So without further adieu, here is an excerpt from Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge.
“C’mon.” Jase took my hand. “We’d better get some wood and find some big stones for the fire pit.” He glanced at the sky. Under the canopy of the forest, it was very dim.
I squeezed his fingers. I hoped nothing would ever come between us, but even as the thought crossed my mind, a chill wind tore across the bridge and flung dirt and leaf debris directly into our faces. We dropped hands and rubbed our eyes in disbelief.
Jase muttered, “What the heck was that?”
I rubbed my vision clear and gazed into the gathering gloom at the opposite end of the bridge. The wind whistled and whirled around our ankles like dusty water.
“I hope that doesn’t mean a storm is coming,” I said. What I really thought was, something doesn’t want us here.
We started back toward the campsite. The way the crackly leaves were swirling, it was all I could do to see where to place my feet as I stumbled along behind Jase. When I ran my tongue across my teeth, I could feel the grit coating them. I closed my mouth and shielded my eyes.
“Waahmaahhhh.” The sound floated out of the dimness like a strand of spider silk flung onto the air.
I looked at Jase; he looked at me; and together, we ran.
After a bit, we realized the wind had died down to a gusty breeze. We slowed and began to grab up as many dry twigs and branches as our arms could hold.
“Did you hear it?” I asked.
Jase nodded. “It was the baby. The crybaby.”
Clutching my armload of sticks, I entered the campsite. “Isn’t this the same place your family always comes?”
He was right beside me. “Yep. But that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that sound.”
“Great,” I muttered. “Guess it was just waiting for me.”