TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Riding The Ferry To Nowhere

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My hometown was surrounded by rice fields and swamps. Canals ran everywhere and sometimes there was literally no other way to get from one place to the other than by boat.

Once a month, my siblings and I would pile into our old car and my father would drive north to the ferry. The only way we would get to the next biggest town was to float across the boggy swamps on an ancient boat pulled across the murky waters along steel cables laid across the bayou. I would watch my mother with her feet peeking out the passenger window as she patiently waited for the sluggish ferry to reach the other shore.

I, on the other hand, was terrified to be on that ferry. I always imagined some freakish accident happening; the cables breaking, and being swept down the canal to some mysterious place where the “gris gris” or Cajun swamp monster lurked. My mother used to tell me the “gris gris” would come to visit if I didn’t go to sleep right away each night. What a scary thought!

 

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Writers sometimes find themselves bogged down by writer’s block, self-doubts, and insecurities when it comes to their writing. They impatiently wait for muses who sometimes never show up while deadlines rush to meet them. They need that ferry to pull them along a river of creativity, carrying them to the other shore and setting them on the path to publication…

 

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HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)

 

Amelia Earmouse travels back through time to uncover little known secrets. You may THINK you know your history, but wait until you see what Amelia uncovers in this latest volume of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES!

In Book One, Ship of Dreams, ten-year-old Margaret can hardly wait to see the largest ship ever built visit Southampton! Life is already hard for her family in the spring of 1912, but the coal workers’ strike could turn a bad situation into a deadly one. Margaret hopes to see the great Titanic leave on its maiden voyage, but will the strike prevent it from happening?

Available in ebook, paperback, and hardback beginning October, 2019.

 

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donna - Copy

 

Best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 14th, 2019.

FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Beware the Gris Gris

 

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Now on Tuesdays…at least for the foreseeable future…welcome to Flash Fiction Tuesday. In case you don’t know what flash fiction is, it is an extremely short story (sometimes created in 100 words or less) with a beginning, middle, and an ending.

 
But in my case, I write flash fiction with an open ending. I allow my readers to draw their own conclusion as to what happens next to the characters of each story. This week’s Flash Fiction is about an old swamp legend…

 

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Low hanging Spanish moss makes it difficult for the piroque to cut through the trees of the swamp. The air is humid and smell of rotting vegetation. Lee scratches his arm where a mosquito bit him and he’s glad he is up to date on his shots. Swamp fever is a deadly thing to catch, laying a man low for months even if he is lucky enough to survive the fevers.

The light is fading fast and there is just enough time to make it to the cabin before night. Lee sure doesn’t want to be on the water after dark. He has heard the legends of the gris gris and he isn’t taking any chances.

Old man Boudreaux even saw it once; standing about seven feet tall and covered in grey moss. A creature born of the swamps and known to tear a man limb from limb if he was dumb enough to be on the water after dark. The old man was rushing to get home one hot summer night when he saw something move among the trees. At first he thought it was just a gator; could even hear its deep croaking in the distance but this thing was too big to be a gator. Rising out of the swamp, the creature quickly moved toward him and the old man almost had a heart attack when he realized he was looking into the evil eyes of the gris gris.

Lee wipes the sweat from his brow and looks nervously around him. He can almost make out the front porch of his cabin. He just might make it home safely after all. Old man Boudreaux was lucky that night he got caught in the swamp. He made it out alive and days later was telling anyone who would listen about the swamp creature that almost got him.

What is that? A sound Lee has never heard before. Almost like a low moan and getting louder. The hair on the back of his neck rises as he realizes what is making that sound. The last thing Lee remembers is the old man’s story and the shock of the swamp water as the creature rises out of the deep and reaches for him…

What happens next? Share your imagination with others by leaving a comment below!

 

donna

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, My Journey, My Journal, is scheduled to be released by Expert Insights Publishing in the Fall 2018.