The Last Cabin

I warned them! And just as I said it would happen, it happened!

The rushing water overflowed the banks of the gulley, making a path up the hill where the cabins sat like targets, just waiting to be picked off and one by one in the torrential showers that fed the bloated gulley, cabins disappeared—some floating, some engulfed until only the rooftops were visible.

The girls in my cabin screamed, terrified that we would be washed into Lake Huron since our cabin was closest to the lake.

“Hush!” I cautioned, knowing screaming would not solve anything. “Quickly, get everything you can onto a top bunk, and then tie yourselfs to the bunks with your sheets.”

“I don’t want to drown,” Petra screamed, sitting on her lower bed.

“Well, if you don’t want to drown, get off your butt and move it!” I yelled. I jumped from my perch on the top bunk as I watched the rising water and hurriedly threw stuff on the top bunks that were not being used and then started stripping the sheets, wrapping the girls into a hammock wrap and tying the sheets to the bunk.

“Hurry, Mrs. C.” Donnetta yelled, looking at the water.

“I will. I just have to get a few things done.”

I quickly tossed them the plastic containers they had used for snacks and told them to keep them close for bathroom purposes and wrapped the food into the rain ponchos. By the time I threw the last container on my own bunk, water crept in under the door.

“Help!” the girls screamed.

“There’s no one to help us, so you might as well stop screaming,” I said, grabbing some snacks and a six pack of water, wrapping it my raincoat.

“Don’t use your flashlights unless it is absolutely necessary,” I yelled above the sound of the water, trying to invade our little domain. I prayed as I tied myself to the bed, but inwardly cringed as I heard the beams give with the tug of the water. And off we went. Floating with all the debris that managed to get into the path of the water.

The girls were silent and I couldn’t see what they were doing in the dark, so I dared to turn on my flashlight and they were curled into their wraps, eyes bugging out, frightened beyond measure.

“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream,” I started singing. They looked at me as though I’d lost my mind, but I encouraged them to join in the song. Eventually they did.

I don’t know how long we sang that song when we heard a loud thump. I looked out the window, but could seeing nothing but blackness and I didn’t dare get out of the bunk.

“What was that?” Tonya asked, crying. “I want to go home.”

“Sh.” I said. “I don’t know. I’m not sure where we are and…

I didn’t get a chance to finish that sentence because boards of the cabin walls came crashing into our cabin—the last cabin in the camp.

“Lord, have mercy!” was the last thing I remember saying.

The rain stopped!
The sun was shining!
I tramped along the wet grass to the bathhouse humming, “Thank You, Lord!”

© Mary M. Hall-Rayford 2015

My first attempt at flash fiction. Please let me know how I did with it. 🙂

Thanks For The Support!

Over a year ago, I was praying my writing and the Lord showed me that He would have 1 + million readers read my books. Well, of course He didn’t share His timeline, but I’m so grateful to those who are hearing Him speak to their hearts and we’re getting closer each day. My God is an awesome God and He is more than able to fulfill His promises to us and through us!

So, for those who are reading my books–Thank you! For those who haven’t–what are you waiting for–you’re missing out on good, wholesome literature–Mystery with no profanity or violence, Christian Romance with no porn, Christian literature clarifying scripture, poetry, and fantasy for kids–I’m writing so there is something for everyone!

Reading–research has shown–increases literacy and for the older generation, helps to allay the onset of dementia or Alzheimer disease.

So, let’s get away from the television and curl up with a good book.

Mightier Than The Sword–Live on Amazon!

I am so grateful that I’ve finally completed this project and can share it with you! If you read free chapters on JukePop, you can now read the entire book–after the 15th revision. A mystery/suspense worth reading and you may be surprised! amazon cvr 3   You can get it now

My NaNo Novel for 2014!

