Thursday, August 29, 2013

#Excerpt: Annie Crow Knoll: SUNRISE by Gail Priest


Packard probably should have stayed in Rock Harbor after delivering his last haul and gotten Bud Nelson to look at the engine on Sophie. It wasn't running smoothly, but he’d wanted to get back. He'd been out fishing for a few days and wanted to check on Annie. Knowing that Bo was out there nearly every day helped, but Packard had gotten into the habit of making sure his young neighbor was safe and helping out whenever he could. He nursed Sophie back up the bay, figuring he could solve the engine problem himself the next day.
When Packard pulled into his dock, he noticed an unfamiliar boat in one of Annie’s slips. Instinct took over as he headed up his pier. People didn't visit by boat this time of year and certainly not at this time of night.
Following that instinct, he made a quick detour to the house and grabbed his father's shotgun. It wasn't loaded, and Pack hadn't fired it since he was fourteen. On his first and only hunting trip, he’d brought down a Canada Goose, much to his father's pleasure. However, when his dad pushed on the poor dead bird's chest and the escaping air made a honk, there was no joy in it for young Packard. He never hunted again.
I shouldn't have left her alone for so many days, Pack chided himself while crossing the field, feeling foolish carrying an unloaded shotgun. But if his gut was telling him the truth, and Annie was having a problem with an unwelcome guest, at least he could give the intruder a good whack on the head with the butt of the shotgun.
"Maybe you could use some help around here?" Pack heard the man’s voice as he rounded the back of Sunrise Cottage. He held back, though, giving Annie the chance to handle it herself if she could.
"No, I don't," Annie said.
"Ah, come on. You must need a hand. I could use a job, but I'd be happy to work a deal."
Packard's hands tightened around the shotgun. "I'm not hiring anyone."
"Well, then. Why don't you show me your cottages? Maybe I'll rent one," he added.
"We're all booked."
"That surprises me since I've seen your advertisement."
"Look, if you're really interested, come back in the daylight,” Annie said.
"So you're not all booked?"
Annie didn't respond.












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