“MAGGIE IN WHITE” – book excerpt

The front of the car, named Albatross, was wedged firmly against a tall pine tree and the rest of it was rapidly disappearing under the snow.

Together, slipping and sliding, they scrambled up the ravine that held the car onto the road. Peering up and down the road they saw nothing. Only swirling snow. Slowly, Allie turned in a circle looking into the snow in all directions. The dusk was turning to night.

Maggie followed her daughter’s action, each hoping to catch sight of an oncoming vehicle, preferably a snowplow.

Discouraged Maggie said, “Well, darling. This is a fine mess. Do you think we should get back in the car?”

“We’ll freeze there.”

“I know.”

Squinting against the snow, Allie turned in another slow circle. “Wait. Wait. I think I saw something.”

“What? Where?”

“Over that way. Do you see it?”

“I don’t see a thing but snow, cold, white snow.”

“Shh. Let me look again. It was just a flicker.” Allie peered off into the distance, beyond the ravine that held the car, through the snow-filled woods. The wind-driven snow was coming in sideways gusts, “There. There it is again. A light. I think I see a light.”

“A light? Would that mean someplace warm and dry?” Maggie’s teeth were chattering and she clamped her mouth shut tightly.

“Have to. Yes. There it is again, just a flicker, but definitely something. Come on, Mom. Let’s go.” Allie grabbed her mother’s hand again and pulled her back down into the ravine, past the snowy mound that was the car and into the thick pinewoods. The snow here had drifted and in places they found themselves more than knee deep in snow. It was heavy going and Maggie was tiring quickly. But there was no choice. They had to go on.

Still holding hands, they struggled through the deep drifts on toward what Maggie hoped was a light. She had yet to see it. But Allie seemed to know where it had been and she kept a steady course toward something. For her part, between teeth chatters and shivers, Maggie sent out a silent plea for help.

Gasping for breath, they stopped for a rest and Maggie thought she might have seen a glimmer of something. A light? 

“There. I saw it again. There is a light up there. Come on, Mom. It’s not too much farther.” Allie pulled on her hand and they were off again. The drifts seemed less deep now with tall pines all around. Suddenly they broke out of the woods into a clearing. Maggie definitely saw a light this time, flickering through the storm. She murmured a tiny prayer of thanks and they plowed on.

As they struggled through the snow the glimmer of light turned into a definite light and then turned rectangular into a window, a framed bit of warmth and shelter, warm yellow, gleaming out through the blinding white snow. A window! As they approached, the window was contained in a wall and there was a building, a beautiful, big building. It promised shelter and warmth. The tantalizing scent of wood smoke was borne on the wild wind.

Out of breath, with teeth chattering, they pulled one another up high, snowy steps onto a wide porch. The frosty windows were lit and inside they could see a stone fireplace with deep sofas on three sides. A fireplace!
 

Maggie in White, a Maggie McGill Mystery Series book by Sharon Burch Toner
 
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click on a book below:    

Maggie's Image, a Maggie McGill Mystery book  Maggie's Art, a Maggie McGill Mystery book   
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Maggie in White, a Maggie McGill Mystery book  The Care of Goats and Ghosts, a Maggie McGill Mystery book   
The Amulets Legacy, a Maggie McGill Mystery book