny’s fall from Myers Ridge, magma exploded one hundred miles beneath the ridge and slammed superheated carbon toward the earth’s surface at supersonic speed. It shoved tons of carbonic graphite into the deep bowels of Myers Ridge and shook the limestone remnant created by an ice age more than ten thousand years ago. The shaking caused portions of the ridge to cave in.

Vree Erickson, who had finished mowing the lawn before tonight’s expected snowfall, walked toward the shed to prop open its double doors, unaware of the earthquake until her parents’ backyard vibrated and splintered and opened.

She scrambled to climb from the ground falling with her, but the hole beneath her feet swallowed her and her father’s riding mower.

Her landing was softer than she expected despite the rock and stone she fell on. The John Deere’s landing, however, sounded worse. From skylight filtering through the eye of the hole, she could make out the crumpled edges of the overturned mower a few feet away. She smelled gasoline fumes mixing with the cool, earthy air, and knew that rock had punctured the gas tank.

On her backside twenty feet below her backyard, she shivered and rubbed her arms through her jacket. A miserable wet chill penetrated her clothes and stabbed her skin like a thousand icy knives. She looked around and saw a boxy chamber of stone — a cave no bigger than her bedroom. As she sat up, dim green light from a long protrusion of crystal next to her right leg caught her attention.

The crystal rose diagonally almost fifteen inches from the floor and was nearly six inches in diameter. When she took hold of its smooth and angled sides, the crystal brightened and warmed her palms. She pulled herself closer, wrapped her arms around it, and let its heat and blazing emerald light consume her until she felt her backside stop throbbing and the chill inside her leave.

She marveled at the crystal’s heat, tried to recall if all crystals produced heat, and then wondered how she was going to get out. No one was home to rescue her; her mother had gone shopping and her father was at his office in town. And now, the gray sky spat rain that would eventually turn to snow. The thought left her feeling cold again. She hugged the crystal and wished she could magically fly from the hole.

As she pressed her forehead against the crystal and told herself that she would be okay, that one of her parents would rescue her as soon as they got home, the ground shook again.

Read More »