Friday, May 21, 2010

Melody Dempsey: Authors Supporting Authors

The Forest Portal
by Melody Dempsey

Excerpt: Chapter 4

Collette woke as the sun peeked through the mini blinds. After
dressing in a pair of faded jeans and a tank top with spaghetti straps, she
went to Cam’s room.
“Cam,” she said as she knocked on his bedroom door.
There was no answer. She knocked again. The door came slightly
open. She walked in. Cam was nowhere in sight. Collette closed the door
and went downstairs. She went into the kitchen.
“Cam?” No answer. She went over to the back door.
“The woods” she said out loud to herself.
There was a knock at the front door. Collette looked towards the
living room.
‘Who the hell is that at 8:00 in the morning,’ she thought to herself.
She opened the door.
“Taden, hi. Gosh, you’re here early this morning!” she said. He
“Yeah, well I left right after mom and dad left for work. I’m pissed off
at the both of them. Boy, were they ever mad at me when I got home. I
got balled out, then they grounded me for a damn week!” he replied,
looking frustrated.
Collette looked at him.
“Yeah, well you got off easier than us. We’re grounded for two weeks
and got balled out on top of that!”
Taden went over to sit on the sofa. He rubbed the side of his face.
“Well…I guess we pretty much worried our parents. Hell, if I were
them, I’d ground us too!” he said, with a slight grin.
Collette sighed…”Yeah, guess your right.”
Taden looked towards the stairs that led up to the second floor.
“Hey, is Cam still asleep?”
Collette shook her head.
“No, when I woke up he was gone. I was getting ready to go and try
to find him when you knocked on the door.”
“Were you going to the woods?” he asked.

“Yeah,” she answered, as look of concern swept over her face.
Taden smiled. “Let’s go!”
The two raced towards the woods. Taden looked at Collette.
“I’ll just bet you that he’s stepped through those trees.”
She smiled. “That’s exactly what he did.”
The two looked questioningly at each other.
Taden asked, “Are you going through?”
Collette looked hesitant, feeling the very edge of her nerves quiver.
“I…I don’t know,” she answered, her voice laced with uncertainty.
Taden glanced at the trees. “I’ll go then.”
Collette grabbed his arm. “No Taden, you’re in enough trouble as it
is. You had better go home,” she demanded, giving him a sharp look.
Taden jerked his arm away from her, anger filling his eyes.
“Look, you and Cam are in deep crap too. Deeper than what I am!
Now I want to help you find him,” he snapped, a look of frustration
etched on his face.
Collette snapped back.
“NO, I’ll take care of this! We’ve gotten you into enough trouble! I
mean it Taden,” she growled, shooting a him a determined look.
Taden grabbed Collette and held her tight to him, her face only an inch
from his. She looked surprised. He looked intently into her eyes, his still
filled with anger.
“Look, I’m not gong to let you go through by yourself!! We’ll just get
in trouble together, ok?”
“Ok” Collette answered softly, a look of surprise filled her face.
Taden loosened his grip a little, still looking into her eyes; the anger
quickly leaving them as a look of warmth and desire flooded in. He gently
touched her face.
“I couldn’t take it if something happened to you Collette,” he said
softly, then he gently kissed her, pressing her closer to him.
Collette put her arms around his neck. She started to run her fingers
through his hair. She felt herself liquidate as he pressed her body closer
to his; kissing her with more passion. Collette could feel his strong body
getting more intense. She started to try to loosen his hold on her, afraid
she may completely let her guard down. Taden pulled her closer to him.

“Taden, no!” she cried, as she pulled away from him. The sultry look
on Taden’s face was quickly replaced with a look of embarrassment.
“Collette, God, I’m sorry. I don’t know…” He wished the ground
would open up and swallow him.
Collette gazed at him, still feeling the heat of his kiss on her lips.
Taden was tall and well built from doing work on his aunt’s farm from
time to time. He was an excellent horseback rider.
“It’s ok Taden. I got carried away too,” she said, trying to avoid
looking at him too hard.
She noticed that he was aroused, but she didn’t want him to know that
she knew. Taden sighed and sat on the ground. He rubbed his hands
through his thick dark brown hair. Collette sat down opposite him.
Taden found himself melting back into the memory of Collette’s soft,
sweet tasting lips; the feel of her sensuous slender curves under his hands
as he caressed her delicate body. Collette reveled in the memory of
Taden’s sensuous, strong arms holding her; his kisses gently smothering
her lips. After a few moments of silence, Taden spoke up. “Well, we had
better go and find Cam.”
Collette agreed. They both got up and stood in front of the two trees.
Taden took Collette’s hand. “Ready,” he asked, giving her a slight smile.
“Yeah,” she replied
They both stepped through the two trees.
Cam was over by the big rock, squatting down. They ran to the rock.
“Cam, what the hell did you come back here for?” asked Collette.
A very surprised Cam quickly turned around. “Collette! Shit! Squat
down!!” he demanded in a loud whisper.
Both Collette and Taden quickly squatted down. Cam glared at his
sister and his friend.
“What in the hell are you two doing here?” he growled, scowling at the
both of them. Collette looked at her brother.
“What the hell are you doing here Cam, and what’s going on?” she
“Shhh! Keep your voice down!” he whispered loudly, the scowl, still
on his face. Taden gave his freind a hard look. “Cam, she and I were
worried about you,” he snapped in a low voice.

