Patricia Grady Cox
October 31, 2015
Ghostly encounters flare up throughout my novel CHASM CREEK. Ruben Santiago, an elderly Navajo, experiences most of these visions, visitations, and vexatious occurrences.
In the following short excerpt, Ruben goes to a place called Haunted Hill, hoping to conjure up the image of his long-dead grandmother. Instead he gets the following surprise:
“Ruben turned to grab the stone wall and pull himself up. A coyote sat not ten feet away, watching him. He fell back against the wall as it trotted by, so close he heard the pads of its feet on the dirt. He could have reached out and touched its gray brown fur. Its lips pulled up to show fangs and a long, panting tongue. As it passed, it turned its head to look at him. It had human eyes!”
More haunted coyotes—hundreds, thousands more—trot by, forming a long line snaking off toward the east. Their human eyes shed tears that harden into nuggets of gold as they fall. Ruben awakens long after dark, alone. On his knees, he scoops handfuls of the hardened tears and holds them up to the sky. In the moonlight he sees they are just stones.
But Ruben and the coyote shall meet again . . .
Happy Halloween! If you’d like to read more of CHASM CREEK (finalist in the Historical Fiction category of the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards), it’s available through my webpage or on Amazon (paperback and Kindle). Have you ever had a ghostly encounter? Maybe you’ll have one tonight! I’d love to hear about it!