Maze of Murder

My current project, a cozy mystery, is coming along nicely. Scarecrows and Corpses is my first novel in the series A Meadowood Mystery. Here is an excerpt from that book in progress.

{{ A pair of colorful scarecrows dressed in ragged clothing guarded the entrance to the maze.  One had a pumpkin head with a wide, gay smile; the other scarecrow’s pumpkin head was carved with sinister jagged teeth. A shudder went through me as I viewed it.

I walked directly to the small admission booth manned by one of the farm employees and paid the fee for our cub scout den to enter the maze.  Ted would wait near the exit of the maze to corral our boys as each finished. I planned to stay by the entrance, keeping a head count and in case any of the boys got turned around or came back out.  The scarecrows would keep me company.

“Have fun, take your time.  Call out if you get lost or can’t find your way out.  Mr. Williams and I are right here to help you.  Okay?” I asked as I scanned the expectant faces.

Several heads nodded and others mumbled yes as they jostled each other, eager to begin.  I laughed then checked my wristwatch for the time.

With a clap of my hands, I shouted, “Okay; one, two, three, go!”

The boys scrambled and ran into the intricate labyrinth.  I listened to the rustle of brittle corn stalks as they moved along the paths, twisting and turning back and forth.  I recognized the different voices calling out; boys I had guided as den mother for over two years.  They were as familiar to me as my own sons.

Suddenly, a scream rang out.  I knew that voice only too well, my son, Billy.  It was not a scream of delight but rather one filled with terror.  I dropped my backpack and dashed into the leafy maze.  My mother’s antennae ramped up as I followed the sound. My child needed help; I did not think of any danger to myself as I sprinted into the unknown.  

The maze turned left and right; twice I ran into a solid wall and had to turn around, seeking my way.

“Billy!” I shouted.  “Where are you?  I’m coming,” I yelled. }}

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Nancy M. Wade

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