Excerpt (unedited) from The Reaper’s walk: Hellstone

This novel is set in the mid 1990’s, however some of it is back story takes place in the 1700’s. This excerpt is from that time frame. Please remember that it is unedited. I hope you like it. please leave a comment thanks.
Harper’s Town Va 1759

Later that night, after serving dinner, after putting children to bed, and after pleasing her husband, Judith sat in her bathtub enjoying the solitude and peace of a sleeping household.
Even the deep snores of her husband were more of a comfort than a distraction. “John is such a dear”, she thought. “I should do something special for him: Hmmm, but what? I know what I will do… his hair and beard are getting a bit long. I’ll surprise him and have him already cut and shaved before he wakes in the morning”.
Judith was so excited; she could not sit another minute. She got out of the tub and hurriedly dried herself and her hair. Then she grabbed John’s straight razor without a thought of water or soap.
Open razor in hand she walked to John’s side of the bed. She held his chin tenderly in the palm of her hand, tilted it up, and slightly turned to the left. She lovingly traced his jaw line with one finger and then sliced open his throat ear to ear with the shining blade. Blood gushed outward drenching her from bosom to feet. Warm, naked, and wet, Judith slipped through the bedroom door and out into the hallway.

Humming softly to herself, and filled with love for her family, she made her way down the hall to the children’s room. Matthew age four, and Charles age seven, lay fast asleep in their beds. “They are both such darlings”, she thought to herself.
Noticing that Matt’s pillow had fallen on the floor, she thought, “Can’t have that!” With that in mind, she picked up, fluffed the pillow, and placed it firmly over Matthew’s face. As she applied more and more pressure, Matt sounded a muffled cry. “Now now”, said Judith.” Mustn’t awaken your brother”! She continued to press down on the pillow until Matt stopped moving and breathing. “There” she thought, “he is comfortable now”.
A light sheen of sweat coated her face and still bloody upper body. “Chilly in here”, Judith said aloud, and grabbed the iron poker to stoke the fireplace. Instead, she went to the other bed in the room.
Charles lay there, as deeply sleeping as only a child is capable. At his bedside, Judith lifted the poker in both hands and grunting with the effort of her swing, brought it down on his forehead. The skull burst like a ripe melon dropped by some careless kitchen servant. Blood and brains erupted and drenched the pillow, and yet Judith continued to rain blow after blow on the dead child. After twenty or thirty times swinging the bloody iron, the bed, walls, and the floor around the beds were all deep red and wet. The blood of Judith’s family completely covered her own hands and forearms. Humming once again, she re-entered the hall and headed for her bedroom.
Unseen by Judith, at the foot of the stairs, a black mist appeared. This mist swirled in a ball for a moment or two and then started to take shape. The shape was an 8ft.tall figure draped in a ragged hooded cloak.
Silently, it rose up the stairs. There were no feet visible; the cloak seemed to glide an inch or two above the floor.
The lamps in the hall seemed to dim as the dark figure passed, even though the wicks were all turned up to high flame.
In a bony death-white hand, he carried a long, curved blade, sharpened on both edges, and attached to a wooden stick with a handle about halfway down its length.
From the front of the hood, frosty white puffs of exhaled air emitted at irregular intervals.
The smell was that of gas trapped in a dead body, of mold, damp, and grave rot. Worst still was the sound coming from the hood. It was like winter wind blowing through the countless skulls of men long dead. It was the sound of the creaking of the gates of Hell, and of death. This sound was its herald for this apparition was indeed Death itself, Called by some, The Grim Reaper.

Returning to her bedroom, Judith decided to brush her hair before turning in for bed. She sat down at her dressing table, turned up the lamp, picked up her hairbrush and looking at her reflection in the mirror, she began her 100 nightly strokes.
Counting to herself, she noticed the light starting to dim. She checked the lamp and found the wick turned to its highest point. Truly, the flame was high and looked healthy, but it did not give much light.
Movement in the mirror caught Judith’s attention. Just for a moment, she thought she saw one of her brother Ezra’s slaves standing behind her. It was the woman with all the scars. She was the one the other slaves called, bad magic woman.
Even though Judith was afraid, she had just enough time to wonder why the slave was in her bedroom before the image in the mirror changed. It changed into a towering figure wearing a black cloak and hood.
The scream had just formed in the back of Judith’s throat when there was a flash of metal and reaper’s blade cleaved her body in half. Blood gushed and soaked the floor as the halves fell away from the dressing table.
A small swirling ball of white light emerged from her ravaged body, as a voice spoke and said,” YOUR SOUL IS FORFEIT.” The reaper opened his cloak and a black light snaked forward like a thick wet mist. It completely enveloped the ball of white light and crawled back to its host.
The reaper absorbed the souls of Jonathan, Matthew, and Charles in like fashion, lifted his still dripping blade, and disappeared into the night. Off to deliver to Satan his due.
On the riverbank, Umaa stared into her fire smiling.” Things had gone well”. The woman had done exactly as Umaa had whispered to her, and there was a bonus! Not only had the possession she had learned worked, but also her master had sent as promised the first of her minions. He was tall, dark, and with a swift blade. “He will make a fine servant”.
The blood flow had started. “Now let that flow swell into a river”. Umaa looked deep in the fire and muttered, “Your bidding will be done”. She was well pleased… and so was her master.

The novel is the first in a five-part series and will be released by Greyhart press later this year, (we hope)! It will be available in e-book and paperback. Thanks again for stopping By.

Don Franklin

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One thought on “Excerpt (unedited) from The Reaper’s walk: Hellstone

  1. Very good and very visual. It indeed will make the reader want to continue to follow the suspense that you have begun. Much success to you and you have supplied me with a way to get some gauge for the novel I have begun as well. Again, much success to you!

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