Category Archives: Fiction

The Present State of Miss Bessie

Stretching the Imagination

Miss Bessie’s House

The Present State of Miss Bessie

The other day, I stopped by the house of Miss Bessie, that’s what she was called among the few folks who still knew her. As I turned the key and shut off the engine, a holy silence settled over the old homestead. A light breeze stirred the Spanish moss and in the distance, a lonely dove called out its mournful tones.

“Coo, coo, coo.”

I stepped from my car, walked the short space from where I’d parked underneath a massive live-oak, to the porch lined with Boston ferns and Pansies. With each step, my heels crunched the gravel like some rude child chewing with his mouth open.

I put my foot upon the first step of the porch; it groaned under my weight, but held. The hollow sound of each footfall resonated but went unnoticed by the spider, holding vigil over the unopened entrance.

The light tapping on her door brought the usual response…silence. I wasn’t surprised, as Miss Bessie’s hearing had long forsaken her. With care, I pushed the weathered door open; it creaked under its weight and scraped the pine-heart floor like bear claws. Light from the morning sun filtered through the lace curtains, giving the sitting-room a soft illumination. Particles of dust drifted in lazy circles in and out of the shafts of golden rays, which penetrated the yellowed shades.

The aging clock on the mantle, no longer beating out its rhythmic cadence, was the only indication that something wasn’t….normal.

I took a halting breath and knew…

Pushing deeper, I found Miss Bessie sitting in her old rocking chair on the back porch. To look at her, you would think she was either asleep or in deep prayer. Her hands were folded, her head bowed, and a few strands of grizzled hair, which escaped her hair net, hung loosely across her peaceful forehead. Her tattered Bible lay open on her lap. Gnarled fingers, locked in fervent prayer, sat lightly on its yellowed pages. Across her knees stretched an old, worn quilt. Its raggedy fringes stopped just high enough to reveal her feet, covered with a pair of darned socks, one loosely gathered around her ankle, the other pulled as high as it would go.

One look and I knew. The old rocking chair, which had been her support in life, had become the chariot upon which she rode to glory in the small hours of morning. In some shameful way, I envied her. She had fought the good fight and won the victory. For me, my journey was somewhere within the long dash, which held two dates apart.

I don’t go by Miss Bessie’s house anymore. However, rumor has it that if you pass by her former residence about the time the upper branches of that old live-oak play catch with the first rays of sun, you can hear the faint humming of Miss Bessie wafting through the morning air.

For more of Bryan’s musings go to his web-site, www.newlifepublicationsonline.com  and read about his newest Thriller, Sisters of the Veil. It’s only available on line at Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publication, but it is a must read.

 

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An Interview with Chase Newton

An Interview with Chase Newton

Book cover

“I’m talking to investigative report, Mr. Chase Newton with the New York Times, Washington Bureau and I wanted to ask him about his new book, Stranger in the White House.”
“Good afternoon Chase. Thanks for taking time to speak with me.”
“You’re welcome. I love talking about this book. The more I hear about what is going on in politics these days, the more convinced this is a compelling and contemporary story that must be told.”
“Well I can’t wait to hear about it, but first, let’s get caught up on your life since your last big story. I understand you and Megan are married, is that correct?”
“That’s right; we’ve been married a little over three and a half years. I’ll tell you all about our wedding in the book. During the darkest days of this investigation, I often caught myself thinking back to the days leading up to and since our wedding. I have to admit, there were moments I thought I’d never see Megan again.”
“Have you and Megan had any children yet?”

“Nope. It’s not that we don’t want them. It just hasn’t happened yet. In retrospect, I think it was for the best, knowing the trauma M went through these last days.”
“Oh, I can’t wait to learn more. Chase, as an investigative reporter, you’re usually covering the news, not making it. What’s it like to be in the eye of the storm?”
“Well actually, I wasn’t in the eye of the storm, I was in the storm and played a major role in solving the case. In reality, M was in the eye of the storm, but she didn’t know it at the time. Later on, she told me all she knew was that someone very evil wanted to get their hands on me. They threatened to kill her if she didn’t tell them where I was. She didn’t know where and wouldn’t have told them if she did.”
“I understand she is the reason you got involved in the first investigation four years ago. Is that right?”
“Yes, that’s right. If you will remember, she tried to get my attention on several occasions. But, like a blockhead, I missed the signals. So she resorted to nearly running me over as I crossed the street in Beaumont. That got my attention and I began to wonder where all the new residents were coming from. I had to find out what was going on under our noses in Beaumont.”
“What was it like to be dating the preacher’s daughter and at the same time be investigating him as possibly the leader of the Order?”
“Well, it was interesting to say the least. First I got myself fired from the Beaumont Observer, and then got hired at the bank as the chief loan officer. At the same time, I was trying to get better acquainted with M. After church one Sunday, she asked me to come to her house for Sunday dinner. Boy was that an eye opener.”
“Yes, and I understand you met a lot of interesting people there.”
“That’s right, and it only further whet my interest in finding out who those people were and where all the money was coming from.”
“She was also responsible for you coming to the Lord, right?”
“That’s right. I really respected her. She is a woman of spunk and character. Her Godly testimony pointed me to the Lord. As you know, I was brought up on a Christian home, but I never personally applied the teachings of my parents to myself. It was good for mom and dad, but I thought I knew better. It was one of Pastor T. J,’s sermons that got me thinking. What he said didn’t ring true. That led me on a search for the truth behind the stranger in the pulpit. Little did I know that it would lead me to a crisis of my faith. I had to admit, I had none. M pointed me to Jesus and I trusted Him as my Savior.”
“So tell us a little about your next book, Stranger in the White House. That sounds intriguing.”
“Well, I can’t tell you much, but suffice it to say it starts off with a double assassination of the president and vice president. From there, it takes you on a wild ride halfway around the world and back in order to solve the case.”
“So there is a lot of action and suspense? Does anyone that we know get killed?”
“Now that I can’t tell you, but let me say, you will be familiar with several characters in the book. My editor Stan Berkowitz and Sheriff Conyers are big contributors to the story.”
“Well that concludes my interview with the now famous investigative reporter, Mr. Chase Newton. His book, Stranger in the White House will be available for pre-release sales sometime in August. Is there anything you want to say about that?”
“Yes, that is right. I talked with my publicist at Tate Publishing and they are saying it will go to press in about a week. They’re thinking it will be available after August 13th.”

I know many of your followers will be asking how they can get your book. How much does it cost and where can they order it?
“Thanks for asking. Stranger in the White House is larger than my last book. It is 237 pages, so they priced it at $13.99. Since Megan is a millionaire, she said that she’ll pay the tax on any book sold in Georgia. Oh, and by the way, don’t you love the cover? They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but this cover says it all.”
“Where can people get your book? Is it in bookstores yet?”
“No not yet. But my author, Bryan Powell, will be going around the Atlanta region holding book signing events at many of the places where he’s been in the past. Otherwise you can order it through his web site at http://www.newlifepublicationsonline.com or come to one of our many book signings.”
“Let me say this, too. Be watching for a big announcement concerning our book launch. Bryan has been in contact with someone about where to hold his book launch. We should know in a couple of days and I can hardly wait. If it works out, it will really be a huge event.”

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A Bit of Fiction

Originally posted here, on Halloween. A few minor edits along the way, though the illustration that went along with it does still relate to the story. We had some wind in Savannah, and it reminded me of this story. So today felt like the sort of day to put this up.

On All Hallow’s Eve, A story of Rodille

by A. M. Bell

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