“Healing Stone” is the debut novel from author Brock Booher, who makes a living as a commercial airline pilot.
Booher resides in the Phoenix, Ariz., area, which is a friendly environment for writers. With the desert’s stifling heat, wordsmiths like Booher are more likely to say indoors and hone their craft during their free time.
Although this is the final installment in April’s Fiction Fest series, there’s no reason to panic, we’ll be back with more excerpts from our May releases–“Uncovering Cobbogoth” by Hannah Clark and “What is Hidden” by Lauren Skidmore–beginning this Friday.
In the meantime, kick off your shoes and drink in a sampling of “Healing Stone.”
Hazel Owens, a young girl suffering from the effects of polio has sought Stone to be healed. Stone is afraid and doesn’t think he can do it, and only agrees to try because his brother Leck insists. This is the exchange between Stone and his invalid brother.
Before she got out the door I was glaring at Leck. “What are you doing? I can’t do anything for her daughter,” I said. My voice had become a high-pitched nervous whine.
Mama had left the kitchen and stood behind Leck. She said, “Stone, we all saw what you did for Samuel. We believe you can do it.”
“Believe?” I continued in my panicked voice, “I don’t even know where to begin.” I could feel a nervous knot forming in my stomach. I shook my head and said, “I can’t do it!” I started for the stairs and up to my bedroom, but when I tried to pass Leck he held up his right crutch and blocked my way.
“You gonna run away you coward?” he snarled. His face looked like a drill sergeant dressing down a deserter. “Do you know what its like to need crutches everyday?” he asked, continuing his attack. “You get up everyday and plant your feet on the floor without even thinking about it. When you run up and down the basketball court does it ever occur to you that thousands of people don’t have that privilege? Look!” he ordered, pointing to the front door with his chin.
I turned and through the screen door saw Mrs. Owens helping her daughter on crutches shuffle up the walkway.
“Don’t you think she wants to run? Don’t you think she wants roll out of bed, plant her bare feet on the floor, and stand without help?” He hobbled closer and got right in my face. “Don’t be a coward. You owe it to her to at least try. Why else would God give you a gift like that?” He pointed to the door with his head again. “Say the words and try,” he hissed.
He stepped back and smiled as Mrs. Owens opened the door for Hazel. I turned and feigned a smile as well. Mama said, “Y’all take a seat on the couch. Would you care for a glass of water or some iced tea?”
Mrs. Owens shook her head and helped her daughter to the couch. They both looked like they just stepped into a Sears and Roebuck store with a twenty-dollar bill burning a hole in their pocket. Hazel looked up at me like I was the dress she had been saving up to buy for months.