Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

A NEW YORK YANKEE ON STINKING CREEK
Friday, September 20, 2019 by CAROL MCCLAIN

 

PLEASE WELCOME

CAROL MCCLAIN

TO

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

 

EXCERPT FROM A NEW YORK YANKEE ON STINKING CREEK

Like a bomb, Kiara’s world detonated and dumped her back in time to a stinking cabin on Stinking Creek. It might as well have been an explosion rather than a long cab ride that rattled her brain like mortar fire—or a ride on the A train.

Kiara’s eyes strained through the darkness, illuminated only from the taxi’s headlights. A log cabin looking like it was chinked with mud rose before her. Bryce, why did you call this place a haven?

“The far’s one-hundred-twenty.” The cabbie’s gravelly voice jarred her. “We’ll skip the cents seein’ as I ain’t gonna fuss with change at midnight.”

Kiara twisted the ring on her left index finger. One-twenty? I thought Manhattan cabbies gouged.

The driver jumped out of the taxi, popped the trunk, and grabbed her luggage. He plopped her bags on the front porch. The simple wooden structure stood no more than a foot off the ground. The rough planks disappeared into the gloom around the far side of the cabin.

“The far don’t include the tip.” The driver grinned. His face, lit by the taxi’s headlights looked like a kid holding a flashlight to his face to scare his friends around a campfire. Creepy.

She fished through her handbag and pulled out her wallet. Hopefully, the local taxis would be cheaper. A chirruping filled the air interspersed with a loud croaking. Manhattan was noisy, but this?

“What’s making the racket?” She waved her hand—the one grasping the fare.

The cabbie slanted his head and listened. “What? Them insects?”

“They’re bugs?” Visions of cockroaches scurrying across her floor in her Manhattan condo scuttled through her imagination. She wouldn’t survive these hills.

“They’re katydids. ‘Bout ready to die off for the season. The loud croakin’—them’s tree frogs.”

Katydids? Frogs living in trees? Kiara shuddered and handed the cabbie a hundred-dollar bill and a fifty. “Keep the change.” She turned her eyes back to the cabin, and her heart wrung out more misery. “Thank you.”

She fumbled for her key—the one Bryce had made a year ago when they bought this place. The key, splashed in different colors like a Kandinsky painting created while on LSD, swirled in a wild mix of pink and turquoise and yellow creating an abstract design. She had laughed out loud when he presented it to her as though he were giving her the keys to Windsor Castle.

“The cabin’s in your name, alone, my cherry-haired leprechaun.” He bent and kissed the whorls of hair she’d just begun training into dreadlocks. “Amanda won’t be able to lay her hands on it.” His eyes had danced with joy. “When we marry, we’ll have a retreat like Yaddo. A place for all artists—writers and photographers and sculptors—”

“Don’t forget painters,” she interjected.

“Of course, painters.” Bryce had pulled her into his arms and held her close. “Tennessee will get to know the world’s greatest abstract artist. We’re in this together. For the long haul.”

He lied.

Three weeks ago, he died.

The crunch of the cab’s tires faded leaving only the chirruping of the katydids and frogs to torment her. Can any good thing come out of Stinking Creek?

She took one step up onto the porch.

“Ah!” She danced off it, dropped her bags and flailed her arms. Spider webs tangled in her face, wove into her dreadlocks. She spat the fibers from her mouth. As she choked, Kiara felt a fat, pregnant spider, or worse, its silk-wrapped fly, slide down her gullet. She spit. Spit some more like a truck driver gorging on chew.

She unwrapped the narrow scarf binding up her dreads, scrubbed her hair with her hands to make sure Ms. Arachne didn’t take up residence there.

Shivering in the cold evening, she draped the cloth over her face in case another web tangled in the path to the door. No other creepy crawler would slide where only food should reside.

Kiara sank onto the porch’s one step. What else lurked in the dark? What else lived in the shack Bryce thought was such a great deal? Possums? Venomous snakes? Kiara shivered and squinted as she surveyed her yard. Nothing pierced the midnight, new moon blackness.

