Devil’s Hoof Prints

One more legend from North Carolina and again, I have seen this one. Hey, I’ve lived in NC for all but 7 years of my life! My mother grew up in Little Washington, NC, which is near Bath so of course when we visited relatives this was one of the stops. I have no photos from our trips of this so I had to search for some.

Devil’s Horse’s Hoof Prints near Bath are a series of small, saucer-shaped depressions that have been there since 1813. Measuring four to five inches deep with sloping sides from six to ten inches, the holes remain one of North Carolina’s most famous and enduring mysteries. There are pine needles all around the place because it’s at the edge of a wooded area and it wasn’t exactly well maintained like a park, but the holes were easily discernable.

The legend goes that on a Sunday morning about church time, Jesse Elliott and some companions planned to race their horses along the main street of Bath. Elliott mounted and spurred his horse, and as it raced off, he leaned forward shouting in its ear: “Take me in a winner or take me to Hell.” Promptly the horse dug its hooves into the soft earth, throwing Elliot against a tree and killing him instantly. So of course some believed that the horse was actually the devil in the form of a horse.

I also found this account in my research – “Actually, he was on his way to a race and was riding along side another man also headed to the race. This other man was mounted upon a very large black horse and was wearing all black with a hat to make his face invisible. Elliott challenged him to a little race on the way to the actual race and as he was passed by the man on the black horse, Elliott’s horse flew into a tree killing both instantly. There is no record of anyone with a straight black horse (no markings whatsoever) at the race. People have also tried to cover the tracks with cement, but nothing worked. They also used to charge admission but now it is free and open to the public.” Attributed to “Sam”

Tradition maintains that the holes, located just off N.C. 1334, about 3 miles west of Bath, have survived every known attempt to permanently eradicate or alter them. No vegetation grows inside them and none of the pine needles surrounding the holes ever remain in the prints. For years, kids have tried to cover them or fill them in only to find that the holes are empty again upon their next visit. I’d never heard about the cement before. Tons of visitors to the site have experienced the same phenomena, and yes, I was one of them. I didn’t get to go back and see if my pine needles were gone but the prints were still there the next visit I made.

Is it any wonder I love writing about the paranormal – such possibilities!! Click on the covers for more information.

   

Severe Weather and New Distribution for ‘Just Wait For Me’ by Dawn Marie Hamilton

August has brought storms to the area where I live. Every evening, so it seems, lightning flashes across a blackened sky and rolling thunder roars. I remember the earth-shattering sound of thunder when I lived in the mountains, but am surprised how loud it can be at sea level.

As the son of the Queen of the Fae, controlling the elements, especially lightning and thunder, is one of Prince Dugaid’s gifts.  He display’s this skill in Just Wait For Me, the fourth tale in the Highland Gardens series.

 

Dugaid stared at the compromised hidey-hole, a snarl curling his lip. How dare his mother remove her protection from the lost bairns? Oonagh was a beautiful woman, sought after by many a man, both fae and mortal, but she lacked even an iota of motherly tendencies. Had the Fae Queen put the bairns in harm’s way?

His pointed ears perked at a commotion deeper in the wood. A lad cried out as if in pain. Cloaked in the glamour of invisibility, Dugaid followed the scuffling sounds.

Two of the woodland bairns huddled together on the ground, faces battered and bruised. Dugaid fisted his hands. No one had the right to hurt children.

An explosive outburst of nature heralded his anger to the world. Lightning sliced the darkening sky. Thunder reverberated over mountains, hills, and glens. Hail pounded the earth. The pungent smell of ozone sharpened the air, making his nostrils flare.

Maclay’s gaze shot to the ominous sky, and the man frowned. Returning attention to the third bairn, the one he held by the shoulders, he shook the battered lad. “Tell me!”

When the bairn didn’t answer, Maclay knuckle-slapped him hard across the face.

The lad cried out. Blood spewed from a broken nose.

Red also wept through a rag wrapped around Maclay’s wrist, but didn’t hinder the man from inflicting pain on those weaker. “Tell me what you ken of the lass traveling with MacEwen, unless you wish for more of a thrashing.”

“Nae. Dinnae hurt me anymore,” the lad pleaded. “She is from the future. ’Tis all I ken.”

Maclay thrust the lad away, grabbed the backpack from the ground, and strode away from the whimpering bairns. Dugaid’s rage boiled. The storm intensified. One especially jagged streak of vertical lightning pierced the ground at Maclay’s feet.

The villain leapt back, tossing weight from leg to leg, attempting to find balance as the ground rolled and splintered around him. Spider cracks spread from long narrow slits. Trees and rocks tumbled into deep crevasses. The backpack Jillian had brought through the time gate slipped from Maclay’s nerveless fingers. It tumbled into a fissure, got caught by the strap on a branch, and dangled just within reach.

He dove to retrieve it, but the earth pitched with a violent shudder. The pack dropped into the hole while the vibration joggled Maclay precariously close to the edge. He crabbed backward scarcely in time. One more quake closed the opening.

In a flash, Dugaid placed a vanishing blanket over the bairns, making them invisible.

Maclay stood, paced in a small circle, and punched a fist in the air. “Where are those cursed changelings?”

Unable to release his frustration on the bairns, the nasty devil strode away from the scene of destruction, muttering obscenities. Dugaid hated allowing the man to leave, but there were certain covenants to which he must adhere. As much as he so desired, he mustn’t kill a human.

Dugaid waited until the man had traveled a great distance before uncloaking himself and the lads. “Can you all walk?”

“Aye.” The lad with the mismatched eyes helped the older, pudgy fellow, who’d taken the worst beating, rise to his feet.

“Hie tail to the Caves of the Gray Women and use the pool to heal your injuries.”

“Many thanks for coming to our aid,” said the lad with a head too large for his child-sized body.

“You are verra welcome. Now run along and forget you saw me.” Dugaid watched them leave, chanting a spell of protection to keep them safe.

Then he, too, vanished, traveling through the nether in search of Caitrina. She would never win the challenge if she didn’t keep her mind on the task at hand. He was more than ready to give her a lengthy scolding.

 

just-wait-for-me-b-b-finalist

New Distribution Channels for

Just Wait For Me

 

Now available at:

Apple and KOBO.

Also available at:

Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

~Dawn Marie

 

*Lightning Flash Featured Image by Felix Mittermeier from Pixabay

How To Celebrate…International Beer Day

beer and books

The first Friday in August has been designated as International Beer Day and I wonder how many folks imbibe in the brew just because it is a holiday? Trust me, when Cinco de Mayo or New Year’s Eve comes along, there is some celebratory drinking involved!

reading by the pool

People on this planet have enjoyed beer since 6,000 B.C. and brewed either a lager or an ale. Canned, bottled, or a draft at your favorite bar gives the consumer hundreds of choices. Over 50 countries around the world celebrate the day. What is better than cooling off after a swim with a beer and a book?

My suggestions:

Heaven-sent HighlanderHeaven-sent Warrior

You can find all the Buy Links for my books HERE

But you’re on your own when it comes to the beer!

Nancy Lee