December 29, 2009

First Graphs: My Dear Mrs. Jones in The Bitter End: Tales of Nautical Terror

For today's First Graphs, I thought I'd highlight one of my latest stories, just released in the new anthology, THE BITTER END: TALES OF NAUTICAL TERROR from Pill Hill Press. (Isn't the cover cool?)

In my story, "My Dear Mrs. Jones," a woman in Victorian times facing financial ruin after her father's death makes an unusual decision, agreeing to marry the mysterious Mr. Jones.

Excerpt from "My Dear Mrs. Jones" by C.A. Verstraete

The ink glistened as it flowed from the fountain pen, the squiggles still wet and gleaming on the page.

Elsbeth Masters fought the urge to smear the vestiges of her signature across the page like blood, but she dared not. It was already too late.

The sailor grabbed the parchment in his dirt-encrusted nails and rolled it into a tight tube. “Aye, he’ll be expectin’ ye in three days time then. At the beach.”

She nodded, still not completely sure of her choice, though she knew it was necessary. A shiver hit her.

The man grunted and walked away, the clump of his boots along the rough plank floors of the trade office sounding to her like the clang of the death bell. She staggered, grasping the edge of the worn wood desk. My God, what had she done?

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