Beyond the bridge to her property and across the road, one light shone on her neighbors’ house. Aside from that, just inky black and the scent of a skunk—hopefully far away—surrounded her.

She needed light.

Kiara dug in her purse and flipped on her cell phone’s flashlight app. She stood and faced her … what? Her destiny? Not if she could help it. Tomorrow, she’d call a realtor and put this retreat on the market. With its sale, she’d head back to Manhattan. Friends promised they’d let her know when something affordable came up.

Right.

Affordable in New York City? Her art sold well, but only Bryce’s wealth enabled her to live there. She could find something in Jamaica or Astoria.

Brooklyn had priced her out a long time ago.

After surveying the porch, she took a hesitant step forward, inserted her key, and the door swung forward. Bryce said he’d left the utilities running.

She ran her hand along the wall and found a light switch. The cabin lit up.

No. Her hand clutched her chest. If the outside was pitiful, the inside was wretched.

Bryce, how did you envision this cabin as a place someone wanted to visit?

ABOUT A NEW YORK YANKEE ON STINKING CREEK

Alone, again, after the death of her fiancé, abstract artist Kiara Rafferty finds herself on Stinking Creek, Tennessee. She wants out of this hillbilly backwater, where hicks speak an unknown language masquerading as English.  Isolated, if she doesn’t count the snakes and termites infesting her cabin, only a one-way ticket home to Manhattan would solve her problems.

Alone in a demanding crowd, Delia Mae McGuffrey lives for God, her husband, her family, and the congregation of her husband’s church. Stifled by rules, this pastor’s wife walks a fine line of perfection, trying to please them all. Now an atheist Yankee, who moved in across the road, needs her, too.

Two women. Two problems. Each holds the key to the other’s freedom.

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/New-York-Yankee-Stinking-Creek/dp/057849115X/

ABOUT CAROL MCCLAIN

Author Carol McClain is an eclectic artist and author. Her interests vary as much as the Tennessee weather—running, bassoons, jazz, stained glass and, of course, writing. She’s a transplant from New York who now lives in the hills of East Tennessee with her husband and overactive Springer spaniel.

She has taught in the local jail, supervised student teachers for Western Governors University and taught for Art Reach for Arrowmont.

She is the president of ACFW Knoxville and the secretary of the Authors’ Guild of Tennessee.

The world in East Tennessee intrigues her from the friendly neighbors to the beautiful hiking trails and the myriad wildlife.

More about the author can be found on her website: http://www.carolmcclain.com/

Life is good in here.

Share This Blog:


Previous Posts

WORD PLAY MYSTERIES
JULIE COSGROVE
10/15/2021

JOLLY ANGEL CHRISTMAS
Linda Wood Rondeau
10/5/2021

A LIFE REDEEMED
OLIVIA RAE
10/1/2021

DARIA'S DUKE
LINDA SHENTON MATCHETT
9/24/2021

FINDING THAT TENDER SPOT
CAROLE BROWN
9/17/2021

MAKING UP TIME
VALERIE BANFIELD
9/3/2021

MAKING UP TIME
VALERIE BANFIELD
9/3/2021

THE WEATHER GIRLS
JENNIFER LYNN CARY
8/27/2021

THE GIRL in the CARDBOARD BOX
JANE DALY
8/13/2021

JUSTICE AT DAWN
VALERIE MASSEY GOREE
8/6/2021

SUMMER COVER-UP
SALLY JO PITTS
7/30/2021

HEAVIER THAN BROKEN HEARTS
LEE ANN BETTS
7/23/2021

LOVE FOUND IN CRANBERRY COVE
JUNE FOSTER
7/9/2021

THE JOHNSON KNIGHTS
ROBERT QUATTLEBAUM
7/4/2021

HIS GIFT
JOAN C. BENSON
7/2/2021

THIRD AND MAIN:BEFORE AND AFTER
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
6/29/2021

