Haunted Raine by R.E. Hargrave
Distracted by the everyday routine of raising children, being a wife, and keeping a home, Lorraine Morrissey let life pass her by. Her wakeup call comes when she realizes that with their children gone, her husband Richard is rarely home, and she’s filling her solitary days with trivial tasks. A crazy idea to save her marriage leads to a summer beach vacation unlike any she’s ever taken; one that involves unknowingly buying a haunted house.
The fast approaching ground disappeared, replaced by an old, worn, wooden floor. I shook my head to try and clear it of the cobweb fuzziness I felt. Raising my hands in front of me, I didn’t recognize them. They were dark brown, dry, and the skin was cracked in places. They didn’t feel connected to my body either. Mywords got stuck in my throat when I tried to ask what was going on. Swallowing to clear the blockage, I surveyed the room. Before me burned a dwindling fire inside an old-fashioned stone hearth, and to my right, old shuttered windows were thrown open, letting the cooling night air in.
The hoarse male voice startled me. I spun around, becoming aware of heavy skirts tangling in my legs.
“Yes, sir.” The voice, thick with a low country accent, wasn’t mine either, but the sound had passed through my lips. What the . . .
“How many sacks of cotton did you pick today?”
A tremor settled into my arms as panic tightened my chest. Tall and wide, the white man advanced on me. I skittered back toward the hearth at the look of hatred on his face.
“None, sir. I’s sorry, but my momma –”
“There are no excuses, Jesse. Rain or shine, y’alls task is at least two sacks a day while the cotton’s a blooming.”
“Did your momma get her two sacks picked?”
Beyond my control, my head shook side to side, and I curled in on myself more while taking another subtle step back. Warning sirens were going off, but it was obvious, I had no say over my faculties, nor did I have any idea what was going on. “She’s got the sick, sir.”
In slow motion, his hand rose, and I took in every detail: thinning, greasybrown hair slicked back from a shiny forehead, a narrow beak of a nose stretched down the length of his long face to a thin pair of pale pursed lips. His green eyes were bloodshot with the drink that wafted from his mouth. The yellowing linen shirt he wore was opened down to his mid-chest, exposing pale, untoned flesh. Proof that he relied on others to get the work done.
“‘She’s got the sick, sir,’” he sing-songed, mocking me. “Not my problem, girl. What is my problem is that you owe me four sacks’ worth of cotton, and have nothing to pay with.” At his words, an uneasy feeling settled in my stomach. I didn’t like where this was going and took another step back, bringing me a little closer to the fire and the iron tools I could see in my peripheral vision.
“But I can think of another way that you can start paying up.” When he came at me, I spun to grab the poker. Before I could reach the tool, arms enveloped me from behind, yanking me back until I collided with a hard chest.
R.E. Hargrave is a fledgling author who has always been a lover of books and now looks forward to the chance to give something back to the literary community. She lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX with her husband and three children.