Verses of the Ballad #7

The following excerpt is from my novel Ballad of the Northland


When The Whaler next spoke, his voice was pitched in a hush and he would not look at The Boy.

  ‘The story has it that some dumb, liquored up white man, your uncle’s brother, a schoolteacher if you can believe it, took his family out on Norton Sound trying to get across to Koyuk. Their snowmobile quit about two thirds of the way across, and they got pinned down in a wind storm,’ he said. ‘The man made it on foot to the village, but he was all froze up and couldn’t talk, and by the time the people of the village got the story out of him, the guy’s family had been alone on the ice a day and a half. They went out there looking as soon as they were able and found them where he’d left them with the snowmobile and sled.’

  ‘What then? Is that how I got back? They took me back with them?’ asked The Boy.

  The Whaler looked at him now and began to shake his head.

  ‘What happened?’

  ‘They found the guy’s wife and their baby, both frozen solid. But that’s it. There was no sign of you at all. You were just gone, no tracks, no nothing. It was like the wind just took you and erased you completely. The villagers thought that the man was lying to them about a second boy, but he was adamant, started crying when they told him what they’d found. They called the sheriff’s department to get the cops in on it, but he died of hypothermia before they got there to question him.’

  ‘No. That can’t be. No.’

  ‘Like I said, that’s the story they tell out there on the coast.’


  The Whaler turned away in dismissal….

Thanks for tuning in–more to follow….


3 Responses to “Verses of the Ballad #7”

  1. Tish Cockerham Reply May 22, 2011 at 00:44

    The Ballad is a captivating Book. You find that you are there. Mushing with the Boy and freezing!! I am an avid reader and haven’t enjoyed a book this much in a long time. Can’t wait for your next book.

  2. It’s passages like this that make Ballad so very fine. Reading Ballad is being immersed in reality with both its beauty and harshness then blinking our eyes, looking around and knowing that we have just been visited by myth, magic and legend which all our lives need.

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