IF WALLS COULD SCREAM

Sweeping apple orchards and dogwood trees line the rich mountain farmland of rural North Carolina. As winter comes and snow covers the ground, the trees lose their leaves and their bare limbs stretch toward the sky.

But behind this pretty scene, something else is being lost and covered by the winter snows. One after another, several young high school girls go missing during apple picking season. This peaceful Carolina town appears to have a serial killer on the loose.

The race is on to find the killer before more girls disappear, but local police are stymied. A terrible snow storm hampers the search, as the FBI is called in to help. It’s discovered that the killings actually started in Arkansas, and then crept eastward to North Carolina, and finally to Georgia.

This murder mystery starts out as quietly as the small speck on the map of its Southern town, and blossoms into a far-reaching nightmare. If Walls Could Scream will grab you before you even know you’re caught.

First Chapter Excerpt
The crisp morning air was filled with a mixture of roses and apple blossoms. The trees were in full bloom. It was the beginning of May. Sunlight shone through a touch of fog near the ground.

The town was scented with the wonderful fragrance of apple blossoms that filled its streets with their perfume. The buds on the dogwood trees were in full flower. All signs of winter were gone in Hendersonville. Activity within the small city was bustling.

It was going to be a beautiful day. Homer walked out the back door and stood on the porch of his farmhouse. His wife Juliann had planted roses near the house so that when the breeze blew it would fill the house with their lovely perfume. There were red, white, and yellow roses, each with a meaning of its own. Juliann said they represented the love she felt for Homer. Red was for love, white for passion, and purity and yellow for friendship. She always looked for the beauty in all things.

Juliann was a little over five foot tall and maybe a hundred pounds soaking wet. Her brown hair fell past her shoulders and was so shiny that it sparkled in the sunlight. Her figure wasn’t bad, either. Not like the other farm girls in the area—they were mostly chunky and were classified as farm stock. They all worked in the orchards and did other farm chores. They had to be able to handle the load if the farm didn’t have a boy; the girl had to do the work.

Homer had met his wife in high school. He didn’t date other girls—he was always in a hurry to get home and help his father and by the time night came around he was too tired to go anywhere. The first time Homer saw Juliann he was hooked! They hadn’t met, but Homer was determined to ask her out. He figured all she could do was say no. But surprisingly, she said yes. They became instantly attached to each other as if they had been together all of their lives. Everyone agreed it was love at first sight.

Juliann was from Richmond, Virginia. Her father had moved to Hendersonville to try his hand at farming. She hated the country, but when she met Homer that all changed. She loved the farm and everything about it. She spent all her time over at Homer’s farm, talking to his mother and learning the ways of farm life. Canning vegetables, sewing clothes, and putting on patches came very easy to her.

Juliann had decided before their senior year that she was going to become Homer’s wife. In their senior year Homer proposed to Juliann and she said yes. They were married shortly after graduation. It was one of the happiest times in Homer’s life.

Homer had owned his farm since his father died nearly twenty years before. Juliann moved in with Homer on the farm and helped her mother-in-law with the chores, like cooking and cleaning. She wasn’t much for working in the apple orchard since she was a frail girl and unaccustomed to the long hours that field labor required.

When Homer’s mother suffered a stroke and died shortly thereafter, Juliann’s life was turned upside down. She was thrown into all the cooking, cleaning, and working on the farm. She tried her best to keep up but soon she became pregnant, which made matters worse.
Juliann died giving birth to a son, but the child was stillborn. Homer was alone on the farm and sometimes he wished to himself that his son could have lived to help out around the place. His luck didn’t seem to change throughout the three years since graduating from school. But Homer knew he had to keep going and try his best to survive the terrible events which were taking their toll on him.

He hired several workers over the years but none stayed around. He had to depend on the laborers who followed the crops. Most of them were very dependable, but after the crops came in they moved on to the next harvest. So for Homer the farm was a lonely place to be. He didn’t have time to go out and look for another lady friend, nor did he want anyone else. Juliann was the love of his life and the farm was a busy place, except in the winter. In the winter there were still chores to do, but most were quickly accomplished in the morning, which left the afternoon and evening with nothing to keep him occupied.

During the winter months Homer sat around and became depressed with his situation. He wanted to go out and meet people, but he felt they would laugh at him or talk about him behind his back. It had been over twenty years since he had gone out on the town. So to avoid any discomfort he stayed on his farm and hibernated through the winter.

Homer wasn’t a bad-looking man. He was six foot tall and rather handsome in spite of working outside most of the spring and summer months. His skin was usually dark from the sun and had turned leathery. Because of this he was able to keep his deep tan through the winter. He had a full head of hair which had not yet turned gray, and he was only in his late forties.

Sometimes Homer would sit and daydream about what his son would have been like. Would he have resembled his father? Would he have been tough or weak? Homer considered himself a strong man and hoped his son would have been like him. It would have been nice to have his son helping out and keeping him company. He would think about them being best friends—fishing, hunting, and just talking about their day.

The old farmhouse was in pretty good shape. It was a white two-story with blue shutters which his wife had insisted upon the last time the house was painted. He kept the same colors the last time he had painted the house about six years before. It always made him feel closer to Juliann after he painted the house. It made him think of the last month his wife was pregnant. She had been so happy and thrilled about the sensations she felt when the baby moved.

The rooms were rather small. Homer wanted to make the house bigger, so he began to do some demolition work on the inside walls. He felt that if the rooms were enlarged the house would look more modern. He really wasn’t good at that type of work. He didn’t like working indoors. He loved the outdoors more and working outside in the fresh air always made him feel good about himself.
 
Available at:

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