Cam looked at Taden, then at Collette, his expression softening.
“Listen guys, I just heard that guy standing by the apple tree just
threaten someone. I think it’s another man,” he said, pointing towards
the big tree.
“I didn’t see the other guy. He’s behind that tree somewhere, but I
heard him. They were yelling at each other. I heard the man by the tree;
see, the one standing there.” Cam pointed to the large apple tree.
“I heard him say something about killing some girl the next time. I
don’t know what that’s all about, but it sounds serious to me.”
The trio looked towards the tree. The two men continued to argue.
Suddenly there was a gunshot! The man that was standing by the large
tree fell to the ground. They saw another man with a gun emerge into
sight. Collette made a sound as she drew back her breath. Cam quickly
put his hand over her mouth.
“Shhh!” he whispered.
They saw the man with the gun kneel down and look at the man he
had shot. It seemed as if he was saying something to the injured man.
After a few seconds he got up and walked away, leaving the injured man
lying beside the large apple tree. Cam, Collette and Taden were shocked
at what they had just witnessed. Collette started to shiver. “Oh God
Cam, we have to help that poor man!” she cried, as tears streamed down
her face.
Cam and Taden’s expressions of shock changed to a look of concern.
Cam looked at his sister.
“I know, but if that guy comes back and sees us, he’s liable to shoot
us too!” he replied, a shiver of fear running down his spine.
Taden spoke up. “Yeah, and we can’t take that chance right now.
Let’s wait a few seconds to see if that jerk comes back.”
Collette glared at Taden as if he had lost his mind.
“Taden, he could be dead by then!”
Cam cast a look of concern at Taden. “She has a point. We got to help
this guy now!”
Cam grabbed Collette by the hand. “Ok guys, let’s go!!
With that, the three sprinted towards the apple tree. Cam immediately
leaned down to look at the injured man.

“He’s bleeding from his shoulder pretty bad.” Collette got on her
knees. Noticing the blood pooling under the stranger’s shoulder, she felt
a wave of nausea and light-headedness start to cover her. She struggled
to shake it off.
“Sir, can you hear me?” she asked.
The man barely opened his eyes. He started to move his lips, but his
head drooped to one side and his eyes stopped moving. Collette touched
the man’s face.
“Oh God Cam, is he…d-dead?” she asked, her stomach turning
Cam felt for a pulse on the man’s wrist. “He has a faint pulse,” he
replied, fearing that perhaps the stranger’s life may ebb away, right here,
under this tree, three strangers surrounding him.
Taden was on the other side of the injured man.
“We got to see if we can get this bleeding to stop.”
Cam took his shirt off and started tearing it into strips. He then started
to tie several strips around the top part of the man’s shoulder, making a
tourniquet. Taden took his shirt off, balled it up and stuck it under the
man’s head. The injured man suddenly started to slowly open his eyes.
He started to speak. Collette started to attempt to get the injured man’s
hair out of his eyes.
“Shh, don’t try to talk. We’re going to try to get you some help.”
Cam looked at the makeshift tourniquet. “I sure hope that I did that
Taden shrugged. “It looks fine to me.”
Cam scanned the open field.
“Let’s get him behind that rock. Taden, I’ll get him under the arms and
you get his legs. Collette, you help to support his middle.”
Taden examined the tourniquet, noticing the blood slowly leaking
through it.
“Boy, I hope that your tourniquet holds out. The blood has already
started to seep through.”
Cam glanced at the stranger’s shoulder. “We’ll just have to take it
The trio started to pick the man up.

“God, he’s a load!” exclaimed Cam as he struggled to lift the injured
man’s shoulders.
Taden picked up the man’s feet.
“Kind of heavy down here too,” he affirmed, a slight grin on his face.
Collette struggled to support the injured man’s midsection. When the
three got to the big rock, they carefully set the man behind it.
“There,” said an exhausted Cam, as he plopped on the ground, leaning
against the rock. Collette and Taden wearily sat down beside him.
Collette looked at her brother.
“Cam, what the hell are we going to do now?” she asked, looking
somewhat scared.
He rubbed his forehead.
“I don’t know, but we sure can’t leave him here.’
Taden peered over the rock.
“I wonder where that jerk went. I’m glad that he didn’t come back
Collette carefully peered up from behind the large rock.
“Well he was mad as hell, that’s for sure! I wonder what they were
arguing about?”
Cam rubbed his chin.
“I don’t know. It must have been pretty bad, but shooting someone?
What the hell is that?” he asked, tossing a small pebble he was picking
at, wondering what the injured man meant when he said he would “kill
the girl the next time.”
Suddenly they heard a young woman’s voice calling for someone
named Jamison. Collette froze. Cam slowly peered over the rock.
“What the hell? Oh my God!”
He looked at the other two with a petrified look on his face, his pulse
pounding hard against his veins.
“You guys, he must be Jamison, and that woman! She’s the one I saw
when I first stepped through the trees! She must be looking for him!”
Taden glanced towards the young woman.
“Cam, what do we do now?” he asked.
Cam looked scared. I….I don’t know,” he stammered.
The woman was moving closer.

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