I had actually decided not to write for the NaNoWriMo challenge this year, but after a “friend” bugged me to do it, I did. I already had a story in mind, but had not determined what I wanted to do with it. So, a couple of weeks before the first of November, I developed my characters, my story map, and my fictional city–complete with a grid of the streets and location of all major buildings. I completed my research and typed up my notes, and on November 1, 2014, at 4:30 a.m. I started writing. By November 9, 2014 at approximately, 2:00 p.m. I had finished the first 50K! Now, near the near, I am revising (2nd round) and my word count is over 72K. Since i plan to publish the “finished” work (after 3 more rounds of revising and editing), it will be available on Amazon as an eBook, hopefully before the end of January.

At any rate, here’s what the cover looks like–right now.

rev nano2 There’s an excerpt on the NaNoWriMo site and I’ll probably post it again, soon! Some ideas are worth pursuing! This one certainly was!

Excerpt–Mightier Than The Sword–Novel-in-progress

Samson wanted to leave with Melandro, but Tiffany and Tyson quickly closed down the club and everyone had to stay put, including Samson. Tyson called for police reinforcements and Tiffany called in the Sheriff’s office. This was way too much for them to deal with. Traffic was blocked from entering the parking lot of Club Jazzy and for a three-block perimeter. Behind the club was the river so they weren’t concerned about anyone leaving in that direction.

“Tyson, make sure all of guests are comfortable and have the police collect every glass at every table and bag them. Battle, call the hospital and make sure everyone is x-rayed for needle pricks and their stomachs pumped. Swatere, check the bathrooms and collect all the garbage cans. Whoever is responsible for this, is not getting away again!” Tiffany thundered orders.

Pretty soon the place was packed with uniformed officers, interviewing guests and taking notes. All of the stemware bagged and all the eating utensils and food put aside.

Samson and the other owners were dumbfounded. They couldn’t believe this was happening on their opening night. Immediately, technicians were brought in to rule out food poisoning for which the chef was eternally grateful for them saying, the food was not tainted in any way.

When the stemware was bagged and tagged, another agent from the FBI took them directly to the lab where Katie was standing by.

When Tiffany asked Samson what Melandro had been drinking, she immediately became suspicious.

“I only saw her drink club soda. Then after we announced our engagement, she had a sip of the champagne. Ask the bar-tender if she had anything else.”

When Tiffany asked the bar-tender if Melandro had anything to drink, he just shook his head. “She came back here once, to fix what she was going to call a Jazzy special. I don’t know what she put in it and she washed the shaker as soon as she made it.”

“That figures,” Tiffany muttered. “What about the glass she used for the champagne toast, has that been cleaned as well?”

“No, in fact she never finished the drink so it’s on the counter—right where she was sitting before she collapsed.”

“Battle, get that technician over here to check the contents of this glass.”

The technician had brought specially formulated strips to test for poisons and he immediately put it in the glass. It turned blue—indication of a toxic substance.

“Okay, get that to the lab and I want results tonight, not tomorrow!” she barked.

Samson sat at the bar with his head in his hand, not knowing what was going on. “Samson, do you have a pen I could use? I don’t have one in this tiny little purse,” Tiffany explained.

“Yeah, sure. Let me get you one of the marketing ones from the office.”

“Franklin,” she called to a uniformed officer, “Please escort Samson to his office and bring him back here pronto.

Walking back to his office with his police escort, Samson’s heart sank. This was supposed to be a night to remember, but not because of three people being rushed to a hospital, but because he had decided to commit to one woman. When he unlocked the door, he sighed and went quickly to his desk and opened the drawer. Stunned, he picked up the syringe and the vial, wondering how they got there. Since Franklin was standing right behind him and saw the syringe and vial, Samson plopped into the chair, not saying a word.

“Agent Harangue,” he radioed. “You need to see this. I’m in the office near the back of the building. Don’t make a move,” he ordered, pulling his service revolver out and keeping it aimed at Samson.

“I’ll be right there,” she said, motioning for Tyson to follow her.

“I don’t know what this is or how it got here,” Samson stammered.

“Don’t say anything else until Agent Harangue gets back here,” Franklin ordered, stepping back from Samson, watching every move.

Tiffany and Tyson burst through the door.

“What is it?” Tiffany asked.

