Volume #1: Chronicles of the Cursed
Charlene (Charlie) Bennett is a simple waitress in the wilds of Hyder, Alaska whose father has just gone missing. Isolated and alone, her fathers’ disappearance is nothing new to her, but this time things are a little different.
For starters, there is a handsome stranger, Daniel that has come to town and while Charlie has never taken more than a passing interest in strangers, she has an immediate and intense attraction to this one. Secondly, she’s soon to find out that this stranger isn’t what he appears. He’s about to throw Charlie’s entire world into a major upheaval.
Now Charlie has to decide if she believes this strangers’ incredible story and follow Daniel or if she wants to stay in the only home she’s ever known for an uncertain future and an absentee father. As she comes to terms with what Daniel shows her, she realizes that he’s the only true thing in her life and leaves everything she knows behind to follow the handsome stranger.
She was standing in the middle of the poorly lit living room surrounded by chaos holding a baseball bat looking more like a scared child than the woman she was. "Charlie, please open the door." The voice sounded so familiar to her, but what on Earth would he be doing here, and how did he know where she lived. She moved towards the door. "Daniel?" "Yes. Charlie, please trust me, we don't have very much time, please open the door and let me help you."
She was very confused but she moved slowly to the door. She knew that Daniel couldn't have possibly done this mess, unless he had done it when she was working. But why would he do something like this and then spend the evening with her. "Charlie, please hurry, we don't have much time and I need you to trust me. I had nothing to do with what's happened in your home, believe me. I'm here only to help you."
She reached for the locks on the door and slowly turned them to open the door. Before she could even turn the knob, Daniel had turned the door and pushed his way in. He quickly moved through the door and closed it again and locked it pushing furniture in front of the door and windows. Charlie was standing there staring at him with the baseball bat still in a defense mode. "You can put that down; it won't do you any good anyway."
Charlie was disoriented and didn't understand what was going on. "What are you doing here? And how do you even know where I live?" Daniel hadn't stopped moving around the room moving furniture into defensive positions around the doors and windows. "I followed you Charlie." "What?! How did you follow me? I drove off and you were still standing in the parking lot when I left." "No Charlie. I wasn't. You saw me following you; you just don't want to admit that you knew it was me. But we don't have time for this right now. Please get whatever you need to leave this place forever and get to the back door as quickly as you can."
She was just standing there looking at him in bewilderment. What the hell did he mean he followed her? She had no idea what he was talking about, and leave this place forever, why on Earth would she do that? "Charlie. MOVE." His voice was filled with urgency and terror and Charlie snapped to her senses.
"I don't understand. What's going on?" Charlie was near tears, she didn't deal well with pressure to make snap decisions and was feeling overwhelmed by what was happening. "Charlie. I don't have time to explain everything to you, so please you will have to take some of this on faith until we can discuss this in a way that I can explain. Please. You know I would never hurt you; in fact I'm doing my best to prevent just that. But you are in serious danger right now, and I need you to focus and do as I say. Can you do that for me?"
Charlie was blinking back the tears but nodded her head. She didn't know why she trusted this man, but he'd not given her any reason not to and right now he was thinking straight and she wasn't. "Go into your room, grab as much clothes as you can put into a backpack. Nothing more than a backpack. Say you understand me." "I understand." "Good. Take only what you can carry in this one backpack, nothing more, and only take what you need. I know it's hard to let go of some things, but they are only possessions, so decide if they are worth your life. If they are, take them, if not, leave it. Say you understand me." "I understand, but..." "We don't have time, Charlie. NOW."
Ten Fun Facts about Nicole DelaCroix
1) My childhood dream is to live in London, England. I love everything British and even drink imported English tea like a closeted Brit. (Shhh, don’t tell anyone)
2) I’m fluent in many languages – Sarcasm, Profanity and Double Entendres, just to name a few. (Bet you thought I was serious)
3) I’m incredibly clumsy and have tripped over my own two feet more times than I can count. Mostly it happens when I’m wearing flat shoes and on even pavement. I’ve never taken a fall wearing high heels.
4) Speaking of shoes, I spend more money on shoes (preferably platform boots please) than I do on fixing my car, groceries or anything else. I have multiple pairs that are far too high for me to wear that I still have in boxes. I refuse to get rid of them, eventually I will wear them.
5) I subscribe to a theory of radical honesty, meaning that I do everything in my power to not tell a lie. I do however, refuse to tell anyone my correct age, and I never will.
6) I believe in ghosts, so much so that I’m convinced that there was a ghost of a nurse in my childhood bedroom. I’m still scared to sleep alone in that room.
