FLASH FICTION TUESDAY: Hunting Gris’ Gris’

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AUTHOR’S NOTE: Since book three of my HISTORY’S MYSTERIES coming out in the spring of 2020 will be titled Hunting Gris’ Gris’, I thought I would give you a little “teaser” from the bayou legends of this swamp monster and the mystery surrounding my hometown in southern Louisiana. I promise my chapter book version will be MUCH tamer…

 

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Long, grey strands of Spanish moss wrapped its way around the branches of the old cypress tree, dipping low into the murky waters of the swamp. Dusk was fading fast and the night songs were starting to echo in the wind, carrying with it the stench of rotting vegetation and something else Collin couldn’t quite make out.

His friends dared him to spend a night on the bayou alone. “Chicken” and “scaredy-cat” they’d called him, taunting until he had no choice but to accept the challenge. With all his friends gathering to see him off, Collin barely had time to grab a lantern and blanket before he was hoisted into the back of Tommy’s truck and headed out to the edge of town to be dumped where the bayou beckoned the fool-hearted.

Sinking into the spongy, marshy ground, Collin looked in vain for a drier place to camp and finally settled for the base of the old cypress tress, wrapping the blanket tightly around him to ward off the damp mist rolling across the water in his direction. Using his cigarette lighter to ignite the lantern, Collin could just make out the shapes of turtles resting on a fallen tree trunk to his right and heard the deep, baying sound of an alligator somewhere off to his left.

He thought he’d never be able to sleep at all, but hours later he woke with an ache in his bones from remaining in that cramped position for so long. He realized with dismay the low flickering of the lantern meant it was about to go out, plunging him into a world of darkness, except for the pale moonlight peeking its way through the strands of moss. Collin was about to stand up to stretch his cramped legs when a strange sound came from somewhere directly in front of him.

Low at first, a deep throated growl could  soon be heard ringing throughout the surrounding trees. Collin’s breath caught in his throat as he suddenly remembered every tale Paw Paw had told him about the Gris’ Gris’. A half-man, half-beast born of the bayou, children were told bedtime stories of how the Gris’ Gris’ would come out of the swamp to get them if they didn’t fall asleep right away.

Collin always thought it was just old Cajun tales but as the sound drifted closer and closer, he desperately willed his numb legs to move as he stumbled toward the levee surrounding the swamp. Tripping over a root, Collin felt his breath rush out of his lungs when he hit the ground, momentarily stunned by the force of the fall. Rising to his knees, Collin began to stand up when he felt a hot breath slide across his neck, the stench of rotting flesh causing his stomach to recoil as his scream bubbled through his chest before echoing into the night…

 

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contest prizes

STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST PRIZES

 

*** I’m WAIVING THE ENTRY FEE!!***

It’s now FREE to send your short stories in for a chance to be published in an anthology. 25 winners and 25 prizes! Tell all your young, writerly friends from ages 10-18 to check out the contest rules by clicking on the STAR CATCHER YOUNG WRITER’S CONTEST tab above.

Hurry…entry deadline is Friday, November 15th!

 

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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 chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, will be released in November.

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.