Saturday, July 9, 2011

Excerpt from Mystery's Grave



MYSTERY'S GRAVE is book 2 in the Big Pine Lodge series for kids ages 8 - 12. Here's an excerpt from chapter 9:

Missy and Kevin had divided up their job of knocking on the guest room doors in the lodge and then went cabin to cabin together with no luck.

“Let’s keep going that way toward the stable,” Missy pointed. Kevin agreed and they followed the path.

“You don’t have any quicksand around here, do you?” she asked.

“No, but wouldn’t it be funny if he found another way into the caves?” Kevin stopped. “Hey! We should have checked the little playroom under the stairs.”

“I did.” Missy had kept walking and now Kevin caught up. “When you went down the hall on the right, I checked right away. The secret door was locked and I even checked the secret staircase behind the poster to see if he snuck up to the attic.”

“Good thinking, Missy. Well, maybe he’ll be at the stables. I hope the bobcats don’t get him.”

Now it was Missy’s turn to stop. Her right hand flew to her mouth. “Oh, no! That would be awful! Come on, let’s run!”

They raced to the stable and searched diligently, but there were only medium and large size footprints in the soft dirt.

Missy and Kevin walked past the stables and out to the access road. The old, old cemetery was across the road and Missy had found her great-grandmother’s grave there the first week she had spent at the lodge. She automatically looked in the direction of that gravesite and was astonished to see Scooter walking toward them, tightly clutching something.

“Scooter!” she yelled. Then Kevin started yelling, too. The little boy stopped for just a moment before realizing that he knew who Kevin was though the girl was only vaguely familiar.

“Look!” he hollered back. “I found a kitty.”

Missy and Kevin ran up to Scooter and he held out the baby bobcat for them to see.

“Where did you find him?” Missy wanted to know. Scooter thought about not answering her since he didn’t really know her, but then he pointed at the fallen tombstone and started to explain.

“He gots a sister, too, but the mama cat came and took it away in her mouth.”

“Oh, my gosh, Missy, I think Scooter has a bobcat kitten.”

They examined the tiny wild thing more closely, then agreed.

Suddenly there was a loud screeching scream from the oak tree and all three sets of eyes went wide with fear.

“Put the kitten down, Scooter. We better get out of here!” Missy was scared to death. She didn’t want another encounter with a bobcat even if the cat was tame. And there was no guarantee that this was the same animal.

“I want to keep it.” Scooter hugged it closer.

“I really think you’d better let the mother cat take care of it a while longer,” Kevin coaxed. He pried the kitten from Scooter’s grasp and set it on the grassy mound of a hundred year old grave. Then he and Missy each grabbed one of Scooter’s arms and took off in a six-legged race where half the time Scooter’s legs were off the ground.

They heard another cat scream and they went even faster. Kevin bravely glanced back to see the mother bobcat gently retrieving her baby and bounding off into the woods.

Copyright 2010 by Debra Chapoton