Joseph Sur Landzlodt returns from the military, only to be in the presence of his fiancée when she is murdered. Grieving for her, his nephew, Timmy, who is severely autistic and a gifted artist, guides Joe, (through the pictures Timmy draws), to MeLing, Joe's beautiful, mysterious woman of the forest. At last, Joe's happiness seems within reach. But all is not as it seems. MeLing has a horrible secret that impacts her family, herself, and Joe. Terror overwhelms them as MeLing slowly reveals her secrets and Joe realizes that he, through the help of Timmy's pictures, is the only one who can save them all. Evil men, alien beings, and two lovers take us on a fast, romantic adventure where love wins in the end.
; December 2004
203 pages; ISBN 9781587494604Read online
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Title: Country Priestess
Author: Dick Claassen
This had to be the longest 64 miles MeLing had ever ridden, but finally they were close to the end of it. Joe stomped on the accelerator. It was just one mile to their exit. Three more miles on gravel roads and they would be home, safe.
It was 9:00 o'clock.
Joe took the exit and MeLing zipped open the leather bag. The weapons were close at hand, should they need them.
Joe looked down at the bag. "Take them out and lay them on the seat," he whispered.
MeLing's thoughts exactly. She pulled out the knives and handed one, handle first, to her Joseph. He took it with his right hand and exited the interstate, steering with his other. She left the pistols in the bag. If they were attacked, and if there were more attackers than hand-to-hand could manage, she would grab the pistols. But a killing would be very hard to explain. She hoped it wouldn't come to that.
"You're driving very fast for gravel, Joseph."
"I know," he said. "We're almost there," as the car oozed from side to side across the unstable gravel road surface.
Suddenly, like an acid laser, a pain shot through Joe's head!
"What's wrong, Joseph!" MeLing clutched the steering wheel to keep the Explorer on the road.
"It's gone," Joe gasped. "I think Andy is warning us." He looked in the rearview mirror and a pair of headlights was rapidly gaining on them!
It came up next to them now, a car like a disembodied phantom in this dangerous twilight.
"Can't hold it on the road!"
The phantom forced them over and Joe took the ditch!
Before the attackers could even get out of their car, Joe and MeLing were outside of the truck, knives in their hands.
Four men barreled out of the doors. Joe instinctively put himself between them and MeLing.
"Get out of my way, damn it!" MeLing shouted.
Joe did as he was told as the four men rushed them.
Joe took the first one down with a swipe of his blade. The man screamed and clutched his chest.
MeLing was rushed by two shadows. The first shadow tried to face-punch her, but she backed away, just out of his reach, then grabbed his outstretched arm, brought up her knee and broke his elbow. The crunch of splitting bone sickened her for an instant, but it quickly passed as she felt the sting of a blade slice across her chest! She screamed, then bit back with her knife. The man swung at her again and caught her upper arm with his blade before he staggered and fell. Two down. No, three. Joe had one down and was wrestling the third. He screamed, but stayed standing while the man continued to pummel him.
Joe finally got an arm free and hit his man solidly in the face with the hilt of his trench knife. "God!" the man screamed and fell to his knees. It was too dark to see clearly, but the man's blood-slick face grazed across Joe's forearm as he went down in a heap at Joe's feet. The fourth man lunged at Joe, but Joe was ready for him. With both hands clutched together into a fist, Joe let the man move in close before he punched the man in the groin.
"Ahhh..." The man screamed and moaned simultaneously as he doubled over and collapsed on the wet grass.
The four attackers weren't dead. They tried to scramble to their knees as MeLing grabbed Joe's shirt and pulled. "Leave them!"
Joe scrambled after MeLing as they made their way through the ditch and over the fence that was surrounding a pasture next to the road. Joe could see only shadows and outlines, now. He could only guess where they were or what lay in front of them. He followed the shadow ahead of him, moving faster than he ever dreamed she could move.
MeLing gasped as she ran. She knew she wasn't cut out for this. She hoped it would have never come to this. But she would not go down! And she would not let Joe save her! They had to save each other, now.
She felt blood draining from her as she ran.