I’ve finished writing it! 🎉 I’m currently mired in overhauling a particular element of the story, but it’s coming along nicely.
I haven’t written the final blurb yet, but here’s a working blurb:
Sensational News’ (Never Fake! We Swear!) reporter Wilson Banks enjoys his job. Of course, he doesn’t believe the majority of what he reports, but he has standards. He can prevaricate with ease while avoiding outright falsehoods. After all, reporting that “so-and-so claimed to see this” was absolutely true.
Then he meets Oliver Hughes. Falls for Oliver Hughes. When he witnesses something he wasn’t meant to see, his sense of reality skews. Is there room for love with his new, less world-weary and inflexible perspective?
For context, the excerpt I’m sharing is from chapter 3. Wilson is interviewing sixty-six year old Emma Pearson, who has never wavered in her insistence that she saw a real Bigfoot when she was sixteen.
Wilson is the first speaker. This is unedited, so if necessary, please squint. 😁
“Why don’t you start from the beginning and tell me your story.”
Emma nodded and took a sip of the tea she’d set out for them. She held Wilson’s gaze as she began. “I was sixteen at the time, and it shook me to my core. We had out-of-state relatives visiting, so we’d taken them out to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. On the way back, we’d gone off the main road and followed a few back roads through the forest to give the cousins a thrill.”
She paused for another sip of tea, and Wilson said, “That would be awe inspiring to people who haven’t experienced a sequoia forest before. I never cease to be amazed by their immense beauty.”
Emma nodded. “Even living here my whole life, I never tire of it.”
“This is where you saw Bigfoot?” Wilson prompted. That made more sense than the creature showing up in a relatively populated area. Assuming the perpetrator of the hoax was thinking along the lines of making their ruse more believable under scrutiny.
Of course that then presented a different problem. How had the prankster known to be in that particular remote spot at that particular time?
“But no one else in your party saw it?”
“No. We pulled off and spread a couple blankets for a picnic. We weren’t allowed to wander off exploring, but we had permission to seek a little privacy to relieve ourselves before piling back into the car. Dad—” She laughed. “He was so protective. He had a ball of twine in the car and we had to unravel it as we went, so when we were done, we could follow it, winding it as walked back.”
Which perfectly explained how she’d been the only one to spot Bigfoot.
“I didn’t trust my cousins not to…intrude on my privacy, so I went out a little farther than I’m sure Dad would have liked. I had just stood to pull up my shorts when I saw him.”
“Peeping Bigfoot?” That was disturbing. Although Jerry would probably like that for a headline.
“No. I don’t think so.” She was quick to jump to Bigfoot’s defense on that score. “I couldn’t see him when I was squatting. It was only when I stood. And he was clearly startled.”
Or he was a good actor, because he’d obviously known the group was nearby or he wouldn’t have been in costume. But it was possible he’d been legitimately startled by the girl off on her own.
“Could you explain in detail how he ‘looked’ startled?” specifics like that were what would bring Wilson’s story to life.
Her head tipped to the side and her lips pursed as she pondered the question. “Besides the body language—he’d stopped short and recoiled—He wasn’t ‘scary close,’ but he was close enough for me to get a decent look at his facial expression.” She tapped her eyeglasses. “I didn’t need these back then. My vision was perfect.”
Wilson nodded, and she continued. “His eyes bugged like he was terrified.” She laughed. “He was afraid of me.”
Eyes ‘bugging’—and facial expressions in general—if her memory was accurate, would be a difficult feat to achieve with a costume. Possibly the fake Bigfoot’s head was more makeup than mask. But that would be virtually impossible to do with short notice. More likely her memory had slowly altered over the years.
“The eyes and the gasp are what jump out in my memory.”
“Was the gasp audible?”
“Yes. He also made a noise when he tripped while running away from me.”
“Can you describe his sound?”
“I would have been hard put to describe it at the time, but years later when I watched Star Wars, I couldn’t help wondering if whoever’d developed the voice of Chewbacca had heard a Bigfoot and mimicked the sound.”
Wilson smiled. “Did he look like Chewbacca, too?”
“It’s kind of the reverse. More like Chewbacca looks like someone wearing an exaggerated, extra hairy Bigfoot costume.”
