That’s right ladies and gentlemen, you have heard me talking all about it. Well now is your chance to read it. It came out this week. And as a way to entice you readers to read it, I’m including the prologue to the book here. This is something I am truly passionate about.
1865- Phoenix, Arizona
The sun was just setting on an old farm house. Robert Madison entered the room. He was in his late fifties. His hair was grey and he had a matching mustache on his face. He wore a black jacket over his vest. Under the dark vest was a buttoned up shirt with trouser pants pulled up just under his hips. Robert’s angry expression on his face could kill. He sat down in the kitchen, his head shaking in frustration.
Moments later, his wife Alice entered the room. She was in her mid-forties. She had blonde hair just past her shoulders. She wore a long plaid blue and white day dress. She glared at him.
“Why can’t you just be happy for your daughter?” she said to him. Robert glared back at her.
“I raised my daughter to be more than that. She deserves to marry someone that is not a common stable boy,” Robert said as he smacked his fist against the table.
“Fine. Our daughter. She deserves something more than that. You know I am right, Alice!”
“Maybe she does, but she loves him. And he has told her that he loves her. Isn’t that enough for you?” Alice asked. She sat down in the chair across from him. She kept trying to make eye contact with him, but Robert’s gaze was focused down on the tabletop.
“No. It’s not enough. I did not work hard all of my life so that she could need and want things in her life. What kind of life can he give her? And don’t you ever question if I have our daughter’s best interest in mind,” Robert shouted back at her.
“Then why can’t you get it through your thick skull that Jonathan is what’s best for her? They fell in love. What more could you ask for?” Alice’s hair fell over her forehead. She quickly pushes it to the side again. Robert looked up, finally looking in Alice’s eyes.
“You know what I want for her. A steady job so he can provide to her the same way that I provided for you. He shovels the animal remains. That cannot provide her any kind of life that she should have,” Robert said. He bit down on his lip to prevent himself from shouting out in frustration.
“She’s happy with him. That is all I care about.”
“I am sorry, Alice. But that’s not enough for me. I will not, I repeat, I will not allow my daughter,” Robert started to say. But Alice shot him a nasty look. “I will not allow our daughter to marry a good for nothing stable boy like him!”
Rebecca Madison entered the room, carrying a tan suitcase in her left hand. She is eighteen years old and looks much like her mother does. She wore a brown hat over her blond hair, which could still be visible sticking out. Her dress was powder blue, but was much shorter than her mother’s dress. It fell down to her knees and covered her shoulders. She walked up to Alice and put the suitcase on the ground. Rebecca leaned in and kissed her softly on the cheek. She whispered something in her ear. Alice looked shocked.
“Just exactly where do you think you are going?” Robert growled.
“You told me that if I continued to see Jonathan that we could not do it under your roof. I am simply listening to the instructions on my father. I am not going to be under your roof anymore. Goodbye, Father.” Rebecca said. She wiped a tear from her eye. She took one step towards Robert, but immediately stepped right back to where she was standing. She picked up her suitcase again.
“You are not going anywhere, young lady!” Robert said, stood up quickly.
“Jonathan and I are going to get married. We love each other. I don’t care what you have to say on this matter. I want to spend my life with him. If you can’t accept that….”
“Listen to me. Go to your room, young lady! I think it’s time that Jonathan and I have a talk together,” Robert said.
“No, Daddy! Please don’t! I love him” Rebecca cried.
“Maybe you do. But he is no good for you.”
“Shouldn’t I make that decision?” Rebecca said. She threw her suitcase to the ground. Alice jumped in her seat startled. The context of her suitcase spilled out to the floor.
“No. March yourself up to your room right now!” Robert said.
Rebecca cried out loud. Alice reached for her daughter, pulling her into her arms. Robert, with disgust, glared back at his wife and daughter. Robert exited through the back door in the kitchen. Rebecca again cried loudly before she ran back up the hall to her room. Peeking out the window, Alice watched with fear as Robert enters the barn.
Robert entered the barn. He looked from left to right. In the stalls there are four cows eating from the troughs around the room. Robert called out “Jonathan? Where are you? I need to talk to you for just a moment?” He could feel his face turning red with anger.
Jonathan Tucker appeared on the loft, overlooking the stable. He is nineteen years old with brown hair. A well built man with broad shoulders, he’s dressed in overalls and carrying a pitch fork.
“Yes, Mr. Madison?” Jonathan said.
Robert gave Jonathan a cold, hard stare for a moment. Robert walked up the steps to the left. Watching the older man approach, nervous energy was building inside him.
“I hired you how long ago?”
“Um, sir? I have been here for about a year and a half, I think?”
“I hired you to work in the barn and on the farm, right?” Robert’s question was filled with venom.
