This Halloween Version of Sample Sunday is one offrom my haunted, scary, paranormal novel, Towering Pines Volume One: Room 509.
Towering Pines Volume One is available at:
“BOY! Who the hell are you and why the hell are you in my god damned boat?”
That was the sound of the alarm that woke Liam from his otherwise peaceful nights sleep. His eyes fluttered open and he stared up and a rather large man who looked to be in his early fifties and none-to-happy that Liam was there. He almost lost his tattered and stained green hat as he reached down and yanked Liam from the boat and onto the dock in one quick and powerful motion. Liam noticed his big black watch.
“What? What time is it?” The memory that Liam had to be at Mathias’ office at seven thirty returned.
“What time… what the hell you mean?” A bewildered and confused look took over the scruffy features of his weathered face.
Liam looked him straight in the eyes, “I mean what time is it? You have a watch on, don’t you?” The stranger eyed Liam suspiciously before taking a quick, guarded glance at his watch.
“It’s seven thirty, what’s it to you?” The man paused, as if reflecting on something he’d forgotten. Then he remembered, “and who the hell are you sleeping in my boat on my dock?” He practically shouted.
“Your dock? What, seven…” Liam blew past him and ran full speed up the dock. He didn’t give the road a second thought as he sprinted across Riverside without looking. He could hear the sounds of people on the other side of the building as he ran up the steps and saw the sign that read, Farragut Hall, hanging above the door. He burst in and and stopped breathlessly in the middle of the lobby. He saw a young boy, couldn’t have been more than twelve, in full dress blues sitting at a desk to his left. As soon as the boy saw him he shot out of his seat and yelled at the time of his voice:
“Sir, Cadet Wiley, Sir. How can I help you, sir?” Liam just stared at the boy who was standing as stiff as a yardstick with a shaved head and white gloves.
“Wiley, what is going on out there? Why are you yelling like a fool again?” came a voice from an office around the corner from the boy. A moment later a tall man in his forties emerged from the office dressed in navy dress blue uniform but without the jacket. Liam could see he had three gold bars on his shoulders as the man stood in the doorway.
“And you are?” the man queried Liam. A bit overwhelmed, Liam stared back at him frozen in place. The man took three steps out of the doorway closer to him.
“Maybe you didn’t hear me son, I asked you who you are.”
“Llll… Liam Rider.” A smile began to creep across the man’s face once he heard the name.
“Ah, yes our juvie case. Well Lllliam, why don’t you come into my office and have a seat? Let’s get acquainted a little bit.”
“Are you Captain Mathias?” The man didn’t answer he just walked into his office. Liam didn’t move right away, but when the man’s voice boomed, “And Wiley, sit the hell down,” Liam moved quickly towards his office before Wiley responded.
Liam walked into the office and was immediately struck by how much wood there was. He felt like he was lost in the middle of the Pine Barrens. The desk looked like it was cut right out of the bottom of a tree. The chairs were a dark wood with no cushions and short backs on them. The walls of the office were lined with light wood pillars every few feet. Liam stood still about five steps from the door with his mouth slightly open.
“Mr. Rider, please come and sit,” the uniformed man motioned to the very uncomfortable looking chair in front of his desk. “Now would be good,” he added forcefully when Liam didn’t move. When Liam looked up and saw the stormy expression on the man’s face, he moved. Liam found the chair was not as uncomfortable as it looked; it was about ten times as uncomfortable.
“Mr. Rider,” began the man, “I am Commander Dileta. I am the Admissions Officer here at Admiral Farragut Military Academy. I can tell you that normally we don’t take cadets in this late in the semester but you seem to be a special case. Captain Mathias has ordered your immediate admission to our program so we can dispense with the usual formalities. Usually, I would sit here and tell you how we have over a thousand applicants every year and that the competition for our few open slots is fierce. That AFMA doesn’t take just anyone. The cadets we accept are the best of the best academically and athletically.” He stood from behind his desk and walked toward the window that held a fantastic view of the river. He stood there for a moment quietly with his back to Liam before continuing, “I don’t really need to tell you that our college acceptance rate is one hundred percent. Period. We do not tolerate any cadet not going to college. And community college simply does not count.” Dileta spun on his heels and walked toward where Liam sat, “it just wouldn’t make any sense to try and make you feel the pressure that goes along with being at a distinguished institution with a long and storied history that includes historic figures such as Admirals, Generals, Hollywood actors and even an astronaut. Does it, son?”
Liam sat in the hard chair staring up at Dileta in awe. If the man didn’t mean to intimidate him, he did a crappy job. Liam was more nervous now then when he was while sitting in his jail cell. Dileta looked down at Liam with a small self-satisfied smirk knowing full well he was in control of the situation.
“For a celebrated athlete such as yourself, I don’t need to tell you how physically challenging our military program here at AFMA. How three out of every five cadets that we accept wash out every year or that our cadet officers are trained and empowered to make boys into young men.” The glare coming from Dileta’s face made Liam feel about two feet tall.
“Now, since I don’t have to tell you any of that, it seems to me that all I have to do is tell you that the only thing between you and five years in a state penitentiary is Admiral Farragut Military Academy. If you fail here, you will end up in jail. That’s not a euphemism; it’s actually what the court order says.” He held up an official looking piece of paper to emphasize his point.
“Here are your orders from Captain Mathias’ office, take them to the Central Watch Office in Reingold Hall immediately and the Cadet Officer of the Watch will make sure you get your uniforms and to your company’s deck. You’d better hurry, it’s 0800 now and classes have already begun for the day. Which makes you late.”
Liam took the paper from Dileta and stood slowly, trying to read the paper.
“Boy, I didn’t tell you to read it. I told you to take it to Reingold Hall, now move it!”
Towering Pines Volume One is available at:
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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs. He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes. Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of Time, Towering Pines Volume One:Room 509, The Star of Christmas, Philadelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel. Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!
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