This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2016 by Inara Reynolds
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Book cover by Inara Reynolds
Jellybones Part Seven
October 30th, 2016 cont...
Quaker road was 45 minutes outside of town, right out into county territory. It was beautiful out here. Fall had begun turning the leaves of the trees a glorious fiery color, reds, oranges, and golds, very majestic. The dirt road ran alongside a creek that could be seen through the birch trees that had begun to shed their foliage. Sam would have loved it out here, and I wondered why we had never adventured out this way before. It was too late to think about that now, Sam was gone.
I could see the old gristmill in the distance, shrouded by a cloak of trees. God, that’s gorgeous, I thought to myself. I pulled onto the dirt driveway and parked my car. It looked as if no one had been here for years. I got out of the car and had a look around.
The mill sat on top of a mound of rocks next to the creek that I had seen on my drive up. It was quiet and I could hear the birds chirping in the woods behind the old building. The only other sound that I could hear was the sound of water splashing off of the water wheel that was still turning.
The building was made of thin wooden boards that I assumed had been forested from the woods it lived in. My google search had revealed that the building was almost a century old, and it was in beautiful condition. I reached for my cell phone to take a photo but realized I had forgotten it on my nightstand. I wondered how many times my boss had tried to call me.
I decided to go inside and investigate. I must have dreamed that phone call, but that would not explain Sam’s murder. Surely, I had not killed my own husband. Wouldn’t I remember if I had? My face started to feel irritated, and I realized that I had not washed up. I was covered in Sam’s blood; at least he was still with me.
“Hello?” I said as I walked inside the gristmill.
The door had been knocked off its hinges and had been propped up to appear closed. Someone had been here. As I continued inside, I could see paw prints leading up the stairs.
That damn cat… I thought to myself.
Sacks of grain lay tossed on the floor, and mice scurried out of them as I went further into the room. I could hear the pit wheel turning, as it had for the last century. As I went up the stairs to the next floor, I could hear the millstones spring to life, turning as they once did in years past.
I could hear the cat scratching the walls of the top floor as I walked onto the landing of the second floor. It echoed eerily throughout the old mill. As I stepped out into the room, I heard chains spring to life in the levels above me. I barely jumped out of the way of a large sack of grain that I was sure the cat had sent down in hopes of killing me.
Illogical, how could a cat figure out how to work a machine, it has no thumbs.
I went back to the stairs, I felt safer there. The falling grain sacks could not get close enough to me to cause me any harm. That damn cat… what did he want with me?
I remembered the dying boy’s words as we sat in the barn in my dream. “You are to blame that she is here.” Who was she? The cat was male.
I decided it was time to go to the top floor and confront my fears. As I reached the last three stairs, a bag swung forward, hitting me in the face.
The world faded to black.
Thank you for reading! Creative and helpful criticism is welcome! Find typos in this draft? Let me know!