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The sound of the gunshot was deafening as it shattered the calm night.



They were driving to Alabama. Had been driving for a long time when Evelyn’s mother, Pearl, asked her father, Harland, to stop at a motel they were approaching. Only her father didn’t stop. He continued driving so long after her mother’s request that even the signs to direct them to food and fuel grew scarce. With nothing to occupy her mind, Eve fell asleep.

When Eve woke, her mother was urging her father not to pull onto a dirt road that looked deserted but for the beat-up mailbox that stood out like a beacon off the main road. They were just going to ask for directions or maybe use the phone; at least that was what her father said.

Eve listened quietly as her parents’ debated what to do. Whether to knock on the rundown farmhouse door or to chance driving further because they were clearly lost. Her mother spoke of her unease. Having been raised in the South, she warned them that they needed to be ever cautious.

Harland was of a different breed. He had been raised among gentler white folk who seemed more apt to spear you with words rather than a sharp knife. He believed in the power of words, wholeheartedly. Harland Jones also believed that most people were well-meaning organisms who when given the facts were reprogrammable, at least that’s what he often said.

Eve’s father ended up winning the debate on whether to knock on the old farmhouse door or not. Eve fought a grin when she saw the handsome smile he always flashed when he won an argument. It was rare for her father to win one against her mother, who was a thinker by trade. He even offered Eve a wink as he gracefully slid from their vehicle and climbed the cracked stairs. He walked with that same grace before knocking on the tattered screen door.  

Eve could barely see the girl who opened the door, and for a moment, it seemed as if the girl was going to allow her father to use their phone. Then, Eve heard someone yelling from inside the house. She tensed when a fuming man with stringy dark hair shoved the girl out of the way and pulled the screen door open wider. The man began yelling at Eve’s father, who held up 
his hands in defense and seemed to speak calmly, which was his way.

Eve couldn’t make out what was being said, so she rolled down the car window. The word ‘nigger’ was said a number of times by the man. She heard that word before, but it didn’t have the sting it had on this man’s lips. Eve’s father must have felt the same because instead of arguing with the crazy-eyed man, he just shook his head and turned around.

Eve didn’t even hear when her mother got out of the car, but she did and was ushering her husband down the porch stairs and toward the car. Her parents’ slow trek back to the car didn’t hold Eve’s attention. Instead, she looked back to the door of the house, only to find that the angry man had disappeared back inside.

Eve settled back in her seat but kept her eyes on the dark house. She wanted her parents’ to move faster. She had a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach and wanted to get away from this house as fast as they could. Her heart sped up as she silently willed them to move faster, to run if possible. The walkway wasn’t paved and her mother was wearing heels. So while they tried to maneuver over the pebbles, neither her father nor her mother saw the angry man stepping back into the doorway with the long gun in his hands.

Eve did, and she screamed for her parents’ to turn around. She screamed for them to run, but there was no time for either of them to react before the man took aim. Eve watched in horror as her father’s chest exploded outward. She held her breath as her father slowly dropped to his knees. She saw the shock on his face and the sorrow in his gaze as he locked eyes with her briefly before falling to his back.

 Mommy! Eve's panicked gaze immediately sought out her mother as she prayed that what she was witnessing from her family’s car was just a nightmare.

Eve’s ears rang from the loud blast, but she heard her mother scream as she frantically tried to stop the bleeding from her husband’s chest wound. Wide-eyed with terror, Eve’s young mind tried to process why this was happening. Shaking with fear, Eve watched through teary eyes as the girl from the house came to the doorway again. The girl was screaming and pointing when a boy rushed out of the darkened doorway and ran toward the man who now towered over her mother with the gun still in his hands.

“Mommy!” Eve shouted to her mother. Her mother didn’t answer as she cried out for him, her father. Eve watched helplessly as the man raised the gun and slammed the handle down on her mother’s head.

 

Jason Ray Shaw, aka Junior, tried to ignore being shaken awake, but it was useless because Sadie Shaw was determined. He groaned then rolled over and opened his eyes to see his sister’s beautiful but worried face looking down at him. Though she was five years older at seventeen, she relied on him for a good deal of support.
Clearly, his sister needed him right now. She was crying, her brows were pinched, she looked freaked, and she was shaking him as if he was still asleep.

“Wake up, Junior. Dad…doing bad, bad,” she said as she continued to shake him.

With a curse that would make a saint’s ears bleed, Junior moved Sadie aside, slid out of bed, and pulled on his 
worn 
jeans then his socks as best he could. Sadie said a bunch of words but she wasn’t making any sense, her crying jumbled everything. God, my life is shit. Not because of Sadie. She was his special girl. The doctors said retarded, but to him, she was just plain special and he loved her just the way she was.

No, Sadie wasn’t the problem.

As Junior followed Sadie out of his room he heard the tell-tale signs that his father was drunk again. The sounds of shotgun blasts were a constant here at home sweet home. The neighbor’s dog was probably on their property again,
andhissauced
father was trying to shoot the damned thing... again. Seeing no reason to rush but wide awake now, Junior ranked Sadie’s frantic pulls and urging low as he made his way through the hallway and down the stairs to the first floor of the house. It was only when he heard screams that he stopped dead in his tracks.

“Help them,” Sadie cried as she pulled at his arm.

A second later, Junior was shoving Sadie behind him and running for the front door with no idea what awaited him. He pushed through the open doorway and stopped to take in the scene before him.