FLOWERS FROM AFGHANISTAN
SUZY PARISH
6/25/2021

ALWAYS A WEDDING PLANNER
LEE ANN BETTS
6/18/2021

THE MARITIME CURE
MICHELLE S. LOWE
6/11/2021

ON SUGAR HILL
ANE MULLIGAN
6/4/2021

WOUNDED SOLDIERS: THE PEACEFUL VALLEY ANTHOLOGY
J. CAROL NEMETH
5/28/2021

BEING ETHEL IN A WORLD THAT LOVES LUCY
Michele Olson
5/21/2021

LIVING WATER
ALLISON WELLS
5/14/2021

PAPER WOLF
CHRISSY M DENNIS
5/7/2021

SURRENDERING HEARTS SERIES
Julie Arduini
4/30/2021

BENT TREE BRIDE
Denise Weimer
4/23/2021

A SONG FOR HER ENEMIES
SHERRI STEWART
4/20/2021

HANNAH A GOLD RUSH BRIDE
LINDA SHENTON MATCHETT
4/16/2021

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN
TERRI WANGARD
4/9/2021

PUPPY CIAO
ANNETTE OHARE
4/2/2021

SPRING BETRAYAL
SALLY JO PITTS
3/26/2021

ANCHOR MY HEART
SARA BETH WILLIAMS
3/19/2021

DEEP END OF THE LAKE
CAROL GRACE STRATTON
3/12/2021

DREAMS REKINDLED
AMANDA CABOT
3/5/2021

ANCHOR MY HEART
SARA BETH WILLIAMS
2/26/2021

SONG OF SUGAR SANDS
DEBRA COLEMAN JETER
2/19/2021

A CHANGE OF SCENERY
DAVALYN SPENCER
2/12/2021

SECOND HELPINGS
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
2/5/2021

THE INN AT CRANBERRY COVE
JUNE FOSTER
1/29/2021

WRITING HOME
AMY ANGUISH
1/22/2021

THE PAST EVER PRESENT
DEBRA COLEMAN JETER
1/15/2021

LITTLE GREY CELLS
LEEANN BETTS
1/8/2021

MY GIGI'S HOUSE
MEREDITH SAGE KENDALL
1/1/2021

THE GAME IS AFOOT
LEEANN BETTS
12/25/2020

THE MISTLETOE CONTRACT
JENNIFER CHASTAIN
12/18/2020

Northern Protector
Laurie Wood
12/11/2020

UNTIL THEN
GAIL KITTLESON
12/5/2020

SNOWBOUND IN WINTERBERRY FALLS
ANN BRODEUR
11/27/2020

CHRISTMAS WITH THE ENEMY
MARY VEE
11/20/2020

A PINK LADY THANKSGIVING/A STORY BEHIND THE STORY
DONNA SCHLACTER
11/13/2020

TOGETHER FOR GOOD
PENEPOLE POWELL
11/6/2020

FORTUNE'S FALL
KATHERINE BARGER
10/30/2020

SECOND HELPINGS
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
10/23/2020

SPRINKLED WITH SABOTAGE
ALLISON PEARL
10/16/2020

THE SLEUTH'S SURPRISE SPECIAL ONCORE POST
KIMBERLY ROSE JOHNSON
10/11/2020

SAVING GRACE
AMY R. ANGUISH
10/2/2020

DEADLY CONNECTION: SMALL TOWN GUARDIANS BOOK THREE
JENNIFER PIERCE
9/25/2020

MY HEART WEEPS
Pamela S. Thibodeaux
9/11/2020

THE SLEUTH'S SURPRISE
KIMBERLY ROSE JOHNSON
9/4/2020

HIS GIFT
JOAN C. BENSON
8/28/2020

THE AMISH MENORAH AND OTHER STORIES
PATRICK E. CRAIG
8/21/2020

THE HEART OF COURAGE
LYNNE BASHAM TAGAWA
8/14/2020

MURDER AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
LINDA SHENTON MATCHETT
8/7/2020

