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Shoe Marks

Shoe Marks by Karen Vance Hammond
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In 1899, Maggie Horton was the epitome of what every young woman wanted to be— married with children. She led a charmed life on her homestead in Ellensville, Texas, alongside a husband who worshipped the ground she walked on and a former lover who still desired her.

One unsuspecting day, her jealous husband swiftly ended her life. However, there was one thing she left behind that would stand the test of time—her shoe marks. After forty-five years, they still remain in the house she once lived in as well as her undying spirit that searches for acceptance and love from a family who will stay for the long haul.

Inspired by actual events, Shoe Marks is sure to put any reader on the edge of their seat.

SynergEbooks; July 2011
165 pages; ISBN 9780744316674
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Shoe Marks
Author: Karen Vance Hammond

The darkness made it difficult to see anything inside the house. Frequent bolts of lightning illuminated everything in sight. John gasped as Maggie appeared in the foyer.

As the flashes of lightning continued, she stopped, turning her head toward John. With a blank stare, she appeared to have no recollection of him.

John’s eyes widened. He felt she was looking right through him, and he was sickened at her appearance. Maggie’s eyes were sunken deep in their sockets. Her skin was pale like white powder, and her fingernails were long, curved, and brittle.

She turned and walked up the stairs looking back at him. With an eerie tone, she said, “Leave.”

The rain soaked everything in sight. John left the porch and sopped in the muddy puddles and around the property. He noticed a mound of dirt surrounded with rocks and dried wilted flowers.

What in the world? He said to himself. John ducked down close to the ground hoping he wouldn’t be struck by the cloud-to-ground lightning. Before the next lightning bolt, he removed the mud off the tombstone.

John’s heart stopped as an M appeared, followed by the letter A. He vigorously moved his hands over the letters as the name and dates became visible: Margaret Horton (1883-1899). Bewildered, he sat back, crawling backward in the mud in disbelief.

Panting, he said, “No! This can’t be true.”

John rose to his feet, running back to the house. Determined to speak to Maggie, he pounded on the door. “Maggie, open up. I know you’re in there. What in the hell are you doing, faking your own death?” he shouted.

John stopped knocking and backed up a few inches. He leaned over and raised his hand ready to knock again.

Without warning, the glass shattered toward him slicing his neck. He grabbed his throat, stumbled, and fell back, falling on his rear. Blood began to shoot out of his jugular vein with each pulse. He staggered toward the pond and sat down at the water’s edge. Before he could gather enough water in his hand, he fell over dead.

Maggie stood in the foyer with her arms down by her side, staring at the shattered glass. She turned around, walked into the parlor room, sat down in her rocking chair, caressing a baby doll while humming a lullaby.

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