Miss Mary Mack: My Latest Um…Novel?

Miss Mary Mack Cereal Authors

 

The sound of little girls giggling and playing a hand clapping game could be heard all the way up to Old Man Oscar’s porch: “Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack…All dressed in black, black, black….She wore her buttons all down her back, back, back…”

“Whacha know ‘bout Miss Mary?” said the old man rocking while the children clapped along. Looking at him one of the little girls answered, “It’s just a song, there’s no Miss Mary!”

“Girl hush! I tell y’all it’s true, there was a Miss Mary and she used to run that ol’ orphanage near LaGrange road.”

Thinking these were just the ramblings of an old man, the girls continued to play on. Meanwhile a skeptical little boy asked, “Oh yeah, how come I ain’t never heard of no Miss Mary?” Seeing a little bit of himself in the boy, the old man answered, “Befo’ yo time boy.” As he slowly rocked back and forth in his chair, the memories began flooding back. Having caught their attention the children came closer to the porch. Noticing he had an audience, the old man took a knife to a scar on his arm and pointed, “You see that there, those is boins (burns) I got fo eating befo’ sayin’ Grace. She grabbed a lit candle stick and just pressed it into my arm like it whattin nuthin’.” The children gasped in horror and now that the old man had their undivided attention, he felt obligated to finish what he had started.

Chocking up as he remembered the dust from old dirt road that led up to the ancient manor. Old man Oscar pulled on his collar feeling the blazing Alabama sun as he recalled the hard labor he was forced to do for the demanding matron, Miss Mary. Finding it hard to breathe, he began to take deep breaths as his hands shook, from the trauma at the hands of that unforgiving serpent. Hearing the sound of her leather strap as it whipped in the air before making contact with his skin, he had no choice but to take another sip of gin from his flask so he wouldn’t lose his composure in front of the children who were now demanding to know who this Miss Mary was.

Unlike most people old Man Oscar, considered the memory loss that old age bestowed upon him a blessing for a hard and sorrowful life. He had lost so many friends, and family over his 70 years, but it seemed God himself would not allow Oscar to completely forget Miss Mary, so reluctantly, he began the tale…

He was around 8 years old when his mother brought him to the orphanage ran by the First Apostle Church of Morecliff Hills. As she led him up the stairs Oscar’s mother promised, “Now, don’t fret I’ll be back for ya. This is only for a little while.” When they reached the top of the final step of the porch, she hugged him. Holding on tightly Oscar pulled on her blue cotton shawl, tears streamed down his mother’s eyes as she instructed him, “Now you be good for Miss Mary, she’s gonna take care of ya.” As on cue, a woman appeared from the porch door, as though summoned by all the sadness.  Clad in a black dress covering all her flesh, the woman looked like a ghost emerging from the shadows. Peering down at Oscar she asked, “The people ‘roun here call me Miss Mary, what’s your name?” as though she didn’t already know. What little Oscar didn’t understand was that this arrangement had been in the works for almost a year. Though Oscar’s mother promised to be back, Miss Mary knew she wouldn’t, most parents never returned. A few guilty ones might write a few letters but eventually, all contact would cease. This was why Miss Mary felt it was important to build a rapport with the children in the beginning to make the transition easier so she smiled and spoke sweetly to the young boy to keep him calm as his mother walked out of his life.

Bio: Rachel Rueben is author of YA, supernatural as well as romance books.  Her work can be found her on the Cereal Authors blog as well as Wattpad.  She is also a blogger at Writing By The Seat Of My Pants where she discusses self-publishing and rarely refers to herself in the third person.  😉

It Wasn’t Supposed To End This Way!

As I got closer to the end of Eternal Bond, I got more and more anxious because I had no idea how it was going to end.  This confuses the heck out of people.  They always ask, “How can you not know how your story is going to end?”  Easy!  I let my characters decide how they’ll end it and what my characters did shocked even me.  The heroes I so carefully created failed miserably and the bad guys wound up stealing a victory that was never meant for them.

I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I will share a little more from my novel Eternal Bond:

Eternal Bond By Rachel Rueben
Coming this Dec.

When Clara awoke, she wasn’t in the carriage house anymore instead, she was lying on a couch in a dimly light room.  Hearing a creaking sound, she thought someone was approaching and she slowly got up from the couch.  Turning around, she saw James hanging from the ceiling.

With a leather noose wrapped around his neck, the leather creaked, as the body swayed back and forth.

Though her lips moved, nothing came out, but a whimper.  Then a small feminine hand appeared pushing the body, making it sway faster.

Cheerfully, a familiar voice said, “Morning.”

Needing no introduction, Clara recognized who it was.  It was the devil’s consort herself, Apollonia.  Stepping out from behind the body, she revealed herself and the enormous smile on her face.

Grabbing a candle, Apollonia went over to the body and examined it with a spectacle remarking aloud, “Nicely executed, just deep enough and very clean!”

Shaking from head to toe Clara stood there scared silly.

Running her fingers through James’ hair, she said, “He was chosen just for you young, strapping—delectable.”

Clara began feeling ill, upon hearing it was all just a set up.

Looking over her shoulder at Clara, Apollonia said, “I told you Clara, thou art highly favored.”

Apollonia went back to amusing herself with the corpse, using pressure points to making the eyes bulge and lips move.

Eventually, she tore herself away from her entertainment to talk further with Clara.  Reaching out to touch her, Clara immediately jerked back from her.  Though Clara had failed in a most miserable way, she wasn’t ready to embrace those failures.

Instead, she was drawn to a window that looked like it was slowly shedding tears.  To her, it seemed as though the angels themselves were shedding tears from heaven.  Watching as the drizzle slowly crept down the glass, Clara found herself unable to react anymore, so she didn’t.  Looking over at the body and out the window again, she stood still.

Sinking deeper and deeper into despair, Apollonia spoke up and said with a tender compassion, “I know what you’re thinking, and none of it is true!”

Bewildered said, “You know not my thoughts, only God does” and she believed that, but she questioned whether He even cared anymore.  Her very soul was being eaten alive by her enemies, and all she received was silence from the throne of The Most High.

Taking the more sensitive approach, Apollonia spoke aloud everything in Clara’s tortured mind.  “You spend all your life following their commandments, whipping your very thoughts into submission.  Then, just as you taste mortality you discover, there’ll be no reward for you!  All those years of fearful sowing, yielded nothing but the whirlwind!”

Clara looked back at her in shock, because Apollonia had managed to recite every single one of her thoughts.  Clara knew she was in trouble, because Apollonia was starting to make sense.

Meeting her in the middle of the room, Clara asked, “What do you want?”

“Salvation just like you!”  Apollonia answered.

“After death comes judgment, not salvation.”  Clara said.

Sensing she was on the verge, Apollonia continued her assault asking, “Death itself was judgment on man, so what is this?”

“I do not know.”  Clara said confused.

“Then let us teach you!”  She said trying to secure the victory.

To seal the deal, Apollonia extended her hand in friendship and without looking, Clara accepted it.