Hey, everyone. Time for another WIP Wednesday. A couple of weeks ago, I posted about Macabre Sanctuary, an anthology published by AIW Press. I wrote The Keeper’s House for inclusion in that collection. Today, I’ll tell you the story behind the story.
Rain fell steadily on an April night in Deep East Texas. We’d had a long, but pleasant day with our friends, whom I’ll call Bill and Diane. We visited with Bill’s aunt and uncle and were on our way home.
My husband John and I sat in the backseat. It was late—around eleven, but I was wide awake.
Houses were scattered along the rural highway. After a while, we passed a driveway with a row of mailboxes near the road. A man stood beside them. Given the weather, it was no surprise he wore a raincoat. What was unusual was the fact he had a wooden leg.
I recalled a wooden-legged man who lived in my hometown when I was a child. Seeing this man at the mailboxes seemed strange. It was the 1990s and technology had advanced to where prosthetic limbs were more sophisticated.
It took a while for me to gather my thoughts, but after a couple of minutes, I asked the others, “Did anyone see that man with the wooden leg?”
“I didn’t.” John was quick to reply.
“Me either,” said Diane.
Bill spoke up. “Yes. He was standing by a row of mailboxes wearing a raincoat.”
John and Diane scoffed at us and hinted that we might have had a bit too much of Uncle Buster’s homemade wine. (I swear I didn’t drink any.) I made no mention of the mailboxes or raincoat, so Bill’s reply confirmed I wasn’t hallucinating.
The Keeper’s House has a character with a wooden leg. But is he a real person or a ghost?
Andrew Tuttle, March 1, 1821 – October 29, 1870
Lucretia Haslet Tuttle, July 8, 1846 – October 18, 1870
“Guess you know a lot about this place.” Lauren pointed toward Andrew Tuttle’s grave. “Was he the first lighthouse keeper?”
“Yes. An ancestor of mine. Lucretia was his wife.”
“What happened to them? They died so close together.”
“She died in childbirth. The story goes that Andrew’s grief was so great, he neglected his duties. Every night he’d walk to the cliff beside the lighthouse. One night he threw himself over.”
A bit of trivia. The character name Tuttle came from an early episode of the television series MASH. Hawkeye had an imaginary friend named Tuttle.
I join with nine other authors in this collection of thrills, chills, and superstitions.
You can get a copy free by clicking this universal link. Why not grab one, then sit back and enjoy? But beware of things that go bump in the night.