DARK MOTIVES
ZANNE MARIE DYER
7/31/2020

THE STORY BEHIND DEN-A MODERN-DAY DANIEL
HOPE BOLINGER
7/24/2020

REMODELING: AN AUTHOR'S STORY
SHANNAN TAYLOR VANATTER
7/10/2020

RISK MANAGEMENT
LEEANN BETTS
7/3/2020

COOKING UP A MYSTERY
GAIL PALLOTTA
6/26/2020

THE WIDOW & THE WAR CORRESPONDENT
LINDA SHENTON MATCHETT
6/19/2020

YOU'RE BRILLIANT
JULIE ARDUINI
6/12/2020

THE GREEN DRESS
LIZ TOLSMA
6/5/2020

PURSUIT
JOHN OWENS
5/22/2020

KATE
DONNA SCHLACTER
5/15/2020

WHERE THE ROAD BENDS IN OUTBACK AUSTRALIA
DAVID RAWLINGS
5/8/2020

DEVYN'S DILEMMA
SUSAN G. MATHIS
5/1/2020

LEAF ME ALONE
JULIE B. COSGROVE
4/24/2020

JUSTICE FOR ELIZABETH
MARY VEE
4/17/2020

WHEN HEARTS ENTWINE
BONNIE ENGSTROM
4/10/2020

ROLL BACK THE CLOUDS
TERRI WANGARD
4/3/2020

RIVEN
H.L. WEGLEY
3/27/2020

RED LETTER DAY
PAT JEANNE DAVIS
3/21/2020

THE LOST COAST
PATRICK E. CRAIG
3/20/2020

THE CABIN
ERIN UNGER
3/13/2020

OUT OF THE EMBERS
AMANDA CABOT
2/28/2020

HER SHINING EYES
JEANETTE MORRIS
2/21/2020

THE STORY BEHIND OFF THE GROUND
CATHERINE RICHMOND
2/14/2020

ACTS OF MALICE
NIKE CHILLEMI
2/7/2020

THE CLOCK IS TICKING
TRACY WAINWRIGHT
1/31/2020

UNDER GROUND
LINDA SHENTON MATCHETT
1/24/2020

AN UNEXPECTED FAMILY
JUNE FOSTER
1/17/2020

WHEN VALLEYS BLOOM AGAIN
PAT JEANNE DAVIS
1/10/2020

MISSING DEPOSITS
LEEANN BETTS
1/3/2020

IN AN INSTANT
TRACY WAINWRIGHT
12/27/2019

THE PURPOSE REVEALED
JULIE COSGROVE
12/25/2019

IMPERFECT SNOWFLAKES
T.E. BRADFORD
12/20/2019

THREE FRENCH HENS
LINORE BURKARD
12/13/2019

RESTORING CHRISTMAS
JULIE ARDUINI
12/6/2019

SARA'S SURPRISE
SUSAN G. MATHIS
12/4/2019

MY GOOD SON
DONNA DeLORETTA BREANNAN
11/29/2019

FOREVER LATELY
LINORE BURKARD
11/22/2019

THE TICKET
DEBRA COLEMAN JETER
11/15/2019

MISSING PIECES
LINSEY BRACKETT
11/8/2019

CONFLICT AVOIDANCE
SUSAN G. MATHIAS
11/1/2019

PRACTICALLY MARRIED
KARIN BEERY
10/30/2019

CASSANDRA AND THE COWBOY
JANINE MICK WILLS
10/25/2019

UNWRAPPING HOPE
SANDRA ARDOIN
10/18/2019

FOOTPRINTS ON HER HEART
ANGELA BREIDENBACH
10/11/2019

"Indian Attack"
Lynne Tagawa
10/4/2019

Dreams Deferred
JUNE FOSTER
9/27/2019

A NEW YORK YANKEE ON STINKING CREEK
CAROL MCCLAIN
9/20/2019

JOY AFTER NOON
DEBRA COLEMAN JETER
9/13/2019

Match Made in Heaven: A Novella
JULIE ARDUINI
9/6/2019

THE MASTER'S PLAN
STEPHANY TULLIS
8/30/2019

SONG OF SUGAR SANDS
DEBRA COLEMAN JETER
8/23/2019

LOVE'S ALLEGIANCE
LINDA SHENTON MATCHETT
8/16/2019

WRITING THE PAST: THE DUST BOWL
CLEO LAMPOS
8/9/2019

THE STREET SINGER
