Late

A short story shared by author of “The Summer of 1934” and “The Pisgah Grande 1936“.

Wendy Varble's Blog

Johnny was an hour late for lunch. This was not unusual–he was frequently late for both lunch and dinner. It was, however, always cause for concern to me, never knowing what perilous activities he was involved in. An hour was the limit for me–all I could do was to go out and search for him.

lateMy searches would always start at the barn. And that’s where I found him, behind the barn, leaning over a tractor motor. I got out of my car and walked over to where he was working. When Johnny turned around, I saw that he was covered in dirt, grease and oil. His hands were black, and I could see his arm was bleeding. At that moment, I thought to myself, “I should have married the cardiologist.” He looked at me and said, “Let me see your hand. “I was puzzled, but said nothing–just held out…

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The Pisgah Grande 1936

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The Pisgah Grande 1936Wendy Varble : Archway Publishing.

In 1936, three boys experience a terrifying encounter while camping in a deserted ghost town, resulting in unexpected consequences echoing far beyond the abandoned walls of Pisgah Grande.

While camping deep in the heart of Las Llajas Canyon on Halloween night, 1936, eight-year-old Johnny and two friends, teenage brothers Orville and Skinny, set out to explore a small, abandoned village in the Santa Susana Mountains called the Pisgah Grande. But as night falls, the boys experience a terrifying encounter in the ghost town that suddenly transforms their exciting adventure into a dark mystery that begs to be solved.

As the days pass, marked by the harsh reality of Depression-era life, Johnny assumes the role of amateur detective as he struggles to unravel the mystery, with or without his friends’ assistance. Skinny is too terrified to help. As usual, Orville is ambivalent. Johnny’s sister is too busy dealing with her own problems. But it is Johnny’s friend, Ernie, seemingly simpleminded and mute, who may be more astute and observant than anyone in their small community ever imagined. As the puzzle slowly comes together, however, Johnny begins to suspect that a missing piece is right under his nose.

In this exciting young adult thriller, a series of events spirals out of control as a boy and his friends unwittingly become entangled in an adult world filled with secrets, confusion, and deceit.

About The Summer of 1934

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About The Summer of 1934.

About The Summer of 1934

In the summer of 1934, Johnny Varble is six years old. He lives on a farm with his family near the small town of Santa Susana California. Johnny’s peaceful world is jolted when a stranger with a checkered past arrives to live at the farm. As the long hot summer progresses, Johnny is confronted with decisions that a six-year-old should not have to make. A pretty girl from Oklahoma creates confusing emotions, and a brutal crime gets the small town buzzing with suspicion. Johnny attempts to unravel the mysteries as he watches the world around him, and is confronted with the harsh realities of depression-era life.