extribulum

Six Harvests in Lea, Texas (Novel)

sixharvests cover for extribulum

Purchase in hard copy or ebook!

In the spring of 1930, Wilder Mayer’s stepfather dies, and Wild is summoned home to take over the family farm. Not much in the little panhandle town of Lea has changed, but he can’t shake the feeling that something is different. Perhaps it’s the pretty new teacher who just moved to town, or perhaps it’s the old ruined church, which has stood in Lea as long as living memory — but which might not have been there when he left a year earlier. Still, Wild is working a farm in the middle of the Depression, and there’s not much time for philosophy.

The worst storms of the Dust Bowl are raging across the country, though they always seem to leave Lea’s farms unscathed. Instead, Lea is subject to strange happenings: the birth of Wild’s witchy daughter Iscah, the rise of a powerful new folk preacher, and a series of gruesome murders.

Through six seasons of planting and harvesting, Wild Mayer is going to have to grapple with what it means to belong to a power he has no hope of understanding — to be the chosen of a church with no congregation or priests.

And the dust storms can’t be kept back forever…

EXCERPT:

Walking through town, it felt like the first night he’d come home – only he was settled back in now, secure in his place and with a good crop behind him. Not to mention plans for the future.

The moon and stars threw enough light to see by as he headed towards the main street, passing the bank and coming up on the seed store. The church was up ahead too, and he was struck as always by the incongruity of it, the strangeness of an abandoned house of worship, the unusual sinuous shape of it among the squat, square buildings around it. It seemed wrong that it just stood there empty, even though he had reason to know that it might be abandoned because it was…dangerous. Or at least, incomprehensible.

He stopped at the junction of the roads to regard it, its little narrow windows in the front, the padlock on the door –

He didn’t move when it did. He didn’t even, thinking about it after, feel fear. He just looked up at it, awestruck, as the adobe façade shifted, expanded and contracted, moving like something inside was breathing. A hole opened up above the door, blossoming like the world’s largest flower, and colors unfurled from it, jagged, bright, unbelievably beautiful.

He watched, frozen, scars beating in time with his heart, as a huge wheel of glass burst out of the darkness, locking into place as the church began to settle. Before, there had only been a handful of little windows high up on either side of the door. Now, above the door sat an ornate rose window, glorious and intricate, all blues and greys in the dim light. It was split into six equal wedges, with a circle in the center, and each wedge had some irregular shape he couldn’t quite make out.

But he could see where part of the roof had fallen in when the church twisted and grew and put forth the window, and he was pretty sure when it was light out, the sun would shine right down through it.

He didn’t dare go near it – didn’t dare cross the fence that had nearly killed him once already – but he gave it a nod and a tip of his hat as he passed on.

Six Harvests in Lea, Texas is available for sale through Lulu.com, and is available for purchase as an ePub as well.

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