He chuckled. “I like that. I’ll never be able to watch the Star Wars movies again without thinking of you.”
She grinned, then continued her narrative. “I was shaken, but I was also impulsive, and…” she rolled her eyes. “after pulling up my pants, I took off after him.”
“Wow.” That could have ended badly.
“I didn’t catch him, obviously. He was surprisingly fast once he’d gotten over his initial shock at discovering me.”
“Did you chase him far? Did you get lost?”
“No to both. It became clear very, very quickly that he could outrun me. So instead, I went to investigate the spot where I’d first seen him, because he’d made a noticeable noise running away, and I should have heard his approach. So I figured maybe he’d been squatting or sitting, too, and had only just stood up and taken maybe a step or two when I spotted him.”
“That makes sense. What did you find?” It was interesting that Marvin hadn’t mentioned anything about physical evidence that she’d gathered.
“A little patch that would have been a forager’s paradise. I could see where a bunch of mushrooms had been ripped off, a huckleberry bush had been stripped of berries, and a patch of miner’s lettuce had been torn up. There was barely enough left for me to identify it.”
Wilson’s brows shot up. “Interesting.” And indeed it was. Although it wasn’t tangible evidence she’d been able to bring back with her, it was, if she was to be believed, compelling. Because it was either an extraordinarily elaborate ruse, or it had been a bear. Except a bear would have run off on all fours, rather than re-standing to run after tripping. “And easy to see why you came to your conclusion.”
“Right? And please believe me, I’ve never been the kind of person who is easily tricked.”
“I believe you. And because I’m pedantic, I want to clarify. When you refer to your Bigfoot as ‘he’ and ‘him,’ are you just using the male pronoun in a generic way, or was there something about the…creature you saw that makes you think he was a man?”
“He had…” She reddened. “Dangly bits. And trust me, you couldn’t miss them.”
Wilson coughed. He kind of wanted to shake the hand of whoever had come up with a costume with that kind of attention to detail.
“Using language that I wouldn’t have known at the time, but looking back I can apply it, let’s just say he was proportional, and a ‘shower,’ not a ‘grower.’ Or at least I sure as hell hope that’s the case, because damn. My sixteen-year-old self was astounded and maybe a bit traumatized, and my sixty-six-year-old self is still rather impressed.”
She grinned sheepishly, and Wilson laughed. He could see Jerry’s headline now…Bigfoot Flashes Teenager, Scars Her for Life! Normal Men Pale in Comparison!
I’ve got nothing in the way of links to share at this time, other than my Works in Progress page (https://authoraddisonalbright.com/my-publications/addisons-wipsrelease-schedule/) which I’ll keep updated with the word count (it’s currently at 27,211, but that’ll change a little during my overhaul) and submission and scheduling progress.
The story was requested for a Legendary Love “Trio” collection (mythical creature shifters). You’ll start seeing Trios at JMS next month. I believe there will be two Just the Facts mystery collections in August. I see the three individual books for the August 10 collection are already showing up on JMS’s Coming Soon page.
The Legendary Love Trios are planned for October. Books in the Trios are 20-30k word novellas, and my understanding is that they will be available both individually and in 3-book collections for bargain hunters.
7 thoughts on “SNEAK PEAK – Weekend at Bigfoot’s”
Oh, this is fabulous! You’ve nailed Wilson as a world-weary but warmhearted journalist just trying to do his job. I liked him instantly. Oh…and Emma, gawd bless her 😂
“He had…” She reddened. “Dangly bits. And trust me, you couldn’t miss them….
Using language that I wouldn’t have known at the time, but looking back I can apply it, let’s just say he was proportional, and a ‘shower,’ not a ‘grower.’ Or at least I sure as hell hope that’s the case, because damn. My sixteen-year-old self was astounded and maybe a bit traumatized, and my sixty-six-year-old self is still rather impressed.”
Congratulations on being nearly done, I’m so looking forward to reading it! ❤
Thank you! 💞 I might have had a little fun with Emma’s scene. 😂
😂 It was infectious 😁 💞
😁 Thank you so much! 💖🥰
YAAAAAAS!! I’m so happy you chose this to post!! I LOVE this scene!! 😀
Thank you! 💞 🥰