Paranormal Women’s Fiction. A chilling ghost story and more.
Jenna used to enjoy exploring spooky, abandoned places with her friends. But taking photographs of old gates and all things with cobwebs has lost its appeal. Whenever she feels an unknown presence, call it a vibe or energy, she’s in her realm. She wants to team up with like-minded psychics to uncover clues for missing person cases.
Psychic visions, ghostly sounds, and bad omens await Jenna and her friends in Red Hawk Ghost Town.
Targeted Age Group:: 18-45
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Lucky me. I grew up in Herman Munster's house. That’s what the neighborhood kids called it.
Built in 1903 and vacant for six years, Dear Old Dad struck up a handshake deal over beers at the local. Next thing you know, my mom and I were sweeping cobwebs and pulling weeds. A true fixer-upper of hammering and sawing by day, spooky footsteps and eerie chills by night.
The best part… bats in the attic.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Jenna is, somewhat, the (much) younger version of me. Cameron and Mace share similar quirks of my childhood friends. Ryan is my idea of Grizzly Adams. Bria is the grownup version of me… except for the looks (darn it!). Cassie has the qualities of a spunky, good friend. The sneaky used car salesman, who promised the lemon ran great, served as the inspiration for Mike. BAM! Revenge is sweet!
With impatience and worry, Jenna studied the brush. The arthritic, sage-colored limbs of the mesquite appeared to be bidding her with a sinister invitation. The green, reptilian-like arms of the paloverde reached from their dark canopy. Never having viewed trees in such a dark perspective and always thankful for their shield from the blazing sun, this added trepidation galvanized her earlier apprehension.
Clumps of long-bladed desert grass masked the area beneath the trees, making it a snake’s paradise. Although lush green in the earlier part of springtime, the rising temperatures of the impending summer had reduced the crowns of a creosote bush to a faded and ashen grade of brown. Their once bright yellow, tiny daisies were dried into honey-colored pin cushions. A handful of its small, white, fuzzy fruit capsules managed to remain on the ground at its base.
Jenna often marveled at how the desert had a pulse, even when it seemed as though everything was on siesta. Somehow, it held a determined rhythm of absolute death-defying perseverance. She envisioned the intertwining roots underground, ruthlessly pushing through the hard-packed adobe, straining to find water. The desert wasn’t above taking hostages, however. The outlying shrubs were beyond dehydration. Many were uprooted, approaching tumbleweed status—no longer providing cover for prey or predators, nor browsing fodder.
More than ten minutes had passed since Cameron took off. Jenna was sure of it, even though her cell died. She watched the thicket and listened for sounds, hoping he would reappear with a story that the glint was some goofball’s idea of a joke. Just a beer can dangling from a shoe lace, tied to a mesquite. Like the one they’d seen in Bisbee a few months ago.
Guilt tugged at Jenna’s conscience. She considered looking for Cameron. Given how far away the glint appeared, she feared he had crossed the wash and ventured further into the desert. It would be easy to get lost in the irregular landscape of the wide, overgrown area, darkened by overcast.
From her low vantage, a flat, gray board caught Jenna’s eye. It was partially entrenched in the reddish-yellow sand, leaning into sagebrush. She stood, took a long stretch, and walked over to the sage, noticing how soft the earth was near the thirsty scrub. Once she freed the splintered board from the grasp of the spongy sage, she turned it over. Her heart stopped. The name was carved vertically, "Red Hawk."
Stunned and petrified, goosebumps shivered over Jenna’s arms. If the lettering had been painted at one time, it had long since dried up. The peelings were left to blow away with a hot summer dust devil. In disbelief, her fingers quivered as they traced the engraving, wishing to invalidate the name the post displayed. One of her fingers became pricked by a splinter. The post fell to the sand.
The first startling thought that Jenna had when she read the Red Hawk sign was that they may have missed something. When they stopped at Starbucks, Cameron made it sound simple. She reviewed the directions in her head. The dirt road would come to a fork where they would need to stick to the right and continue along the wash. They would pass the campground. When the road dead-ended at a Jeep trail, they’d park and hike about a mile to the ghost town.
Jenna was accustomed to Cameron always having her keep an eye out for signs, mile-markers, and landmarks. Other than the fork in the road, he hadn’t mentioned the need to be on the lookout for anything else. Although she hadn’t been watching the dirt road the entire time, she was certain they hadn’t reached the fork. She couldn’t imagine Cameron missing anything as obvious as that either.
While trying to make sense of how the sign for Red Hawk ended up where she found it, Jenna paced and yelled Cameron’s name. Receiving no response, she became worried that he had ventured completely beyond earshot. Even if she were to hear a response, it would be difficult to determine his location.
"Nature presents many forms of camouflage." Her dad’s words came to Jenna from the unnerving web of time. When her pacing grew monotonous, she stared blankly into space, needing a mental detachment. Her mind was too busy racing with thoughts to continue with neutrality. She took another reconnaissance, noticing the wash was closer to the road compared to the wide, muddy shoulder where the Mustang was stuck. The embankment, wasn’t as high either, making the wash appear more level with the surrounding desert.
Since floodwaters could have easily breeched such a gentle slope, she visualized the old post getting ripped in half by a sudden wall of dirty water, bobbing along until it got snagged by the sticky fingers of the sagebrush. Whether or not they missed something, she thought about going after Cameron. Although the idea caused a knot to form in her gut. She slumped back onto the boulder to think everything through, starting with what was familiar to her about the area.
Between what Cameron had originally told her, and from what she’d learned from researching Red Hawk online, the original town had been a small stagecoach station in the late 1800s. It had a store and post office in town, with a few farms and ranches along the wash. But droughts and mining took over. She assumed the cows they’d seen may have been on government leased land.
Aside from a small sampling of online posts, where visitors claimed to have located foundations and rubble, Jenna hadn’t come across any official history about the ghost town. However, what caught her attention was a legend about an evil farmer who hired migrant workers, then killed them in a nearby canyon, rather than paying them. Supposedly, the farmer’s house was still there, and a paranormal investigator posted a video, claiming to have heard ghostly screams. She assumed it was just coyotes and sensationalism to get views, but that didn’t stop her curiosity. Supernatural energy was the key element that she strived to capture in her photography, but she didn’t want to dwell on it while being all alone in the desert.
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