He saw… Junior blinked then blinked again. “What have you done?” Junior yelled. Cefus Shaw swung around with the gun aimed at him. Junior held up his hands and took a step back. “Pop?” Junior said softly.

Cefus’ eyes were absent of any recognition or humanity. Junior saw this side of his father before. He endured many beatings that followed his father’s drinking and this, what he saw, was that look. Junior gazed pleadingly into those hard, unsympathetic eyes enough in his short life to know that there would be no compassion. Would this be the night the old man ended it all for him? As he did often in times like this, Junior thought of his sweet, innocent sister.

Sadie was the only person in this world that Junior cared about. If he took anything his father ever said to heart it was, ‘Blood boy’; the old coot would say ‘it’s all you got in this world.’

“Pop,” Junior said again, cautiously.

As if jarred awake, Cefus lowered the shotgun a few inches, now aiming at Junior’s chest instead of his head. Recognition flashed in Cefus’ light glazed-over eyes before he blinked. “What the hell you doing sneaking up on me, boy,” Cefus hissed before turning back around. With his father’s focus away from him, Junior took a calming breath then looked past his father.

A woman was lying beside a man who had a huge hole in his chest. Junior immediately felt sick as pain and empathy slammed into him for the strangers. Cefus done did it now, he thought as he took a measured step closer. Junior was turning his gaze on Cefus when he saw her out the corner of his eye.

In a station wagon that had one of those wheeled storage moving containers attached to it was a girl. Her face was streaked with tears. Her eyes were pinned on the man and woman lying unmoving on the ground. Her mouth was wide as her screams filled the night. He hadn’t heard her until now.

How did he not hear her?

Cefus heard her, and he was about to shut her up, permanently.

Junior moved; later he would wonder what propelled him to do it, but there was no time to dissect his actions now. He ran down the gravel walk as fast as he could, blocking Cefus’ view and the barrel of the shotgun that he aimed at the car window where the girl was howling.

“Get the fuck out of the way, boy, for I fill you with holes.” Cefus’ words were slow but not slurred. That bastard wasn’t as drunk as Junior originally thought. His father was a hell of a shot which explained why he actually was able to hit that man dead center in the first place. Cefus being sober…

“You need to think right now, Pop,” Junior said. He shook his head when he noticed Sadie coming out of the front door. Sadie understood and quickly went back inside. “If you shoot that shotgun one more time, the Wilsons will have the law out here again. How you gone explain this,” Junior motioned to the dead man. He only heard one shot so he assumed the woman may still be alive. “These aren’t dogs, Pop.”

“The hell they ain’t,” Cefus said, motioning with the barrel for Junior to move out of the way. “Niggers and dogs are one in the same. Now move your ass, boy.”

“Sheriff Gifford won’t be able to sweep this under his hat if you harm the girl. She’s not a man, Pop. They won’t see her as a threat like they might her parents’.” Junior realized the girl had gone silent, but he couldn’t check on her just yet. He was trying to reason with a man of many faces, and both their lives were on the line. The drunk, the punisher, the racist, on rare occasions the apologetic father, and now the murderer was staring at Junior as if he were a stranger.

Junior heard the gun cock. Will he really shoot me? The thought to appeal to the father in Cefus, the father he had never been, popped in Junior’s head. “I’m your son, your blood.” Cefus actually grinned, and that grin said none of that mattered. “You say that’s all we got is each other, Pop.”

That got Cefus to slowly lower the shotgun with a sigh. He stood there with his eyes on the girl in the car then he looked down at the woman lying at his feet. Cefus seemed to think for a moment then his eyes lit up. Junior’s stomach churned because that look was one of his father’s scariest, and by the way, Cefus was peering down at the woman’s thighs, exposed by the rising hem of the dress she wore…

Junior could almost see the cogs in Cefus’ depraved head turning. It was then that Junior realized that he should have let Cefus kill the woman and the terrified girl. That would have been more humane because now he and Sadie weren’t the only prisoners of Cefus Shaw.

EXCERPT

Evelyn Jones


Eye Color: Brown
Hair:  Natural brown
Fears: Men
Desires: To Free herself of the Cefus

It was supposed to be the start of a new chapter in their lives. What it turns out to be is a life worse than death.

When Evelyn Jones’ family makes a wrong turn onto the property of one of the most racist men in the south, she discovers that Hell is definitely a place on earth. She thinks the man who takes her family captive, to suffer under his sadistic rule and hateful tongue, is the Devil himself. Eve relies on the few memories of the loving life her parents once provided to survive. Yet, constant fear overshadows her lost free-spirited youth and she is losing all hope.  

Junior Shaw is the only one who has to endure his father’s torture until they arrive. No one understands the survival of the fittest like Junior. The strong stomps on the weak and the weaker are stomped on repeatedly. Junior is the weak according to his father. Being brought up under evil’s hoof is hell, but when his father turns his hatred on Eve’s family, Junior adopts the role of protector. But, who will protect him?

Two children must mature under horrid circumstances and soul-crushing abuse. This standalone full-length novel is a tale of uncompromising hate and unending love and devotion. Delve into the darkness of Chained to the Devil’s Son.

Chained to the Devil's Son © is under copyright and is the protected property of Shea Swain
Cover Art: Savanna from Blue Sky Designs

BLURB

Jason "Junior" Shaw

Eye Color:   Stormy Grey
Hair:   Dirty Blond
Occupation: Mechanic, Jack of all trades ​Life Goals:   To keep his family Safe

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