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The Sun Hath Dried Us Black

By TheLiriValley All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Horror

The Town Square

Arthur Carver stepped out of his house and greeted the dull, grey light with feigned purpose. The smell of wet smoke and fire still lingered in the air as he stood on his damp wooden porch surveying the wreckage before him. The storm had strewn barrels, pieces of wood & various bits of hay all about the main square of their little Hamlet. It would be a fair bit of work to clean it up and Arthur knew that no one was going to simply volunteer, that left it up to him as acting Mayor to delegate the task. Once again he would be the cause of today’s strife and for a moment he considered simply doing it himself but he shook the thought from his mind when he remembered that after the town hall meeting he was to help Edward negotiate the cost of a few more horses from another village.

“Although, why waste an opportunity…” he said quietly to himself as he walked absentmindedly towards the center of the town square, stooping to pick up small pieces of wood & bits of hay as he walked. He made sure to do it in loud gestures so that the other townsfolk who were currently emerging from their houses saw the effort he was putting into cleaning the square himself. This way, he thought to himself, they wouldn’t see me as just delegating later when I have to assign some people to clean it up.

The townsfolk continued emerging from their houses like scared children checking to see if their parents had stopped fighting and sure enough the storm has come and gone leaving only broken bits of the night behind. A few of them started making a halfhearted attempt to clean up the destruction but after a few short minutes of idle work the people began staring in Arthurs direction. He continued his slow but steady pace towards the center of the square, picking up each bit of rubble he could with a humble smile upon his face until his arms were filled.

He turned around while continuing to walk backwards and looked towards the now gathering crowd which assembled in the direction he came from and shyly nodded, a crisp half frown on his face as if to say, “No need to thank me, I’m only human.” Arthur would have continued his self-congratulation had he not noticed that the faces of the townspeople were not depictions of praise or appreciation but rather grimaces of absolute horror. Arthur stopped walking when he felt a soft poke in his back and turned around to see the body of a boy hanging by his feet.

“The body had been strung up sometime in the early morning,” Henry, the town doctor said in a gruff voice, “…and if you look here…” he pointed towards the gaping hole in the chest, “…his ribs are broken with an immense force. Just like…”

“Just like the others.” Arthur said crisply, cutting him off.

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NRF: I love this story, it has a little bit of everything in it, mystery, adventure, murder, innocence, love and a surprise twist that will leave you hungry for more! Great read! NRF

Erica Mifflin: is very very neat and is one of my favorite novel of all time I want more stories like this please write another one. I love it so much thank you for your stories it was like a good book to my heart and I want more stories like this

Deleted User: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...

JanThompson: This book gives a beautiful description of a country which one rarely gets to see. The contrast between rich and poor is very evident too.The storyline actually sheds a compelling light on why women in certain countries sell themselves just to help their families or even to survive themselves. I ...

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

Tony Lee: Read this during my 7-hour flight. You've done a great job describing each situation, but I believe there is room for improvement. Also, the ending was a bit abrupt and I think the last part where Terry Hunter was brought in again (slight spoiler) wasn't really necessary.. But overall the story k...

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

Jordan Young: *ALERT FOR POSSIBLE SPOILERS* Where to start? I don't know how to sum up this review, this story was absolutely sensational. Brilliant. Flawless. I loved every single bit of this story, it is truly amazing. I read this story in fifteen hours, it is magnificent. I loved everything about it, the p...

Kayresia A. Bass: Loved it. Author did some insane research to bring this story to life. A little short for my taste, but an awesome story nonetheless. A few missing periods, and a few missing ending quotation marks, but not enough to take away from the story.Keep going. Add more detail to your future stories and ...

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Deleted User: I loved this story. It was so great that I did not expect it to be this awesome. I swear to you this deserves more than just 5 stars. Beyond amazing. Kept me wanting more and I felt exactly like Emma felt while reading. Although in the beginning I did not expect anything to happen. Then, when som...

C.K. Bachman: Just read the first chapter. Love how the main character thinks and is conflicted over his wife and the trickery he uses on her.

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