A Thousand Yesteryears

BOOK: A Thousand Yesteryears
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Behind a legend lies the truth…


As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real . . .


Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer . . .



A Point Pleasant Novel



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Books by Mae Clair


Weathering Rock

Twelfth Sun

Myth and Magic


Point Pleasant Series

A Thousand Yesteryears


Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation




A Thousand Yesteryears

A Point Pleasant Novel


Mae Clair



Kensington Publishing Corp.







Lyrical Press books are published by

Kensington Publishing Corp. 119 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018


Copyright © 2015 by Mae Clair


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.


All Kensington titles, imprints, and distributed lines are available at special quantity discounts for bulk purchases for sales promotion, premiums, fund- raising, and educational or institutional use.


To the extent that the image or images on the cover of this book depict a person or persons, such person or persons are merely models, and are not intended to portray any character or characters featured in the book.


Special book excerpts or customized printings can also be created to fit specific needs. For details, write or phone the office of the Kensington Special Sales Manager:

Kensington Publishing Corp.

119 West 40th Street

New York, NY 10018

Attn. Special Sales Department. Phone: 1-800-221-2647.


Kensington and the K logo Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off.

LYRICAL PRESS Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off.

Lyrical Press and the L logo are trademarks of Kensington Publishing Corp.


First Electronic Edition: April 2016

eISBN-13: 978-1-60183-777-6

eISBN-10: 1-60183-777-1


First Print Edition: April 2016

ISBN-13: 978-1-60183-780-6

ISBN-10: 1-60183-780-1


Printed in the United States of America




This book is dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives in the Silver Bridge collapse of December 15, 1967. To their families and loved ones, and to the few who survived that terrible day. It is also dedicated to the people of Point Pleasant, whose town has endured much over the decades, yet remains resilient despite adversity and change.





Thank you to my two wonderful critique partners, Laura Lee Nutt and Mary E. Merrell, who were with me from the beginning to the end of this story. I appreciate all of your input and the suggestions that went into polishing this story.


Thank you also to my wonderful editor, Corinne DeMaagd, who made working through edits and galleys a pleasure. I can’t say enough about your impeccable eye for detail. Thank you for working so hard to make my story shine.


Finally, to my wonderful husband, the love of my life, who indulged me with two trips to Point Pleasant so I could complete research for this novel and those which follow in the series. Friend, soulmate, and life partner, God blessed my life the day we met.




Author’s Foreword


As someone who has long held an interest in folklore, urban legends, and the mythology that shapes different cultures, I was first drawn to the legend of the Mothman in 2013. What I knew about the creature at that time was minimal, but the story intrigued me enough to engage in further research. As a result, I unearthed the history of the Silver Bridge and the elements that contributed to its tragic collapse on December 15, 1967. In my mind, none of these were supernatural in nature, but it seems that the Mothman and the bridge are forever linked in folklore.


I’ve taken a different approach for my story. The shadow of the Silver Bridge tragedy hangs heavily over my characters, but as a ghost of the past. In addition, I’ve employed my own interpretation of the Mothman. It should be noted that none of the characters in this book are meant to resemble persons living or dead in any fashion. The Parrish Hotel and many of the other businesses I’ve created are fictional, but certain locations such as the TNT and Tu-Endie-Wei State Park are places you can visit.


Having been to Point Pleasant and the TNT twice since beginning this series, I can vouch it is an area rich in history—not just in relation to the Silver Bridge and the Mothman, but to an era when riverboats ruled the waterways, and even farther back, to the days preceding the American Revolution. A lot has changed since then and the glory has faded, but the town’s heritage remains strong.


That said, I hope you enjoy A Thousand Yesteryears and the novels to follow in this series. There is plenty of myth, mystery, and romance to come.


Mae Clair

July 2015





December 15, 1967

Point Pleasant, West Virginia


“Do you think Caden Flynn will go?” Eve Parrish kept pace with her friend, Sarah, as a brisk December wind pushed them down Main Street toward the Crowne Theatre. Eager for a glimpse of the movie poster that had everyone in the tiny river town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia talking, she barely felt the sting on her cheeks. Her mother would box her ears if she knew what Eve was up to, but all the boys at school said the poster hung in the window, plain as day for anyone to see. That had to mean she could sneak a peek. She was twelve now, practically a teenager.

Her parents had called
The Graduate
racy, and Mrs. Quiggly, who sold brown eggs and fresh milk from her farm outside town, said the poster was shameless. She wanted to bring a petition against the theater and make them take the “vile thing” down.

