Here is Chapter 1 of my new book, which will soon be available on Amazon. Keep in my mind that it is copyrighted!
rather enjoyed his vacation. It was only two weeks long and he was determined
to get the most out of it. It was very unfortunate that he had to spend the
greatest part of his life in town and leave Millie, his sister, virtually alone
since Aunt Leticia wasn’t really much of a company.
Millie was an
eager, active type of girl, thoroughly frustrated by her aunt’s attempts to
turn her into a homebody like herself, only interested in tea and gossip. It
was quite natural for a healthy girl of 19 to wish to see more of life than
staying in a dreary small village allowed.
Yet there was nothing Walter could do about it since he couldn’t offer
her a proper home himself.
He realized only
too well that a big city like Stentis had too many temptations for someone with
Millie’s disposition and he didn’t have time to play her chaperone. He tried to
spend as much time with his sister as possible and take her out more. Millie
had been thrilled at the prospect of mountain-climbing with the brother whom
she adored so mountain-climbing they went.
extremely cute in her sturdy boots, black leggings and rather short denim skirt
which Aunt Leticia found positively scandalous.
“What is this
world coming to,” she would say with a sigh, “if a girl of your age spends time
running around in the state of undress instead of sitting home and
“Well, it’s full
4 inches below the knee,” Millie had protested, “and you couldn’t expect me to
wear a longer skirt now, could you? It would be dangerous in the mountains.”
“Child, you are
not supposed to go into the mountains at all!” said Aunt Leticia stubbornly.
“And so close to the border, too! With all these…things going on in Tarna, it’s
“We aren’t going
to cross over, thank you very much,” he had said, trying to calm his aunt.
“Whatever is going on in Tarna, it stays on their side and we stay on ours.”
were a constant source of irritation to his aunt, whose patriotism made her
spend a considerable amount of time every day denouncing the evils of foreign
occupation and praising the virtues of those who fought against it. The leaders
of the autonomy didn’t do enough, in her opinion, to support the true patriots
in their fight against Uranians who were synonymous with the Devil in her
vocabulary. In fact, the outrageousness of the foreign power occupying the
biggest part of the territory of their planet was probably the only subject the
aunt and niece ever agreed upon.
sincerely tried to warn his sister about the dangers of getting involved in
Tarnian politics, but was far from sure he had succeeded. Not with Aunt Leticia
counteracting his influence day by day.
thought now, “this vacation will do her a lot of good. And luckily, there are
no known rebel supporters in our village so there is little chance that Millie
ever gets in touch with one.”
remembered the stories he had heard about Doctor Grant, but dismissed them as
country gossip. Anyway, the sun was shining, melting the snow on the tops of
the nearby mountains. It was spring on Tarna and the weather had been
exceptionally good so far.
“Today we are
going to climb the Black Crow,” he said, pointing the direction to Millie. His
sister had auburn hair, just like himself, but his eyes were brown while hers
were gray. She was slender and rather tall for a girl but Walter with his 1.
90m towered over her. He was 7 years older, too.
he continued, “do you see this peak behind the Black Crow? That’s already the
territory of Tarna. There is a famous pass over there, but we aren’t going that
far. We will stay on the side of the autonomy. The Black Crow is a tourist
attraction. It’s 1050m high and there is a hut on top of it, for those who wish
to spend a night there, but I don’t think we’ll stay so late, I suggest we
drive half way up and then get further on foot. In that manner we can manage it
all in one day. You know your aunt will get a fit if you spend a night on a
mountain top, even if it’s in your brother’s company.”
“Auntie Leticia is a darling,” she said, “but so old-fashioned, isn’t she now?”
his plan, driving along a serpentine road which at times went as steep as the
angle of 20%, so that it was a real challenge to drive. Walter breathed a sigh
of relief when they finally left the car behind in the parking place. It was
still early in the morning and as he could see they were the only tourists so
that it would take them about two hours to climb the rest of the distance so
that they could eat their lunch on top of the Black Crow. He had climbed it
once before with a group of friends and the view was breath-taking.
It was about
midday and both brother and sister were quite tired when they finally reached
the top. The hut was still standing there and close to it, a bench where one
could sit and enjoy the view. Walter sank upon it rather contentedly, but
Millie, who seemed to have acquired the second breath once they reached their
destination, was eager to explore.
She declared she
was going inside the hut first, to inspect. Walter pointed out that there
wasn’t really much to inspect, but she ran off before he could finish the
sentence. She disappeared inside and a couple of seconds later he heard her
scream. Walter jumped to his feet and saw his sister standing in the entrance
of the hut, looking very pale.
said, stammering. “The-the-there is a man in there. A dead man.”