Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gatekeeper's Realm - Book II

This is the second book in the Legacy series, The Gatekeeper, ISBN #1-59431-451-9 -
Publisher: Write Words, Inc., Cambridge Books.

An except from Chapter 1-

Gatekeeper's Realm - Book II
Legacy Series
by Elena Dorothy Bowman
Chapter 1 :

Pacing back and forth on the Widow's Walk overlooking the bay and the vast ocean
beyond it, Abigail nervously awaited the arrival of her first guests. They were coming by
boat -- Ethan's boat. Ethan and Tony Harridan, the town's sheriff, a sometimes-permanent
resident of the infamous Inn when he wasn't working at his job on the mainland, met their
first adventurers at the dock in Caleb's Cove. Once the group had gathered, they were to
board the Abigail for a sightseeing cruise along the coastline and the sea-lanes between
the various islands to the Inn on Adams Point -- all part of the package.
Knowing it would add an air of mystery to the Inn, formerly known as the foreboding
Pierce House, Abigail and Ethan set the stage for their guests by having them approach
the house overlooking the bay in a modern day, state-of-the-art, two-masted schooner. It
was up to Ethan and Tony to mesmerize them with tales of Abigail's and their own ominous
beginnings in the house, and how the Inn came to be. The stories included: the relic of
the Royal Knight, the significance of the special Land Grant displayed in a frame on the
wall, the haunting strains emanating from an elusive Stradivarius, and the legend
surrounding Adams Point. And, of course, there was the possibility of becoming entangled
in a web the Inn might weave. Ethan brushed over the fact that he was the first person
who dared sail into the Bay of Death alone. And announced that the guests now had the
honor of being the first full ship's complement to break the curse on the bay leading up
to the old Pierce House, now officially known as The House On The Bluff.

* *

Abigail smiled inwardly wishing she could see the looks on their faces while held
in the grip of the stories. She was afraid her first guests might take one look at the
place, even though it was all the publicity said it was, bolt and change their minds once
the Abigail dropped anchor. Then Ethan and Tony would have to turn around and take them
back to Caleb's Cove, and she would be alone again on Adams Point. Well, not really.
The brochure assured those who sought a new and different vacation that they would
not be disappointed. It trumpeted a vacation hideaway that had no electricity, no running
water, pumps only, no central heating system, no phones and no television. It also
boasted of fabulously appointed rooms, fireplaces, breathtaking ocean views, swimming,
underwater caves, sailing, and a touch of suspense and intrigue.
The beautiful crystal clear bay had a special attraction. For centuries, it was
noted, no ships, sail or otherwise, had ventured upon the waters leading to the House On
The Bluff, due to the nefarious blot upon it. Since the time of the pirates, the sound
had been known as the Bay of Death, not only for the ships who were ensnared within but
also for those who sailed aboard them. Now, however, any brave soul who cared to dive
beneath the sea, properly attired in protective gear, could take the time to wander among
the wreckage of the ships that lay scattered on the bottom of the bay. Ships that had in
times past attempted to sail into its waters --that is, if one had a mind to venture
forth -- at their own peril.

* * *

Abigail wondered if anyone would want to leave after the first night's stay. Well,
there's no point in worrying about that now, she thought. She brightened when she saw the
top of the sail on the Abigail approaching the bend and heading for the bay. As the
schooner turned into the cove, unexpectedly a feeling of nervousness overwhelmed her.
This was her first attempt at running an Inn. Although everything was pristine, all her
supplies and equipment, flashlights and lamps, water basins and towels, bed-sheets,
blankets and bedspreads were new and ready, she felt a twinge of misgiving.
A year had passed since she first stepped foot onto the property on Adams Point
known as the Pierce House. Many times during her long trial she wondered if she would
survive the tests she had been subjected to in order to assume ownership of the House On
The Bluff. It had been vacant for more than a century, since no other member of the
family actually attempted to claim the estate. During that period in time she had met,
fallen in love with, and married Ethan. Tony, by their side from the beginning, a true
and trusted friend, was best man. She often wondered what she would have done if Tony
hadn't made it a point to be there for her while Ethan was on the mainland attending to
business. And then, of course, there was Jacob. Jacob, as far as anyone could tell, was
the oldest member of the community. He had decided after years of mental torment, both in
his sleepless and watchful state, by the disembodied permanent residents of the Pierce
House that it was long past time he joined them, and with open arms happily entered their
It was Ethan who had suggested and put into practice the changes Abigail wished
for, to transform the House into an Inn. The live-in apparitions made it known when they
didn't like a particular modification and, therefore, it was not done. Ethan had signed
the contracts with all the workmen, then left the details up to Abigail. But unknown to
Ethan, Jacob, now the apparitions' "Ambassador" to the living, had a major role in making
the decisions, and many changes were quashed due to the apparitions' objections. They had
been there, most of them, for centuries, and liked things the way they were.
Abigail wasn't sure how they would react to guests at the Inn. Jacob said it would
depend. When she asked him what he meant, his cryptic answer was that the Others may have
a different opinion about strangers in their house, and could get quite obnoxious about
it. She would just have to wait and see.
She looked around. No one was there. Not Jacob, not the Pirates, the Redcoats, the
Colonial Soldiers, the Vikings or any of her permanent spirits. She laughed nervously.
What am I worried about? Ethan is coming in with an entire ship's company of guests.
Maybe Jacob and the Others are going to let my visitors relax first before they start.

No comments: