When the Bough Rakes

by Mercy Loomis

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2012 by Mercy Loomis

Cover design by Mercy Loomis. Photography by Tommy Schultz.

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portion thereof, in any form. This ebook may not be resold or uploaded for distribution to others.

This is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead (or undead), is entirely coincidental.

Dillon had hardly been home for an hour when he snuck out the back door of his parents' house. In the general hubbub of arrivals he doubted anyone would notice, but they were probably used to it by now, anyway. He'd heard his mother telling his aunts and uncles before about how he always had to go "visit the land," with a catch in her voice that meant she was all misty-eyed, thinking about his childhood and how her baby was all grown up.

He hunched his shoulders and walked faster.

The family used to own considerable acreage out here, but over the years parcels had been sold off one at a time as there were fewer bodies willing to do the work. Now they didn't farm at all, unless you counted his mother's garden, and most of what was left was forest.

Dillon slipped under the canopy's shadow with a sigh and a guilty glance over his shoulder. He hadn't been out since school started, and as much as he missed his family, anticipation burned like an itch in his blood. College life was wonderful, but even after three months he felt like he was still figuring things out, not quite comfortable in his new surroundings. He could be open out there, he figured. Soon.

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