Things like this just never happen here. But now there are three dead Amish kids and a shooter to be tracked down and stopped. The quiet farm communities of Lancaster County are in shock and grief and it’s all dropped in Lt. Sam Deland’s lap.

From my recently released crime novel, GROUND EFFECT:

The horses seemed to know. Sunday morning in Lancaster County meant the small roads would be lined with horse chestnuts before the Amish meeting house sheds filled up with gray and black buggies.

Aaron Stoltzfus was just old enough to be trusted by his father to pull the black gelding out and rig the dress harness that was only used for meeting days. Amish pride disguised as function. The breeding of fine horses, craftsmanship of harness and the spotless black and grey paint of the buggy were vanities tolerated among the plain people. Aaron led the spirited gelding out into the fresh air and tied off his halter. He brushed the loose hairs from the horse with a stiff brush and turned to go back into the barn for the harness. He fell in the sawdust and loose hay halfway through the doorway, a crimson stain growing in the middle of his small back as he left his earthly bonds.

The bullet travelled almost two hundred yards and the sound covered the distance many times slower than the projectile. Aaron probably heard the gunshot before he died but well after death began to enter his body. No one else was outside at that moment and could not have seen the movement just inside the tree line at the far end of the pasture.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s