Saturday morning Lucius was wheeling cases of beer into the Wilde Tavern when he noticed a familiar truck turn off the highway onto the road to Sugar Hill.
“Hey, Boone.” He poked his head into the tavern where Boone was replacing empty liquor bottles. “I just saw Mulligan heading up Sugar Hill.”
Boone looked up. “Seriously?”
“Yeah.” Lucius grinned. “Let’s go watch.”
By the time they got to the top of the hill, Dean was unloading his toboggan as Adam measured the distance along the icy run and placed a flag at the four hundred yard mark. Mulligan was halfway down the hill examining the swath of silvery ice.
“Hey, you guys want to help?” Dean asked as he positioned the toboggan at the top of the run. “I brought a stopwatch, but we sure could use someone to walk down to the end and time us.”
“Sure,” Lucius said. “I’ll do it.”
“Thanks.” Dean handed him the watch. “When Boone shoves us off you just press down the button and then when we get to the flag, press it again.”
“Good enough.” Lucius took it and walked down to the flag.
“That run’s as slick as snot,” Mulligan said. “We’re going to fly. Okay. Let’s get this done.”
Boone held the toboggan steady as Dean seated himself at the front, making a series of adjustments before he got into a comfortable position. Adam climbed on behind.
“I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to hold this for very long once you get on board,” Boone said to Mulligan.
“Don’t worry about it.” Mulligan straddled the toboggan. “Just get clear fast.”
Mulligan lowered himself behind Adam, grabbed his shoulders, and tucked his feet in place. With one kick of his heel and a shove from Boone the toboggan took off like a bullet. Chips of ice sprayed out on either side as the three man team hurtled down the hill and a shower of snow flew up coating Dean’s face, turning it into a white mask. Boone barely straightened up when he heard Lucius yell, “Wow!”
The toboggan and its passengers shot past him and flew across the field at the base of the hill, headed for the row of hemlocks that bordered Zweig’s Picnic Grove. It hit the hump of land where the trees grew, soared between two of them, and sailed over a ditch. Both Boone and Lucius started running. When the toboggan skidded across the road it seemed to slow down, then it tilted forward onto a steep embankment above the ice-covered pond.
“Oh, shit!” Dean yelled as Boone and Lucius burst through the hemlocks, arms held in front of their faces to protect them from the sharp needles. Mulligan grabbed the back of Adam’s jacket and rolled off the sled yanking Adam with him. They landed sideways in the snow as Dean and his toboggan shot out onto the pond.
Mulligan and Adam got to their feet, as Boone and Lucius caught up with them.
“Are you okay?” Boone asked but no sooner were the words were out of his mouth than they heard ominous crackling and squeaking.
“That ice isn’t thick enough to hold him.” Lucius ran, slipping and sliding, to the edge of the pond followed by the others.
About the book
Return to Marienstadt, the Pennsylvania Dutch town in the Allegheny Highlands, where stories new and old abound. Volume 1 of this series features four stories:
I – Treeing: It’s Christmas and antique dealer Jim Loeffler has a mission—to find a Tom & Jerry set for Ruthie Weis’s treeing party but the search becomes more difficult than he thought until he meets a fellow antique dealer with a sparkle in her eyes.
II – The Kissing Tree: Chief of Police Henry Werner is in love. The problem is, considering his romantically adventurous past, no one takes him seriously.
III – The Memory Quilt of Lacey Mulhearn: A new business woman in Marienstadt brings Gretchen an antique quilt found in the attic of the house she is turning into a B&B. With the help of Miss Martha they uncover a story from the past when one of the town’s first Irish immigrants decided to take a wife.
IV – Continental Divides: As woodsman Oliver Eberstark contemplates a big change in his life he takes a walk in Opelt’s Wood. Remembering lessons his grandfather taught him, a realization about his life surprises him.
Available for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Bucktail-Cap-Trunk-Secrets-Marienstadt-ebook/dp/B00XUX8614
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In July The Bucktail Cap in the Trunk will be published in paperback. All thirteen stories will be available in one volume. To enter to win a copy of the paperback before publication leave a comment telling what you think is going to happen next in this excerpt.
About the author
Kathleen Valentine is the award-winning author of four novels, many novellas & short stories, books of knitting patterns, & a cookbook/memoir about growing up Pennsylvania Dutch. She has been listed as an Amazon Top Selling Author in Horror and in Mystery/Suspense. As a writer her primary interest is delving into the psychology of her characters. Her stories are sometimes mysterious, sometimes funny, usually romantic, and frequently frightening. Her characters range from lost children and grumpy old folks, to mysterious men and women who are not to be trifled with. She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America’s oldest seaport.
Her blog at KathleenValentineBlog.com has been read by thousands of readers since its beginning in July 2005. She currently lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America’s oldest seaport, and is writing every day.
And follow her on Twitter @Kathleen01930.