“Yes, Sir. That is correct.”
“In the year and a half ago since I hired you here, it sounds like you have a lot more than just work on the farm and in the barn though.”
Jonathan’s body tensed up. He could see anger in Robert’s eyes. Jonathan began to shake. “I’m sorry sir, I don’t think I know what you are talking about?” He lied.
“In the year and a half since you worked for my family, have you met my daughter Rebecca before?”
Jonathan looked down on the ground. “Yes sir, I’ve met her.”
“And honestly it seems like you have done more than just met her now. I don’t know what you said to brainwash her into thinking that you are good enough for her. But it ends tonight, Jonathan,” Robert said. He took a step forward and was now just mere inches away from Jonathan. Jonathan looked at Robert, fear in his eyes. Jonathan was tall for his age six feet tall. But he still had to look up at Robert.
“With all due respect, sir….”
“You listen to me, son. You are lucky I love my daughter as much as I do,” Robert growled. “And because of that love I have for her, I am giving you one option. You wait for her right there. When she comes down, you tell her it is over, for good. You are not to see my daughter again. Then you pack up your belongings. You get off my property. And you never come back here again.”
“Listen to me, Jonathan. This is not a negotiation. Stay right here. And don’t think about doing anything stupid!”
Jonathan dropped his head in disgust as Robert left. The sound of his feet on the wooden steps echoed through the barn. Jonathan took a series of deep breaths. He could feel his heart beating almost out of his chest. Jonathan wiped a tear from his eye. In the distance he could hear the sound of a struggle.
“Let go of me! You are hurting my wrist!” Rebecca shouted out from the distance. Jonathan stopped himself from going out and defending her. He walked over to the big window in the back that was facing the house. He could see Robert pulling Rebecca by the wrist. She fought him the best that she could. He watched helplessly as he dragged her to the door of the barn.
“Get in there!” Robert shouted. He turned his back to his daughter and began to walk away from her. He stopped and looked up at the window. He caught a glimpse of Jonathan as he ducked back from the window.
Rebecca dragged her feet as she entered the barn. She looked up to the loft and saw Jonathan standing there, his hands shaking. He looked down to her. Rebecca ran up the stairs to him. Immediately they jumped into each other’s arms for a warm embrace.
“I am so sorry, Rebecca,” he whispered into her ear. Rebecca’s body trembled at his words.
“No. Jonathan, no. Don’t say it,” she said. The tears began to stream down her face. Jonathan grabbed her face in his hands and pulled it into his. Their lips touched.
“Listen to me. Don’t cry. I am not going to heed the words of your father. I love you. I am going to marry you,” he said. She looked into his eyes and smiled at him.
“I love you too.”
“Just give it time. We will figure it out together.” Jonathan’s hand dropped to hers. Rebecca took his hand in hers. He leaned in and kissed her on her cheek. “You should go. We can’t have your father see us this way.” Rebecca reluctantly separated herself from Jonathan. Their hands were still clasped together for a moment as she walked away. She walked down the steps and left the barn. She walked the pathway back to the house.
Suddenly behind her, she heard a gunshot from the barn. The gunshot was followed by a sickening thud. Rebecca stopped walking and turned around quickly. In the window overlooking the house she saw her father standing. Robert was holding a double barreled shot gun, which was still smoking. Rebecca fell to the ground crying. She covered her face. Rebecca fell to her knees. Alice appeared in the doorway of the kitchen. She pushed the door open and ran to put her arms around Rebecca. Rebecca immediately pushed her away. She stood to her feet and ran into the house sobbing.
Robert appeared from the barn. His clothes were slightly soiled with red. He walked to Alice, calmly. She took one look in his cold eyes and punched him in the face.
“How could you do that to your own daughter?” she screamed out at him.
“It was for the best, Alice. I overheard them. He was going to disobey my direct orders. He told her he was still going to marry her! I did this for her!”
The window from the second story of the house shattered. Robert and Alice immediately looked up. They watched their daughter Rebecca falling from above them, covered in shards of glass. Alice screamed out just as Rebecca’s body hit the ground, feet away from them. Rebecca landed face down on the walkway. Alice ran to her, stepping over the shards of broken glass.
“Rebecca? Rebecca?” she called out. Alice knelt by her daughter and rolled her to her back. Her face was covered in blood. Rebecca lay motionless on the ground. Robert watched in shock. Alice stood up and ran at Robert. “You did this! This is all your fault!” she screamed, repeatedly hitting him. Robert was too shocked to defend himself. He watched as Alice ran into the house.
Robert took a step towards the body and knelt down next to her. He wiped the blood off her face until her hand. He closed her eyes. Robert fell down, weeping as he looked at his daughter.
“What have I done?” he whispered. “I am sorry, Rebecca!”