Monday, October 17, 2011
Oliver Presents Cate Masters
A bat screeches and flaps its wings, taking flight into the deep dark woods. Oliver, donned in black satin, keeps vigil at the window of the haunted mansion. A full moon floats eerily across the blood-red sky. Lightning streaks across the horizon, casting the cemetery in ghoulish light. Spying his guest dashing through the foliage and up the stone steps, Oliver answers the door and extends a hairy hand.
A funeral dirge vibrates off the tombstone walls of the corridor, adding to the eerie draft creeping up from the woodwork. Hand in hairy hand, they enter the haunted parlor and take a seat on the burgundy settee. Candles flicker on the coffin coffee table where black roses, Bloody Marys and Buffalo wings are laid out. When the raven clock announces the thirteenth hour, Oliver announces his guest.
Good Evening! With great pleasure, I present the lovely Cate Masters to tell a ghost tale, along with a teaser of her work. Rubs a hairy hand along her cheek. Take it away, my sweet. Smiling, Cate begins her tale of woe.
So many legends and myths surround Halloween, it’s hard to pick only one! I’ll share a funny story instead, one from my hubby’s youth. Gary and his three brothers loved to torment their only sister, Debbie. I think they were really jealous she had her own room, lol. One thing terrified Debbie: the legend of the Hairy Hand. Devious brothers that they were, Gary and his brothers fastened a walkie talkie on a fishing rod and lowered it near poor Debbie’s bedroom window. When she heard a deep, eerie voice telling her, “Beware the Hairy Hand!” she ran screaming from her bedroom. Ah, the ways youngsters use creativity, for all the wrong reasons!
I’d never heard of the Hairy Hand, but found the legend originates in the
United Kingdom, near Dartmoor. On one stretch of unlit road near the bridge pictured, so many accidents occurred that killed travelers. One man of local notoreity swore to another that a pair of hairy hands gripped his steering wheel in an attempt to force him off the road, but he managed to regain control and the hands disappeared. The man never told anyone else, and swore the others to secrecy until after his death for fear of ridicule. But it certainly makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Funnily enough, a local fall festival features a Hairy Hand hayride. Think I can convince my sister-in-law to go with us? *grins*
Madelyn gazed out the window, adrift as a leaf. “Everything’s on a downhill slide. Work, dating, all of it. Sometimes I think I have to sell my soul to get what I really want in life.”
“Well, that’s easy. Put it on uBuy.” Gwen shook her cup to stir up sugar from the bottom.
“See, that’s why you’re the comedian.” Madelyn reinforced Gwen’s dream at every opportunity. Her friend reciprocated by being Madelyn’s best cheerleader for her art, though lately, her sketches were as uninspired as the rest of her life.
Wistful, Gwen said, “I try my best.”
Their meager salaries didn’t allow for luxury, so neither was a stranger to the allure of uBuy. Besides supplementing their wardrobes, Madelyn and Gwen loved uBuy for its oddities. The odder an item, the greater its appeal. Madelyn’s desktop swaying, ukele-strumming hula-skirted Gumby was testament to this. Gwen collected memorabilia of famous comedians; Groucho Marx was a favorite.
On that level, Gwen’s offhand suggestion appealed to Madelyn. “Maybe you’re right. I should list my soul, just for kicks. To see what response I’d get.” Maybe some cute guy would buy it.
The notion vanished from Madelyn’s mind at the sight of a stunning man outside. Standing by the newspaper vending box, he checked his watch. His black shirt, black sport coat and black slacks set off his dark features. So perfect, he looked out of context with his surroundings. When he glanced up at her, shock waves rumbled through her nervous system like an oncoming storm. A rush of heat engulfed her.
“Madelyn? Hey, what’s wrong with you?” Gwen’s voice sounded distant, as if it traveled through a tunnel.
She snapped her attention back to her friend. “Nothing.” In truth, Madelyn knew her universe had just shifted.
I’d love for you to view the book video, Casting Call, Story Elements, read the wonderful reviews and more on my blog at http://catemasters.blogspot.com/2007/12/one-soul-for-sale-contemporary.html.
Thanks so much for having me as a guest Sharon! Happy Halloween! And beware the Hairy Hand, mwahahaha!
And as an extra treat, I joined four other authors in making a paranormal anthology available for free! You can download Love Bites from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91282
Multipublished, award-winning author Cate Masters loves stories with a dash of magic, mayhem and romance! Reviewers have described her stories as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” and “such romantic tales that really touch your soul.”
When not spending time with her family, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.