I’m stopping by today to share an excerpt from A Killer’s Field, a new fictional novella motivated by the senseless I-45 Texas killings, most of which remain unsolved today.
A few years ago, I became aware of the overwhelming number of unsolved murders along the I-45 corridor located south of Houston. In an area known as the Texas killing fields, this property has become a dumping ground for some of the country’s most horrific crimes.
Since the early 70s, bodies have been abandoned in these Texas swamps. Many young lives ended too soon and families were devastated as bodies were recovered but never truly laid to rest. Killers seemingly committed the perfect crimes and thanks to the mysteries surrounding so many of the murders, questions were forever left unanswered.
A Killer’s Field is a short young adult Halloween story available in e-format. Published by Devine Destinies, the novella is fictional but the inspiration behind the story was developed over time by researching some of the true, and quite brutal, unsolved Texas killings.
A Killer’s Field isn’t a true story. However, when I wrote the novella, I tried to write a short story that would appeal to young people and in some small way let the victims’ families know their loved one hasn’t been forgotten. At the same time, this short story includes a warning for all readers with an underlying message in regards to social networks, a tool often used when criminals make their first connection with their future victims.
I’d like to invite readers to check out A Killer’s Field, on sale now at Devine Destinies. Readers, please leave your comments about the cover, short story, or any aspect of A Killer’s Field. I’ll stop by again today and choose one random winner for one free e-gift. If you’re posting a comment, please include an email address or check back to see how you can claim your prize.
“A deadly event turns participants into victims as a Texas killing field becomes ground zero for a Halloween hunt….”A Killer’s Field, Susan Smith Alvis
Kristen McMurray is flabbergasted when her boyfriend decides to take her to the Texas Killing Fields for Halloween. She’s not at all impressed with his plans for a romantic evening, let alone the idea of frolicking on the very grounds known to harbor the deadliest of secrets.
Picturing a moonlit sky high above them and a murderer lurking in the shadows, Kristen is convinced her boyfriend has either lost his mind or worse. Perhaps he’s become a quiet lunatic waiting to emerge.
Reluctantly, Kristen agrees to spend Halloween in the fields. Unbeknownst to her, they enter the heart of a huge Halloween hunt, an organized event and obvious trap used to entice unsuspecting victims to the very place where dozens of bodies have been previously dumped.
One brush with death leads to another, but Kristen keeps her wits about her as her boyfriend turns their Halloween night into an evening she’ll never forget. While the fields live up to their harrowing name, Kristen faces the horrors of the past. Somewhere along the way, she discovers an inner strength and a will to survive, realizing determination and the desire to live are the only elements ensuring she’ll leave the fields alive!
“Where to?” I ask, giving the door a quick tug and taking my seat. I’m still irked by his lack of manners. Perhaps I’ll find a Texas gentleman while we’re hunting killers. Oh sure, there’s a plan. Like eligible bachelors frequent those fields. There’s an old adage about tempting fate. Right now, I feel as if I’m setting a determined appointment with death.
Denny starts the truck. “You’re in a mood.”
I glance to my left. “Aren’t we all?”
“You are,” he grumbles.
“I am,” I agree. “People everywhere are always in a mood. Some folks are in a good mood. Still others are…”
“Terrified,” I deadpan.
“You’re in a terrified mood?” he asks, turning up the radio a notch.
“Turn that off,” I say, reaching over his outstretched arm and hitting the volume knob.
Denny drops his semi-muscular limb like it is weighted down with barbells. He steps on the brake. “What is wrong with you?”
“I don’t feel like listening to scary movie music.” I look straight ahead. I can’t help but blink repetitively. In the face of danger, this always happens. It’s as if I’m not quite able to fathom what is directly in front of me. “How do I get myself in these situations?”
“What are you babbling about?”
“It’s Halloween,” he says, scanning stations.
The notation isn’t necessary. As we enter the New Orleans French Quarter, the holiday is well understood. Already in costume, business owners are unlocking their storefronts. Festive skeletons hang from hotel balconies while elaborate jack-o-lanterns line private patios.
“But of course it is. And I can’t think of anything more appropriate than listening to doomsday hymns.”
“Would you rather hear some bluegrass?”
“Those are your choices.”
“What a nice variety you offer. Behind door number one, we have an arrangement of instruments leaving the listener to believe terror has begun its inevitable march. Behind door number two, an artist with the kind of dreadful voice that makes me want to step into a shallow grave.”
Denny grunts, returns both hands to the wheel and accelerates. “You’re strange. You know that, right?”
“Yes, and you’re the most normal guy in the world.”
He reaches under his seat and retrieves a white plastic mask. “Speaking of which, what do you think?”
I wrinkle my nose as the aroma of Heinz 57 fills the truck. “I think you were out of ketchup.”
“So you smell like a steak.”
“I needed to splatter something thick and dark on my mask. I wanted to go in costume.”
“Thanks for telling me. I would’ve dressed up as mustard had I known you wanted to travel as condiments.”