Below is an excerpt from my short story collection titled The Black Rose and Other Scary Stories That Really Happened To Me! which is infused with the style of horror typically found in the folktales heard along the border of south Texas and Mexico. The first excerpt I posted was from "The Black Rose" story. This one is from "The Shadow of the Wolf".
We ate dinner underneath the pavilion every night. One night, as Anna, Chiquita, Chuy, Sarah, Miranda, and I lounged on the chairs and hammocks under the pavilion after dinner, my abuela sat down with us while sipping a cup of chamomile tea.
“We will have a storm tonight,” she said.
“How do you know?” I asked. The night was so clear that we could see every star in the sky. A full moon hung like a bright jewel in the velvet blanket of darkness.
“I feel it in my bones,” Abuela said.
“Do we still get to sleep under the pavilion?” Anna asked.
“No. It leaks. Your abuelo is setting up a mattress in the back of his pickup in the barn,” she said.
The “barn” was really just a large structure with an aluminum roof and no walls. My grandfather kept his tools, hay, tractor, and truck underneath. The truck had a hard camper shell over the cargo bed.
“What if we need to go to the bathroom?” Sarah asked.
“Cover yourself with a tarp from the barn and go to the outhouse. Be sure to take a flashlight with you,” Abuela replied. The outhouse was a few hundred feet from the barn, but it was the best option.
“Sounds like a plan,” Chuy said.
We sat around talking for a while longer. When we could no longer keep our eyes open, Anna and I followed Abuela into the ranch house to get some extra pillows and blankets. Chiquita and Miranda went to their room to sleep. The rest of us headed to the barn and climbed into the back of the truck, where Abuelo had placed a mattress and some blankets. Chuy told us the story of “La Llorona”, but he couldn’t scare us because we had all heard it before. We fell asleep as the first rain drops fell on the aluminum roof of the barn.
Crack! The loud sharp sound of thunder startled me from sleep. The rain sounded like a thousand falling needles pelting the roof of the barn. I opened my eyes and waited to adjust to the darkness. I grabbed the flashlight and turned it on. Sarah, Anna, and Chuy were still asleep.
Flash! Crack! A bright bolt of lightning followed by more thunder startled me again. This time, as the lightning brightened the barn, I saw the outline of a large animal outside the pickup truck through the side window of the camper shell. It looked like the shadow of a wolf!
Cold fear gripped my throat and squeezed my chest. I scurried to the camper door and twisted the lock to make sure it was secure.
“Ouch! You stepped on me,” said a groggy Chuy.
“Wake up! Wake up!” I said as I kicked Sarah and my cousins to wake them.
“What is going on?” asked Anna.
“I saw a wolf outside the camper window,” I said in a panic.
“That is impossible,” Sarah said. “First, we don’t have wolves here, just coyotes. Second of all, this window is way too high for any wolf.”
I could not argue with Sarah’s logic, but the events of two summers prior haunted me. The terrifying memories involved a creaking sound that turned out to be a moving tombstone and a black rose that appeared without an explanation.
“I know what I saw. I saw the shadow of a wolf when the lightning struck,” I said firmly.
“You must have been dreaming,” Anna said.
“How could you say that after what happened with the black rose and the tombstone?” I asked.
“That was a trick. Andrea must have done something to make us believe all that,” she said.
“She is your little sister! She was four years old when that happened. There is no way she could trick us!”
“Stop arguing!” Sarah said. “Let’s just go back to—“
Her voice was drowned by the sound of a long, mourning howl.
“What was that?” Chuy asked as he edged closer to us and pulled a blanket to cover his frightened face. Terrified, I once again reached for the camper door handle. I felt a tug as someone…or something….tried to open the door from the outside.
To find out what happens next, be sure to download The Black Rose and Other Scary Stories That Really Happened To Me! from Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. It is available for FREE from May 15-19, 2014. If you liked the stories, please leave a review on Amazon and tell your friends about the book.
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