Enjoy this sneek peak of “Creedence,” a story about a small West Texas 1970’s family who learn to celebrate the small things as they struggle to stay together in the face of hardship.
Chapter 1: Ghost Shadow
Stealthy. That’s what he was. A creeping, stealthy, invisible shadow of a ghost. The arrow was pulled back, the string on his bow was as taut as he could make it, pulling back with all of his strength. Sweat trickled down his forehead, stinging his eyes.
He took careful aim, a bird flitted its wings in a nearby tree. He held his breath, took careful aim and…
“Creedence Clearwater Revival! What the heck are you doing?”
Ruined. That’s what it was. An obnoxious, loud, explosion of big brother nosiness. The bird hopped to a higher branch, startled, but not completely frightened away.
“What the heck does it look like I’m doing, Santana? I’m hunting. You know, it took me two hours to get close to that bird? Two hours, Santana!”
“Creed,” his brother responded,”you’ve been outside for fifteen minutes, and besides, you’re supposed to be shooting the targets that Dad got you, not birds.”
“Targets are boring. If I’m going to live off of the land, I need to kill animals for meat,” lamented the younger brother, still holding his bow and arrow in a firing position.
He raised the arrow and took aim at the bird in the tree, which was much too far away now. Creedence was only six and a half, and didn’t have the strength to shoot an arrow that far, which was fortunate.
“No! Creed, you can’t shoot that bird. I won’t let you,” Santana, who was a year older, stepped in front of his brother. “If you want to shoot the bird, you have to shoot me first!” He stated this emphatically, placing his hands on his hips, his feet set.
Creedence stood still for a moment. His brother standing directly in front of him. Unwavering. Unmoving. An obstacle, as plain as day, as big as life, as…
“Twang!” The string.
“Whoosh!” The arrow.
“Thunk!” Santana’s forehead.
Literally, right between the eyes. The whole world stopped. The arrow had a blunt practice tip, but it stuck for just a moment, which felt like an eternity, before it fell to the ground leaving a small round hole in his brother’s forehead.
Santana reached up slowly, touched the spot where the arrow had struck him, and felt the small trickle of blood. Blood! He tipped his head back and let out a scream, a death cry, a blood curdling wail.
Fleetwood basically kicked open the side door, running out to see what the fuss was about, followed closely by their sister, “Meatloaf.” He saw his youngest brother, frozen in place, still holding the bow up, eyes as big as saucers, mouth hanging open in shock. Then he looked over at Santana, blood running from a hole in his forehead. A HOLE IN HIS FOREHEAD!!!!!
“What the heck are you guys doing?” He yelled at his brothers, taking the bow from Creedence and throwing it to the ground before kneeling in front of Santana to see if his brains were going to come gushing out of the hole in his head.
Santana began screaming incoherently, “bird… arrow… Creed… forehead… he killed me! HE KILLED ME!”
Fleetwood turned to ask Creedence what had happened, but he was gone, a creeping, stealthy shadow of a ghost. Meatloaf pointed silently in the direction her brother had gone.