Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Hanging Tree By Michael Phillip Cash --A Fun YA Ghost(s) Story!

"He's not being nice because she thinks she's holding out
on him," Martin's boyish voice added from a distant branch
interrupting her pensive thought.
"How do you know that?"
"I'm a guy."
The girl sniffed at this, rolling what used to be baby-blue
eyes, and he finished. "Well, I was a guy."
"So, Goody Bennett" Arthur, a dapper man dressed in preppy clothing of another century asked softly from a lower branch, hisL voice the barest shisper. "Is she gonna give it up tonight?"

"What do you think, I'm a witch?" the ghost cackled, and the branches shook with mirth.
Laughter echoed in the still air, and both teenagers looked at each other. Arielle dropped the knife and ran to the safety of Chad's arms.
"Did you hear that?" she whispered, her face bleached of color.
"Chad held her tightly in the security of his arms, liking it.  "Must be coming from somebody's car further down. It's nothing," he replied more confidently than he felt.

"Just my opinion, of course..."
If you are taking your girl out for a little time together, you may want to remember NOT to sit under The Hanging Tree...

The Hanging Tree
By Michael Phillip Cash

The bark bit into the delicate skin
of Arielle's back. Stars twinkled
above her, dancing in the reflection
Chad's eyes. "Stop, really, Stop."
She pushed at Chad's shoulders as
he resisted her, his lips caressing
the side of her neck. "I don't want to."
English: Chad Michael Murray in 2007 at the Pi...
"Arielle, you promised,
Chad whispered, assaulting
her lips. "I thought you said
you love me," he whispered.
 So there they were... It was Summer of last year, and Chad was up to his usual--taking Arielle where they would be sure to be alone...and then tryin' it...

For one thing, she really wasn't sure she wanted to participate in this...

And, second, this place was creepy...

Six months had been long enough for Chad to wait...after all, he had many other girls he's already had and could
                                                          So,,,what do you think of my suggested                             actors to play the lead "human" roles???       

Clare gasped, her hand on her chest, her breath coming in short pants. How did she know? She thought wildly.
They met in private, the good reverend and Claire, in the meadows by the large oak. They had lain together
under the leafy branches. The sun warmed their bodies, and he spoke of her beauty and their future together.
He was a good man, leading the flock, keeping them in the light of the Lord, guarding against evil.
His loving hands caressed her, urging her to tell him the true nature of her family. How could she resist
such a man? The grim cabin filled with witch's tools and the evil devil's familiar were of her past.
She was impatient to disregard it for a future as the respected wife of leader in their small community.
..."Where's the good reverend now?...

Well, you can guess why there were ghosts in a Hanging Tree, right? Goody Bennett had been the first to reside in the tree...and Charles the First was King... Charles' father had written the book, Demonologie, hated witches and started the trouble.  One man, the Reverend Harmond would watch Claire and trifle with her affections just like the boys still do...But when she was to have a child and expected to be married... why, who better than a saintly reverend to cry, "Witch..."

English: Pen and ink drawing of the Gibson Gir...
English: Pen and ink drawing
 of the Gibson Girl by illustrator
Sarah Kaplan
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gibson Girl, who had retained her loss of hair in death had been admiring Arielle's lovely locks. The doctor had demanded her hair be cut, saying it was suffocating her. She hated it because she thought her hair was the best feature she had... She was always asking Goody to retell her story because she couldn't remember much of her own...ending... But she'd always remember what she had looked like when looking like a Gibson Girl was the latest hair style

And so each of the ghosts who had been living...ah, staying in The Hanging Tree will share their story with readers...

And in between, each of the tree's residents would argue about whether to stop Chad and keep Arielle safe or to just wait and see what happened.  But then, Goodie's cat, Remedy, felt right out of the tree!

Then Chad got tired of playing, requesting, pleading...and he decided--he held her down and Arielle was no match against his physical strength...

Who knew that we could have a psychological suspense historical horror story? Whew! Well, you didn't really think that the ghosts weren't going to get involved somehow, did you? Maybe even find out that ghosts from the 1600s had just as many...and...similar issues that we have today...

This is a short novella with under 100 pages that soon becomes a page turner...  I enjoyed it...and makes a nice little gift for young adults and those who enjoy reading ghost stories!


       Born and raised on Long Island, Michael has always had a fascination with horror writing and found footage films. He wanted to incorporate both with his debut novel, Brood X. Earning a degree in English and an MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.

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