Greetings to one and all. Today, author D. L. Finn stops by The Indie Spot to share her latest creation. Take it away, Denise . . .
Thank you, Beem, for having me here today to share my latest release, In the Tree’s Shadow.
In “A Day at the Lake,” Cathy sits on the lake’s edge, enjoying her peaceful moment of having it all to herself. She’s there to release her mother’s ashes and start a new chapter in her life or retirement.
I spent much of my youth with my great-grandparents in Clear Lake, CA. I loved sitting on the lake’s dock at night, fishing with the adults, and taking in the peace and beauty of a star-covered night. My imagination wandered even with all that peace, and the occasional catfish caught. What if a creature existed under those murky lake waters?
Cathy discovers that everything has its season and that what lives in the lake has theirs. In this story, I give both perspectives on the event.
This is also my first short story challenge on Vocal. It was a Horror Fiction Challenge set by a body of water. Couldn’t pass that up, could I?
A collection of short stories where dreams and nightmares coexist.
Nestled inside these pages, you’ll meet a couple in their golden years who take a trip with an unexpected detour, a boy desperate to give his brother the Christmas gift he asked for, a girl with a small glass dragon who is at the mercy of her cruel uncles, and a young mother who has a recurring dream about murder. You’ll be introduced to worlds where people get second chances and monsters might be allowed their desires, while angels and dragons try to help. Happy endings occur, but perspective can blur the line between good and evil in these twenty-seven tales. Since the stories vary between 99 and 12,000 words, whether you have only five minutes or an entire evening to settle into reading, there is something that will suit your time and taste.
The hazy sunbeams vanished under Lake Vera’s icy surface as a bald eagle dove and captured a rainbow trout. The bird and its victim soared to a padded nest on top of the cedar. Cathy snapped shot after shot on the camera she’d saved all year to buy. The heavy new lens gave her a close-up of the steely determination in the eagle’s eye and the blood seeping from the squirming fish. The eaglets would eat well tonight.
On a red plaid blanket, Cathy sat as still as the alert deer with her fawn drinking from the water’s edge. She slowly turned the camera on the gentle creatures, adding to her growing collection of nature shots. When the deer finally got their fill of the algae-ridden water, they disappeared into the tree’s shadows. She took a break from photography and pulled out the carefully packed roast beef sandwich with mayo, mustard, pickles, and lettuce on a sourdough roll—all the fixings, as her mom used to say before she faded away into dementia.
After finishing her meal, she wiped her mouth with a soft red cloth napkin that smelled of spring. She cleaned up her area to reflect her love of nature. As the sign said, Pack it in, pack it out. It had been the perfect day to go to the lake and have it all to herself. Today was how Cathy had pictured retirement, but until now, she’d spent it as her mother’s sole caretaker, which was the real reason she was here.
“Goodbye, Mom. I hope you find some peace now.”
She bent down at the lake’s edge and released the ashes. This was the place her family had come for summer picnics. Now Cathy was the only one left. She snapped pictures of what remained of her childhood, slowly floating away on the mirror-still lake toward the bald eagle’s nest and the creepy old oak tree.
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FUN FINN FACTS:
- My best birthday decoration was on a family camping trip. It was a banner made from paper towels wishing me a happy birthday.
- I used to ride horses often as a child. I was offered one, but it would have been too far away to walk there daily to care for it.
- D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include children’s books, adult fiction, a unique autobiography, and poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.
D.L. Finn Links:
D.L. Finn blog