Franklin motioned with his gun at Samson. “Get up slowly and move away from the desk.” Turning to Tiffany, he said,

“There’s a syringe and a vial in the drawer. Samson here says he doesn’t know how they got there.”

Fortunately, Tiffany had brought a pair of latex gloves to the back with her and an evidence bag. She put on the gloves and gingerly picked up the syringe and vial, putting them into the evidence bag.

“Tyson, take these to one of the technicians and have it analyzed right away. If this is what I think it is, we’ve finally solved these murders and hopefully, those who are at the hospital will survive.”

“Franklin, read Samson his rights and take him in for questioning. He’s to be held until we get back from the hospital and no one, I mean no one is get back here. As soon as everyone has been interviewed and we have contact information, turn them loose and tape the place off.

Samson was read his rights, handcuffed and led out of the club, totally mortified by what had just happened.

And The Beat Goes On!

Access to our podcast archived episode from yesterday–with me and my husband having fun!

Yep! It’s Poetry Month!

In The Rabbit Hole
Mary M. Hall-Rayford © 2014

Raking the leaves, turning the soil,
I noticed the burrows dug deep,
But decided to stay on course with my plan,
To clean up the yard before the rain seeped,
Into the atmosphere, spreading across the land
Keeping me from my goal to beautify
All that anyone could see with the naked eye,
And enjoy the fruits of my labor and then,
Suddenly, I lost control of balance and
Started to sink in the hole, I had noticed,
But refused to think about then,
And now as I screamed for help from anyone
I discovered none heard, for no one was near
To my hear my heart-rend screeches or to see the tears
That flowed as I thought all was lost, but
Then I had to reflect about all I knew
About rabbit, whole and how they tasted in stew.

So I remembered Alice, and her plight in the same
And thought about what she might do
Against all odds, earthworms and grubs,
Dirt and stuff I could not even name
No wonder her journey, garnered such fame.

But I must not lose sight of my tale as it is,
May not bring glory and fame, but tis
The stuff whole novels abound with characters
Made in the quickness of thought,
And hopefully, many books will be bought
To see the end of this tale
That I now attempt to regale,
On a spring evening when all through the city
Everyone was busy, raking lawns and seeding
Not worrying about feeding the rabbits who
Waiting for someone to help them reach their goal
By falling in their hole,
Losing their minds and soon their souls,
To the depths of adventure that lie within,
Watch and see if I emerge with a grin,
Victorious in all things, until the very end.


Let Them Quibble!

“Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly” (2 Timothy 2:16 NIV).

When I hear someone or see someone use scripture out of context, I am so tempted to jump right in and correct them. The same is true when people attempt to attribute certain things to God or to belittle what God has said. I have come to the conclusion that when people want to be ignorant, there is nothing anyone else can do. So, instead of engaging in unproductive conversation, I pray for them and when opportunity presents itself, I let them know I’m praying for them.

If we engage in stupidity, we tend to become like those who initiated it and the more we talk, the leverage we give them because they know we are easily swayed. Our role, when we hear or see foolishness, is to walk away and pray. As hard as that sounds, we must make it happen. We do not wish to give the foolish, fuel to use to ignite godless chatter because that is what it will be if we engage.

A fool is known by their inability to stop talking about foolishness. Are we fools–other than for Christ? I’m not. If we simply limit our Godly conversation about His love, mercy, and grace–we have opened the door–hopefully for another opportunity to get more involved in a conversation that will yield or produce interest in someone hearing more. If we simply attempt to beat people over the head with enumerating their sins, we open the door for them to attack–with godless chatter–in defense of their behavior and we lose ground if we engage. If we really want people to receive the Good News, we need to use a balanced approach–share His love and then tell them how to be a recipient of all He has for them.

First conversation with limited time: “Hello. How are you today? May I have a few moments of your time? I’d like to share the love of God with you. God loves you and wants only the best for you.”

First conversation with more time: “Do you know the Lord as Savior? Would you like to know more? He loves you enough that He died for you and wants to make sure you have opportunity to enjoy the abundant life He has in store for you.”

