Fiction Friday: Zombie Road

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By Leslie Lindsay

The muse is whispering.  Oh wait–that’s just the ghosts.  Or, is it?!

For years, legends have surrounded a stretch of wooded land glazed in limestone ominously known as Zombie Road.  This swath ridgelines packed with mighty oaks is home to many woodland creatures lies within St. Louis County, Missouri.  And there’s a nary a sinister feel about it, especially as we near Halloween.

And it just so happens to be the setting of my next novel. 

Oh–did you catch that?!  Next.  Novel.  Whoa!!  Back the writing train up. 

Unhinged (previously known as Slippery Slope) is off the desk.  For now.  It’s done.  A week ago, I sat  in my comfy leather chair on a sunny day and finished it.  Sounds like I should sit in that chair more often, eh?  Alas it’s not a magic chair; the only way the work gets done is by doing it.  And I did.  Over the course of 4 years I wrote and edited that book.  Sent query letters out to agents this past Monday. 

The rejections are piling up.  No one is telling me why, exactly, just that “it’s not right for their list at this time.”

When one creative endeavor ends, why not roll up the ol’ sleeves and delve in again.  And I am doing just that.

This one–while still fiction–will focus primarily on the area known as Zombie Road in west St. Louis County.  It’s real.  Whether it’s really haunted…well, I don’t know. 

It’s a perfect stew of creepy stories and tall tales…talks of a man nicknamed as Zombie wandered away from a once-nearby mental assylum and bled out; others claim a once-orhphanage ran by sadists stood nearby.  The children murdered and buried in unmarked graves.  Still others claim the area was populated by Native Americans, home Civil War battles, even Al Capone was thought to have partied here.  Yet more tales spin stories of devil worshipping acts, suicides, and hikers gone missing.    [Photo:  Tom Halstead, 2005.  Shadow People at Zombie Road in St. Louis County]

In reality–at least from my perspective–it’s a creepy area populated by high schoolers who want to party. 

Oh, but you can’t do that anymore.  Not since the county parks closed down the delapidated road, repaving it into a fitness/hiking/biking trail.  It now is home to runners, walkers, and mother’s pushing baby buggies. 

And maybe a child ghost, or two? 

Stay tuned to Fiction Fridays as I share excerpts from this next one.

[Photo: STL Today.  From 2011.  Retrieved 10.25.13]

About leslie1218

Author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012) frantically working on a novel that should be ready for submission this fall. Mom of two spritely redheads & one chubby basset hound whose stories & images appear in my writing from time-to-time.

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