7) I refuse to eat any food that has feet or face still attached to it. So peel and eat shrimp, crab legs, lobster, fish, etc., I won’t even eat if it’s on the table. It just freaks me out.
8) I’m scared of most all bugs, snakes and general creepy crawly things, except spiders. Spiders are cool and don’t scare me at all.
9) I have the biggest sweet tooth ever! I keep jars of candy and sweets all over my home, work and car. I always have something, even if it’s only gum.
10) I hate having my picture taken, and my mother insists that there is more footage of Bigfoot than there is of me. (She’s probably right too)
Daniel finally turned to her and acknowledged that she was there. "You've guessed right. We are just ahead of the cannery and yes we are going to catch a cannery truck. There is a shipment leaving in about 15 minutes that will come this way. When they come this way the pack will delay the driver so we can sneak onto the back of the truck. What I need you to do is wait until I give the signal to go and then run to the back of the truck quickly and quietly without drawing any attention. It's imperative that the driver does not know we're on the truck. He can never see us if he does this whole thing will fall apart. Do you understand?" Charlie nodded, she didn't like the plan, but she would do what Daniel asked of her.
"We will stay in the back of the truck until they get to Washington state and then we can make our way from there. But it's very important that until we make it out of town and on the highway that you don't say or think anything. Focus on your music, keep your eyes closed and try not to listen. If you hear something make sure it doesn't break your concentration Charlie, it's very important. I can't block you and both our lives depend on you keeping quiet. I know you're tired and upset and I haven't been very forthcoming, but we're almost out of here. You've had your life in my hands up to now and the only way I can return the trust is to tell you that my life is in your hands until we make it out of town. All you have to do is focus on the music in your head; can you do that for me?"
Charlie felt the gravity of his words and hoped that she could come through for him. She would definitely try her very best to do exactly what he wanted her to do. She had managed to grab her ear buds when they were leaving the cabin, she figured she could dig those out and put them in. They weren't completely noise canceling but when she had them in she found it easier to focus. Besides she could put her MP3 player on and the music could just play helping her focus even more.
Daniel started to look a little relieved that she was taking his words to heart and coming up with the best solutions to keep them both safe. He relaxed his grip on her hand a little letting her know that he understood what she was thinking and was on board with her plan.
They hadn't been sitting very long when they heard the unmistakable rumble of the oversized cannery truck in the distance. She figured they had about 5 minutes before the truck made it to where they were hiding. Her adrenaline was pumping and her tiredness eased up and she was on pins and needles waiting for the truck to make it around the curve.
It seemed like forever before the truck lights showed on the horizon meaning that the truck was about 3 minutes away. Daniel looked focused on what was going on and the pack was on edge as well. It was clear a plan was in play but Charlie was clueless as to what exactly it was. All she knew was her part in it, pay attention get to the back of the truck without being seen.
It wasn't long before the noisy truck was making its way around the curve and picking up speed. Charlie started to let her doubts creep in, how were they going to be able to jump on a moving vehicle. When without warning the answer to her unspoken question showed itself. The missing pack members were corralling a wild black bear on the other side of the road. It was clear by their behavior that they were going to push the bear into the road in front of the truck about 30 feet ahead of where Charlie and Daniel were hiding.
Charlie started to worry that the bear would make it across the road before the truck could make it, when the rest of the pack moved into action. They ran up to intercept the bear and block it onto the road, there was no escape as the truck barreled down on the bear. Since the curve in the road had hid the bear, the truck slammed into the poor animal. As soon as they heard the tires squeal, Daniel pulled Charlie up and they both ran to the back of the truck. Daniel quickly cut the seal on the truck as the wolves started howling loudly. Sound cover to pull up the door so they could jump in, the pack had thought of everything.
Only Charlie worried that the bear may have damaged the truck too much for it to continue its journey, but she didn't have to wait long as she heard the bear growl and the pack disperse and the unmistakable sound of the cab door closing. Soon enough her fear was squashed as the truck lurched into movement. Charlie dug out her MP3 player and ear buds and started listening to music. She had her classical mix playing David Garrett so she was instantly lost in the music.
About the Author
Nicole Delacroix is the author of the fantasy paranormal novel Glimpse of Darkness, born in Frankfurt Germany to a German mother and American Military father. Her parents instilled in her a deep love of the written word and a profound respect for literature in all forms. So it's little wonder that from the moment she could first write she knew that writing would always be a part of who she is. From short stories to dabbling in scriptwriting she passes her time with her day job as an IT professional but feverishly writes well into the night. Her passion for literature encompasses many different genres but her heart beats true with fantasy and science fiction. She's fiercely loyal to friends and family and is eagerly awaiting the day when she can move to London England, her childhood dream. You can visit her at www.nicole-delacroix.com