Of course, these conversations will vary, but hopefully, they are enough to open the door for anyone to share the Good News. We must all remember that, “one who wins souls, must be wise.” Exercise wisdom in all things and don’t become an antagonist trying to win someone to Christ. When we become the antagonist, we give Satan opportunity to win, not us.

If people do not want to hear what we have to say, thank them for their time and move on. If they engage in ungodly conversation, let them quibble; walk away and move on. If they choose to listen, then captivate your audience with God’s love and plant a seed or water one and see God’s Kingdom grow.

Deceptive Storms (excerpt 3)

Just when it seemed like he couldn’t hold onto sanity for another minute, right after dinner there was knock on the door.  When his father answered, the first voice he heard was Reverend Anderson and his heart sank.  He sat in the living room, where he had been watching television, thinking, “Might as well stick a fork in me and call me done.”  His father led Reverend Anderson and Pastor Cal into the living room and invited them to sit down.  They did and Vernon’s heart thumped so loudly, he just knew everyone could hear it.

“Reverend Jenkins, thank you for agreeing to see us.  We have a rather grave matter to discuss involving Vernon.  But before we get started, has Vernon told you anything about what happened three days ago?” Pastor Cal asked.

“No,” Reverend Jenkins replied stiffly.  “I know something has been going on, but when I asked, he refused to tell me.”

“Vernon,” Reverend Anderson spoke calmly, “Would you like to tell your dad why we’re here?”

“No!  Y’all here you might as well do what you do,” was Vernon’s rebellious response.

Paul sighed, before he turned to Vernon’s father and began to tell him what happened. Until Paul actually pulled the plastic baggy out of the manila envelope that Pastor Cal had been holding, Reverend Jenkins sat in unbelief.  When he saw the bag, he started to get up from his chair, but Pastor Cal motioned for him to sit.

“Vernon, tell your father what this is and where it came from!” Reverend Anderson said.

“How am I supposed know? You brought that in here.  You tell him,” adamantly denying everything.

“Okay, I’ll tell him.” Turning to Vernon’s father, he pulled out his cell phone and showed him the picture taken on the day Paul had seen him with the seedy-looking guy.  Vernon’s father visibly blanched at what he saw.  The veins in his forehead started to pulse and anger was written all over his face.  Before anyone could have anticipated the next move, he was out of his chair and had grabbed Vernon and threw him down on the floor and started punching him.  It took Paul and Cal to get him off Vernon and even then, his fists were still flailing, almost hitting Paul in the face. He was livid!

“Torrance!” Pastor Cal cautioned him.  “This is not the way.  Beating him to a pulp is not going to help.”

“Oh yes, it will,” Torrance responded, breathing heavily.  “It will help me to teach this boy some respect!  I will not tolerate drug use in my house.  If he can’t abide by my rules, then he can get the hell out!”

Paul was still holding onto him, while Cal attended Vernon, who was curled up in a fetal position on the floor.  His hands were protecting what was left of the exposed part of his face, but where his father’s punches had landed, skin was rising in protest of the beating along one whole side of his face.

After carefully checking Vernon over, Cal determined there was no skin broken or broken bones and he helped him to sit back in the chair from which his father had pulled him.

“Torrance, profanity won’t help the matter here.  Please, get yourself in check. We need to talk.  Beating Vernon is not the answer.  At this rate, the only thing we’ll accomplish here is to get him angry enough to leave and then we won’t have any control over what he does.  Calm down!”

“How can you tell me to calm down?  What would you do if this was your son?  I don’t mean the one that’s grown?  But with a baby on the way, you better know how to deal with this nonsense because it’s not going to get better.”

Cal ignored Reverend Jenkins for a moment.  He was not there to discuss his future child; he was there to find a way to keep Vernon out of trouble.

“Vernon, look at me.  I want you to think about what’s going on here and the fact that you have to stop using and selling drugs.  If you keep going in this direction, it will only be a matter of time before you’re arrested.  Look, I know some of the pushers have kids believing they cannot be prosecuted, but the laws are changing. You can and will be prosecuted and there is nothing your father or anyone else will be able to do about it.  Is going to jail what you really want?”