KATHLEEN NEELY
8/2/2019

JANUS JOURNALS
H. L. WEGLEY
7/26/2019

WHERE I WAS PLANTED
HEATHER NORMAN SMITH
7/19/2019

TO THE RESCUE A SHORT STORY
PAT JEANNE DAVIS
7/12/2019

THE LEAST OF THESE
KATHLEEN NEELY
7/10/2019

SUMMER PLANS AND OTHER DISASTERS
KARIN BEERY
7/5/2019

AND THEN BLOOMS LOVE
SALLY JO PITTS
6/28/2019

IN THE MONEY
Leeann Betts
6/26/2019

AMMO (An Original Shorty Story)
JENNIFER HALLMARK
6/21/2019

POWER UP
JESSIE MATTIS
6/14/2019

THE PINK BONNET
LIZ TOLSMA
6/7/2019

KATELYN'S CHOICE
SUSAN G. MATHIAS
5/31/2019

HOSEA'S HEART
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
5/24/2019

FAITH AND HOPE
AMY R. ANGUISH
5/17/2019

FALLEN LEAF
JULIE COSGROVE
5/10/2019

GRACE & LAVENDER
HEATHER NORMAN SMITH
5/3/2019

JULIA
VICKIE MCDONOUGH
4/26/2019

AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE
BARRY NAPIER
4/22/2019

KATELYN'S CHOICE
SUSAN G. MATHIAS
4/19/2019

When Valleys Bloom Again
Pat Jeanne Davis
4/12/2019

You Asked for It
STEVE STROBBLE
4/10/2019

One Door Between Us
Tom Donnan
4/5/2019

BURIED MOUNTAIN SECRETS
TERRI REED
3/29/2019

CAPTURE ME
SHERRY KYLE
3/22/2019

UNDER PRAIRIE SKIES
CYNTHIA ROEMER
3/15/2019

A Tender Hope
Amanda Cabot
3/8/2019

PARHELION
LISA LICKEL
3/1/2019

CAROLINA GRACE
REGINA MERRICK
2/22/2019

A LOVE MOST WORTHY
SANDRA ARDOIN
2/16/2019

YOU'RE AMAZING
JULIE ARDUINI
2/8/2019

LOVE'S RESCUE
LINDA SHENTON MATCHETT
2/1/2019

COURTING DANGER
NIKE CHILLEMI
1/25/2019

JOHN ALDEN ... A SHORT STORY
LYNNE BASHAM TAGAWA
1/18/2019

THE OTHER NEIGHBOR
Gail Sattler
1/11/2019

NO TURNING BACK
H. L. Wegley
1/4/2019

ALLEY'S PERFECT ANGEL
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
12/28/2018

A SILVER MEDALLION
James Callan
12/21/2018

THE AMISH MIDWIFE'S SECRET
Rachel Good
12/14/2018

CHRISTMAS WITH THE ENEMY
Mary Vee
12/7/2018

RETURN TO WALHALLA
LAURA HODGES POOLE
11/30/2018

HOMELESS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
PeggySue Wells and Marsha Wright
11/16/2018

HAIR CALAMITIES AND HOT CASH
GAIL PALLOTTA
11/9/2018

MEET ME IN GALVESTON
ANDREA BOESHAAR
10/26/2018

HARVEST OF BLESSINGS
JUNE FOSTER
10/19/2018

MEET JENNIFER SLATTERY
Jennifer Slattery
10/5/2018

He Passes By
Linda Wood Rondeau
6/15/2018

Bryan's Homecoming
Linda Wood Rondeau
6/8/2018

EMERGENCE
Linda Wood Rondeau
6/1/2018

Antiquainted Man
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
5/11/2018

SOMETHING NEW
LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
5/4/2018