The trees around the clearing were bereft of leaves and a crisp frost
clung to the yellowed grass covering the ground. I was having a hard
time remembering when I might have seen such a place when I heard the
voice of a young man. “It’s all gone.”
A chill breeze cut across the field, stirring the naked branches in the
forest. I braced myself against the biting breeze but didn’t feel the
least bit cold. I was looking for who spoke when I heard movement from
inside the ruins of the house. When I looked I saw the figure of a young
man standing among the burnt timbers.
“Who are you?” I asked.
He climbed from ruined building and stood short distance away. He looked
young, maybe my age, in fact we looked a lot alike except his skin tone
was darker than mine. People often found it surprising when they learned
I had a black mother. It wasn’t an obvious heritage with me but with
this young man it was. I was so focused on his face I failed to notice
his hands and the lower part of his legs weren’t clearly visible.
Where his limbs should have been there was a distortion in the air.
I was frightened. I knew this house and this person was not a memory. I
had never seen this house or this young man before. It had to be my
imagination but I couldn’t shake myself free from it. He was looking
at his hands and then suddenly what looked like fireflies began to
gather around him. At first there was only a dozen or so of the glowing
specs but then more came and they began darting around the young man,
circling him like bright little mosquitos. I watched in amazement as
these glowing bits began to collect and cling to his missing appendages.
Soon I could see the shape of his hands and even fingers. His feet began
to take form as well, including the clothing he was wearing.
The glowing specs dimmed after the transformation was complete and the
young man flexed his fingers and smiled as if he was seeing them for the
first time. “God this feels good!”
The frozen ground beneath him seemed to defrost. The yellowed grass
began to turn green and reach up to touch his outstretched hands. It
seemed to make happy watching the cold ground come to life. “It used
to be so beautiful.” He said. He turned to the house and raised his
arms and I watched with wide eyes as a million of glowing specs exploded
from the very ground.
I shielded my eyes from the blinding storm as it circled and descended
on the ruins of the house. A building began to take shape rising up and
spreading out forming walls, doors and windows. When the glow subsided
the ruins were gone and a beautiful plantation house stood in its place.
Up to that point I wasn’t sure where I was but when I saw the house
knew. It looked just like the house on the stamping tool. I was seeing
“Look at it!” He said in an angry voice. “This was my home and
they took it from me! He turned from the house to face me and he
extended his arms, showing me his hands. “I knew what it was like to
live and they took that too.”
I moved a step backwards and he laughed.
“You have nothing to fear from me.” He said. “I’m indebted to
you.” He looked at his hands again and I noticed they were beginning
to glow. His expression looked very tired and his voice was distinctly
more strained. “But all in good time.”
I asked him again. “Who are you?”
The glowing began to spread across his entire body starting where it
began with his hands and feet. Just before the affect could spread up
his torso he looked at me and answered. “You called me. I heard you
and I came.”
In a bright flash his body exploded into thousands of tiny bright specs,
as did the house, and as if they were caught up in a great wind the
glowing specs were quickly swept away.
The vision was gone in an instant. I was in the shop, sitting at the
workbench, with the bat in my hands. My fingers felt numb and cold and
the bat rolled from my hands to the back of the bench. I was looking at
the handle, staring at the name etched in the dark wood.
Excerpted from "Tuckers Creek: The Mystery Of Elijah Tucker" by David Price. Copyright © 2016 by David Price. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.