The Legend of Rachel Petersen
Author: JT Baroni
Publisher: Sky Publishing
Release Date: June 10, 2023
Seth disintegrated the porch door as he burst through it. He ripped open the kitchen door, flew inside, slammed it shut in Rachel’s scowling face, and turned the dead bolt.
Thaddeus, sitting at the supper table enjoying his veggie soup, slowly looked up at his frazzled brother, revealing that his throat was sliced from ear to ear! Blood had soaked through his shirt, ran down his arm, and began pooling on the table.
The sound of glass shattering on the floor echoed throughout the kitchen as Rachel used the knife’s handle to gain entry.
Thaddeus looked up and calmly told his brother, “She’s gonna slice your throat too, I tell ya. She’s pissed because you sleep in her bed, ya know.”
The spoonful of soup he then swallowed poured out from the wide-open gash in his throat; pieces of cubed beef, peas, and carrots, trickled down his shirt.
Hearing a click, Seth looked over and saw Rachel’s hand inside the broken window, turning the dead bolt. She smiled a wicked little smile through the remaining shards of glass.
He ran through the parlor but stopped when he heard his father holler his name. Above the fireplace, on a beautiful, black walnut plaque, was his father’s mounted head! Ralph’s eyes were no longer his sparkling blue eyes anymore. They had been replaced with brown glass marble eyes that taxidermists use when mounting deer heads. He informed his son, “Seth! Ain’t no use in running. She’s going to gut you, too!”
Seth heard the kitchen door fly open and bang off the wall, causing more glass to shatter, which meant Rachel was now in the house!
He took the steps two at a time going upstairs. Bocephus was lying at the top landing! Gutted. The buck raised his head but never took his eyes off of Seth as the wide-eyed boy cautiously crept by those dangerous antlers on his way to his mother’s room. The boy kept his back tight to the wall; he jumped when the buck snorted.
Then in an extremely deep, raspy voice, sounding like the devil himself, the deer spoke, “Now you see why I led you to Rachel’s grave? She’s going to put you in yours! Run, Boy! She’s going to track you down for the kill, like you did to me. Run! Run fast! Run till you can’t run no more!”
Then the deer let go a low chuckle that slowly turned into deep laughter. The gutted buck laughed hard and loud until it became ear splitting. Even through the buck’s insane laughter, Seth heard Rachel stomping up the stairs. Only now, she was giggling like an escaped mental asylum patient.
Seth ran down the hall, following a blood trail from the deer to his mother’s doorway; he went in. His mother was sitting in front of a mirror with her sewing basket on her lap; she had her head tilted back, exposing the large gash in her throat. As easy as sewing torn jeans, his mother’s hands were busy stitching the giant gash across her windpipe back together.
In her reassuring voice, she told him, “Don’t worry, Seth, Thaddeus is next, but I will stitch you up too, after Rachel slices your throat!”
A reflection of Rachel standing in the doorway came into view in his mother’s mirror. In a freakishly excited tone, she told her son, “Look, Seth! Here’s Rachel now! Doesn’t she just have the prettiest red hair you ever did see?”
An impish smile slowly appeared on Rachel’s blood-streaked face when she realized she had Seth trapped. Screaming like a banshee on the warpath, she raised her knife high in the air. The psychotic twelve-year-old girl with demonic green eyes charged the boy at full tilt. Seth backed up and fell onto his mother’s bed. Rachel leapt upon him and raised the knife high above her head!
As she thrust the knife toward him, he quickly rolled over and fell out of bed, which woke him.
In a heartbeat, he jumped back under the covers. While panting fast and deep, the only sound to be heard was his heart pounding in his ears.
A smile of embarrassment slowly formed on his face, he let out a small chuckle, then gave a gigantic sigh when he heard his father snore, realizing he had just experienced the worst nightmare ever of his thirteen years.
About the Book:
Outraged when The Post Gazette overlooks him for a promotion, 43-year-old Sports Writer Christian Kane quits the Paper and moves to the country to write fiction. Inspiration flows from a grave he stumbles upon in the woods. He pens The Legend of Rachel Petersen, a fascinating story revolving around the dead twelve-year-old girl laid to rest beneath the weathered tombstone in 1863. His book climbs the Best Seller lists; then Hollywood adapts it into a blockbuster movie. Kane becomes rich and famous; but then! Does an enraged Rachel become more than a figment of the writer’s imagination and rise from her grave, seeking revenge on him for slandering her name?
About the Author:
Living in Western Pennsylvania all his life, JT has been an avid Whitetail hunter since old enough to tote a rifle, which is also about as long as he’s had a fondness for word games and literature.
While hunting last year, he actually did stumble upon a weathered tombstone in the middle of the woods.
Waiting patiently for any deer to cross his path gave him plenty of time to think about that lone grave’s inhabitant and ponder her story, which he was then driven to write.
Eerily enough, this is the premise of The Legend of Rachel Petersen, his first novel published in 2012, which he recently revised.
He calls Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a small town outside of Pittsburgh, home.
He and his wife Becky share their home with two retrievers – Piper, and Remmy.