Monday, June 4, 2018
Scarecrow, Scarecrow Tour and Giveaway
Anne McFry Series Book 1
by John Kaniecki
The Scarecrow lurks in the shadows of a young girl’s frightened mind. Everywhere Anne McFry looks, she sees the face of a twisted demon that haunts her past. Escaping from the horror ridden town and going to the big city, Anne thinks she is safe from the Scarecrow. That is until it starts popping up everywhere she looks. Befriending a young man against her better judgement, she experiences a demented ride of torture as the past she is running from catches up to her. The Scarecrow is coming to collect dues, and the only payment Anne has is her soul.
To the scant few who knew it existed, Mercer County, Iowa was known for its corn and annual fair. However, when Wilbur Ferris was murdered, the town's reputation got hijacked. It was not just the rarity of the event that attracted attention. It was the savage brutality with which the crime was conducted. The poor man, who was a pillar of the community, was stabbed no less than seventy-five times according to final autopsy reports. Add to that the fact that his mangled body was found hanging from a tree, and his head was barely attached to his mutilated frame, it was a wonder how he could hang there without his battered corpse becoming decapitated.
If such a heinous crime had been conducted in the old South, cries of a lynching would have been raised up. Wilbur Ferris was far from the typical poor, black man that was so commonly executed. He was of Anglo Saxon descent. Certainly, he had no hereditary mixtures of anything scandalous to prevent him from claiming blue blood status. He was a member in good standing of the Second Baptist Church. He owned a rather large and prosperous piece of farmland where he raised corn. His family history went back for generations and could be traced to the original settlers. In fact, there was even a street in town named Ferris Avenue after some distant relative.
The question for the community, and indeed the country at large, was why. Why did anyone not only murder poor Wilbur Ferris, but with such brutality? The local police, in association of the Iowa state police, conducted a thorough investigation. Hordes of people were interrogated. After several weeks, when the circus like atmosphere had dissipated, there came out an official conclusion; the authorities determined that Wilbur Ferris had been killed by some stranger who had passed through the community.
Some of the facts were consistent with the official conclusion of the matter. There had been a mysterious individual who could be labeled as a transient who was present in Mercer County in that time frame. Unfortunately, by all accounts this stranger had disappeared three days prior to the killing. The local folk grumbled at the determination. The national press accepted the police's verdict without a breath of doubt. The press, after all, was only interested in sensationalizing the murder anyway. They cared nothing about the truth. The television networks quest was solely for high ratings. Other heart gripping stories had come to life, and the story of Wilbur Ferris was soon as dead as he was. Most importantly, the murder case was officially solved. At least for the moment, things could return to normal.
Anne McFry knew most of the intimate secrets. The dark details haunted her mind as she boarded the Greyhound Bus with a one-way ticket to New York City in her trembling hand. Conveniently, her leaving was a scheduled trip planned months in advance, and so it would not have gathered any suspicion from any watchful eyes. That is, if the law was even interested in her. After all, they had no good reason to. The young lady would be pursuing her dreams of becoming a professional singer. Like thousands of other aspiring stars, she was making her pilgrimage to the Mecca of show business. Anne was determined not only to never return but not to even take a look back. She rejected Lot's wife syndrome.
The young lady mechanically clutched her purse knowing that if the police knew its contents, she could be charged with murder. Truth of the matter was that she was in that intangible gray area. It could one day become a reality that she would be charged for murder in this heinous crime. If she had a good lawyer, she wouldn't go to jail. But being a relatively poor person and thus having to rely on a public defender, most likely the outcome of any trial would be to find her guilty. Such a prospect only urged her to flee her home all the more.
Anne looked all around in a fit of paranoia. Then with confidence, she relaxed using the techniques she learned from her musical experience. The singer imagined she was going on stage and focused. Using controlled breathing, she exorcised her anxiety. Many of her fellow passengers felt agitated with the thoughts of taking the trip to New York City. Consternation was inflicting the faces of many boarding the bus. Why should she fear arrest anyway? A fair number of the police knew the exact details of that dreadful night when Wilbur Ferris had his life snuffed out. They were as guilty as she. How many there were involved exactly Anne had no way of determining. It could be the whole damn police force for that matter. Anne was certainly an integral part of the secret society that had done the gruesome act. It was a group dominated by mystery. As a safety precaution, members held their anonymity. When meetings were conducted, members masked their faces and disguised their voices. They also went by aliases to hide their true identities. For them, secrecy was the norm.
The young lady sat back in her seat and did the best she could to relax. Looking out of the dirty window of the bus, she saw her parents standing. Her Momma had broken down in tears this morning, as her baby was leaving her. Both her parents were adamant against her making this trip. She was being foolish to do such a thing was their declaration. But Anne was of age, and the reality was that she would make her journey with or without their blessing. So instead of dealing with the shame and embarrassment of their precious daughter sneaking out in the middle of the night, the unhappy parents gave her a proper send off.
So consumed in her meditations, she failed to notice a stranger sliding into the empty seat on the aisle next to her.
"Is this your first time to New Yawk City?" came a deep voice of a man. The young lady could pick up the nervousness in the high pitched tone of the question.
John Kaniecki was born in Brooklyn, New York. Though having no memories of life there, John is proud to be called a Native New Yorker. John was raised in Pequanock Township, New Jersey. At age twenty John was baptized and became a member of the Church of Christ. Presently John resides in Montclair, NJ and lives with his wife of over twelve years Sylvia. The happy couple attend the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue in Newark, NJ. John is very active in outreach and teaching as part of the leadership of the congregation.
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