Monday, September 22, 2008

The House On The Bluff

This is the first book in the Legacy Series...The House On The Bluff..ISBN# 1-59431-363-6
-- Publisher: Write Words, Inc., Cambridge Books.

The House On The Bluff -- Book 1 Legacy Series

Abigail stood against her red Jeep Cherokee parked at the edge of the gravel driveway
of the deserted mansion. The wind blowing out of the Northeast across Adams Point
flattened her long-sleeved white blouse and new navy blue pantsuit against her body,
whipping her hair around her face while she desperately tried to keep its long strands
from blocking her view of the scene spread before her. Her unbuttoned jacket took on the
appearance of a navy blue sail flapping in a gale behind her. The widow's walk perched
high above, struck her as a crow's nest on a sailing vessel of long ago. Shading her
eyes, she swept the dunes to the ocean beyond and back to the house. A flutter of a
curtain from the third floor caught her attention. She looked again, but saw nothing.
Must be tired, she thought. I'm beginning to imagine things. She laughed.

Her laughter, echoing over the dunes, stopped short as the curtain on the second
floor moved ever so slightly. When she looked again, all was still. She shook her head.
Without knowing why, her heart suddenly began to race as an excitement arose within her
being. Spellbound, she held tightly onto the front of her jacket and to a broken picket.
As she stood transfixed, with her gaze upon the house, her long dark hair blew
unrestrained in the wind.

It didn't look any different from other stately houses she had seen on her travels
along the shoreline and inlet seas of New England. It still had an air of dignity about
it with its white, clapboard-covered, multi-tiered and dormer-studded roofs, and its blue
shuttered windows. And, it seemed to be easily accessible by front, back, side, or
basement doors. As always, there were the large floor-to-ceiling windows, first and
second floor wrap-around porches, and a widow's walk sitting high atop the house. But
then, too, there was a white picket fence in disrepair, running along the front of the
property, its broken slats standing aloft, weaving in and out of the holding rails like
drunken sailors on shore leave. To complete its demeanor, the gate squeaked unattended
as it swung free from restraint. On the top floor, from a shattered window, curtains
periodically flowed through the break as gusts of wind blew wantonly through it.

The house sat imperviously on a bluff, above windswept dunes that seemed to drift
down to the sea. The open ocean beckoned as its waves washed against the fragile
shoreline. What was it about this place that caused one to silently shiver, then shudder
violently, and swiftly pass, always looking back over one's shoulder until they were a
safe distance away? No one could be sure. Was it because it stood unoccupied for
decades, appearing so alone and forbidding? Or was it because the last person to stay
there had vanished into the night after a blood-curdling scream had permeated the air?
Something had happened here. Yet, to this day, no one was really sure what.

Abigail felt a compulsion to move forward toward the house. Though her head told her
"no," she wasn't listening to her head, only to the challenge that was in her heart. In
a rash moment, she was standing inside the grand main entrance hall. Before her, the
stairs rose to the second level and above. Her heart thumped as she felt herself being
propelled forward step by step to the second floor. The click of her heels echoed
throughout the house.

From the darkened second floor hallway, she looked furtively around at the closed
doors leading to the rooms behind them and shuddered. Then she looked up. The stairs led
even further. She followed them to the third floor. Again, the doors were closed to the
rooms hidden behind them. What am I doing here?

The light flickering in from atop the house sought her attention. She again moved
forward, on up a ladder, and out to the widow's walk above. Staring at the vast ocean
before her, she wondered about the people who had once lived here, and who they might
have been searching for as they scanned the ocean, waiting for the sailing ships to
return to shore.

Abigail felt a tap on her shoulder and turned. No one was there. She laughed silently as
she shook her head. My imagination again.

Once more, her eyes sought the sea before her. There wasn't a single ship in sight.
No sails. No modern vessels. Nothing -- Just the clear blue ocean. Its waves were
washing gently upon the dunes and back again into the waters, taking with them a part of
the fragile land.

It was dark when she looked away from the sea and back into the house. If she were
going to get out, she would have to make her way through a lightless house. Then again,
she wasn't sure she wanted to leave. She would wait for morning. At least here, on the
widow's walk, she would be safe. Wouldn't she?

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