Member Monday: An Excerpt from Twitch by Linda Boyden

Welcome back to Member Monday. Today we feature a piece by Writers Forum member, Linda Boyden. You can catch Linda and a host of other local authors at the Authors Fair at the mall on Saturday, November 14th. Welcome, Linda.

 An Excerpt from Twitch

by Linda Boyden

A brief synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Twitch Taylor hasn’t paid much attention to the old Cherokee stories. Sure his family is Cherokee, but the stories are just the elders talking, right? After a freak car accident kills his aunt, Twitch’s father gives him away to his brother according to an old Cherokee tradition then disappears himself. Overnight Twitch has gone from being a city kid to a country bumpkin. He argues how in the 21st century no one follows this old custom. Uncle stays stubborn and Twitch ends up stuck in a forest learning how to hunt with a bow and arrow and identifying types of plants. He quickly discovers this ancient forest is far from normal. Many of the Cherokee myths are coming alive, including one tied to his aunt’s death and his father’s disappearance. To combat these, Twitch must learn to be a Stone Keeper like his father and grandfather before him. The trick is can he learn fast enough to save himself, his family, and pretty much the rest of the world? Is he man enough?

“The tsi’sdu, rabbit, boings away like its legs are made of rubber. I run, feet on fire, and stay with it till it zooms up a ridge.

“Son-of-a-gun!” I holler. I kick a hollow log and two chipmunks roll out, cussing me in chipmunk-speak. I cuss them back and crane my neck, but see nothing.

Trust a tsi’sdu? Yeah, right, that girl or woman or whoever she was, surely doesn’t know a thing. Crazy drumming or not, I’m going stick to my plan to hitchhike back home to Marquis, but then don’t I spot it? Yonder up the ridge, its pale body waits in front of something dark. From down here, seems like a black smudge on the mountainside.

“Might only be a shadow, or maybe…maybe it’s a cave?” I shrug off my pack and tug my cap lower. “Only one way to find out.”

I scrape fingers as I monkey up and over the ridge onto an old deer path that zigzags directly to a hole in the mountainside. I bend low. A breeze blows on my face. It smells dark, of old and forgotten things.”

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