Excerpt from The Mystery Novel "Secure the Ranch" By Author Joyce Oroz

"Secure The Ranch" By Author Joyce Oroz
Mystery----Suspense ---Mystery Series
(Available in either Paperback format of Kindle)

Hope you all enjoy!

July's full moon rose above my head, revealing itself occasionally through a canopy of leafy tree limbs stretching over the creek. I watched beams of moonlight turn ordinary splashes of water into silvery jewels as the creek cut a path through the dark, pervasive forest full of wild animals. Fortunately I was an adult and didn't have to worry about unseen lions, tigers and bears. I told myself I was safe because nature's creatures were asleep for the night. I only had to watch out for the meanest animal of all, the armed pot farmer. That animal gave me shivers of dread.

Somewhere in the dark, an owl gave two hoots and a second later, hot breath and terrifying guttural snarls were inches from my face. I recoiled automatically, falling into the water, butt first. I scrambled toward the middle of the stream, half walking, half crawling over and around the rocks.

Glancing back, I saw Thor in the moonlight, thrashing around on his hind legs, trying to rid himself of the short rope tied around his neck. The other end of the rope was tied to a tree at the edge of the water. So that was where Kenneth left the mastiff. I was pretty sure the dog knew my scent and would like to tear me apart for old-time sake. The growling, slobbering canine tried over and over again to break free as I hurried past him and continued my trek down stream.

I thought about Solow and remembered that I had left his dinner bowl on the porch near his bed. He would need water, but I was sure he could find some on his own. Bet he's upset with me right now, I thought.

In my head I calculated the number of hours since my last meal. It had been about twenty-eight hours, give or take two, since I wasn't wearing a watch. Solow's kibble, with a little salt and pepper, would have been a welcome gourmet treat at that point.

I was wet up to my waist and the tiniest breeze sent my teeth chattering uncontrollably, but I refused to let anything get in the way of my plan to follow the river ... follow the river … follow the river. The creek offered short stretches of beach from time to time, but usually I just sloshed through the water, one foot in front of the other, sometimes hopping rocks I could barely see in the dark.

Author Joyce Oroz


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