“Silly, busybody,” Aunt Rosie had chided behind her back. Never one to get hung up on proper behavior, Aunt Rosie did artsy things like taking photographs and hosting moonlight picnics for friends. She even had a darkroom in her home and occasionally sold shots to the local paper who proudly displayed them with the byline
Photo courtesy of Rosalind Parrish.

“I heard Caden tell Wyatt Fisher they should take their girlfriends to see it,” Sarah said, interrupting her thoughts.

Eve gasped. It was bad enough the boys might see a movie as shocking as
The Graduate,
but more appalling that girls would go, too.

“Maybe they’ll chicken out.” She had a hopeless crush on Caden, an awkward situation given he was eighteen and the brother of her friend, Maggie. Although careful not to make a fool of herself whenever Caden was around, she usually ended up tongue-tied.

Sarah shrugged and tugged the collar of her coat higher against the wind. Several cars drove by in the pre-holiday rush, the glow of headlights holding the night at bay. Sunset was still a half hour away, plenty of time for Eve and Sarah to reach the theater and ogle the poster. The movie didn’t open until next week, but the buzz it generated had already swept through their school.

“I wish Maggie was with us,” Eve said with a touch of melancholy.

Sarah rubbed her reddening nose. “Me, too.”

The walk to the Crowne was only a few blocks from the Parrish Hotel, owned by Eve’s parents and Aunt Rosie. Despite the short distance, it was cold enough to make her wish she’d brought a scarf. At least she’d have something titillating to share with Maggie once she saw the poster. Maybe her gushing about how improper the advertisement looked would make her friend smile.

“Do you think she really saw the Mothman?” Sarah’s voice was barely audible. Nervously, she glanced over her shoulder as if fearing the giant birdlike humanoid would sweep from the sky. “Was she near the TNT?”

Eve shook her head.

A remote area of dense woods and small ponds, the TNT had once been used to store ammunition during World War II. Eve’s father had taken her there on a few occasions, allowing her to explore the abandoned weapons “igloos.” But ever since the Mothman was first spied in the region, she hadn’t been back. Her father said bad things happened there, and Mrs. Quiggly insisted the place was a haven for UFOs.

“She was visiting Nana and followed Mischief into the Witch Wood.”

A fat orange tabby, Mischief belonged to Maggie’s grandmother, an elderly woman who everyone called Nana. She lived in a sprawling house snuggled up to a thicket of woods at the farthest end of town. Eve and Maggie had dubbed the thicket the “Witch Wood” after discovering a sycamore tree that resembled an old woman with legs.

“But it’s too cold to go into the Witch Wood now,” Sarah protested.

Eve nodded. She, Maggie, and Sara occasionally played there, but usually in the spring and summer when the trees were green with leaves, making it easy to catch caterpillars and grasshoppers.

“Maggie was afraid Mischief would get lost.”

Sarah made a
sound. “As if! He’s always getting into trouble and always finds his way home. I wish she hadn’t followed him.”

“Me, too.” Eve bit her bottom lip, worrying it between her teeth. She’d visited her friend for a brief time yesterday, finding Maggie huddled beneath the blankets in her bedroom. She hadn’t been to school for three days. “She’s afraid to go outside.”

They had almost reached the theater. Farther down the street, traffic was lined up at the red light that led to the Silver Bridge. Her father would be home soon, returning from Gallipolis, a neighboring city nestled on the Ohio side of the river. He’d headed there earlier in the afternoon to meet a friend, and like everyone else, would need to cross the Silver Bridge.

“I heard the Mothman’s eyes are red,” Sarah said.

“Maggie thought so. She told me when she couldn’t find Mischief, she got an odd feeling, like something bad had happened. Her skin broke out in goose bumps.”

Sarah’s eyes widened. She rubbed her nose again. “My mom says people get a weird sensation when they see the Mothman. I’ve heard her talking about it to my dad when she thinks I’m not around.”

“My parents do the same thing.” How strange to be focused on something scary when everything around them reflected the festive mood of the coming Christmas holiday. The streetlights on Main were decorated with cheerful ribbons, wreaths, and pinecones, and a lighted Christmas tree brightened the display window of G. C. Murphy, the local five-and-dime. At the store entrance, a man in a Santa Claus suit called out holiday greetings and beckoned shoppers inside. A sense of excitement and seasonal cheer hung in the air.

“Maggie was scared.” Eve wet her lips, remembering what her friend had told her. “She thought she heard a noise. Like scraping, or someone digging.”

“What did she do?”

BOOK: A Thousand Yesteryears
5.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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