by Kim Van Sickler
[Kim's posts will all relate to her MG historical fiction novel with a paranormal twist: Muleskinner. Here's the pitch: An extraordinary canal dog gives twelve-year-old mule driver, Clay, the conviction to fight against a highly suspect Indenture agreement his pa supposedly signed...right before Pa was found swinging from a tree above Lonesome Lock.]
My orphan, Clay, thought he knew who his parents were. But the reappearance of Slice Fermer on the northern section of the Ohio Canal sets off a series of events that reveal Clay's true identity. His real father was a hapless gambler who lost everything and incurred a hefty debt. A hefty debt that Slice demands be repaid.
Clay's real father was nicknamed Goose.
Geese mate for life and Goose had been head over heels for Bonnie from the first moment he saw her. In fact it was his love for her and his zeal to settle down in a permanent home off the canal that inspired his gambling. Goose was a happy-go-lucky type other than being totally committed to the love of his life. He loved being the center of attention, especially when he brought out his clarinet.
His life belied his death. Bonnie died giving birth to Clay, sending Goose into a deep depression. When Clay was three years old, Goose's body was found swinging from a tree above Lonesome Lock. Looked like a suicide. Or was it?