Welcome to my blog and my stop on the tour for Deadly Ground.
Description of Deadly Ground by Thomas W. Starbuck and Judy Belshe-Toernblom
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T.W. Starbuck, Author
AB exhaled the words, “Not by the hair of my chinny chin . . .”
And then he passed out. He had survived himself and an attack of coyotes.
Days later and looking like a bad case of mummy wrapping, AB was still alive. He had wrapped his ribs by laying cloth on the floor and rolling over it. His face had healing scabs, and his arms were bandaged. He was a mess, but alive. However, he had added to
his look a gun holster with a loaded gun.
Now limping, he was using Vi’s pink cane to lean on as he raked through some of the burned rubble in his house. As he searched through the ashes, he found some small egg-like objects. When he cracked them open, he saw that they were the remainders of his burned family albums. There in his bandaged hand, he held his memory treasures of family’s and friends’ pictures. He looked at each one for a very long time, trying to make the memory come alive.
There were pictures of his college days with Clayton, the band they were in. Family pictures of himself as a boy and his brother.
As he pushed away more of the ash, he found the cover of the book of poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay that his mother had read to him as a child. Only the cover had survived.
He flipped the cover over. The inscription on the cover could still be seen. To Adam, may each morning bring you as much joy as you bring me. Love, Mom.
AB held the cover to his heart and cried. He had lost so much, and could find no reason to live, and yet he was still alive.
As he got up, his cane hit a box under the rubble. It was the metal box that his antique Dragoon pistols were in. He dusted off the box and opened it. The guns were dirty but still intact. He ran his hand over the barrel of one of the guns. He spit-shined it a bit. He then removed a bag filled with bullets from the box and loaded the gun. He spun the chamber a few times, and then he looked down the barrel. He slumped his shoulders. Depression had reached its peak. Nothing to look forward to and too much effort to even regain what he had.
AB slowly walked out on the half-burned deck and sat in his smoke-singed chair, gun in hand. AB was very much a man on the edge. He was no longer afraid to die. He put the gun to his head and scratched his head with it. He sat and looked at Winnie’s grave.
“You sure look peaceful, old girl—I miss you.”
The sound of gunfire from the antique gun echoed in the empty skies.
Lying dead was a coyote that had been trying to dig up Winnie’s grave.
“I told you, you sons of-a bitch to leave her alone. I’ll leave you there you as a reminder for your flea-bitten buddies.”
AB stared once again at Winnie’s grave. He got up and took the gun with him into the house. He walked over to the mantle and took Clayton’s vase off the shelf. He sat down on the couch and looked a long time at the vase. Then he went back outside and brought the vase with him. He sat back down in his chair, still holding the vase; and talking to Clayton, he said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t look for survivors longer, buddy. I’m just so tired and so lonely. I’m beat up.
I’m not brave enough to live this solitary life. I want to be with you all and my family.”
He put the gun to his head and began to shake and cry. He gritted his teeth and said, “Don’t cry, you jackass—there’s no one to miss, and no one to miss you.”
He steeled himself for the impact.
“This is the better way.”
He pulled the hammer back. His body shook as his finger tightened on the trigger.
Suddenly, a brilliant light flashed across the sky. It hovered long enough for AB to see that it was a spacecraft of sorts.
I enjoyed this little book. At 157 pages and with such a compelling storyline, this is a fast read. The author pulls you into the story with the descriptive language and then gives you interesting characters; all the while moving you into the thick of things with the threat to the entire human race.
It's a page-turner! It's a make-you-thinker!
I wasn't sure about AB as the main character's name, but then upon learning that it was actually Adam, I started to wonder...then the chimera angle, and I wondered some more...
Well done! A fastpaced, multifaceted read. I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in the tour, and I am looking forward to the next book!