Guest Blog: Excerpt from Soul Scent by Reyna Favis

 

Excerpt from Soul Scent:

“Can you tell me about the baby?”

Cam lifted a shoulder and then stared at the bottle in his hands. “Not much to tell, really. It was 1975 and I was working a job in Kings Worthy.” Glancing at me, he elaborated. “That’s in England. It’s a very old place. It was listed in the Domesday Book – you know, the survey taken in 1066?”

I bristled a little. “By William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest. I know. I was a history major, remember?”

Nodding, Cam took up the story again. “Anyway, I was busy trying to lay the ghost of a Victorian clergyman who had taken up residence in the old church. At the same time, there was an archaeological dig taking place in the churchyard. They were interested in the old Anglo-Saxon burials and they eventually unearthed the skeletal remains of a young woman.” He took another drink and affected nonchalance as he continued the story. “Lying between the long bones of her legs, they found the skull of a full-term infant, but the fetal leg bones were still clearly within her pelvic cavity.”

“A coffin birth?” My eyes went wide at this thought.

Cam nodded again. “It happens. A pregnant woman dies and is buried and because of pressure from the gases that build up during decomposition, the dead fetus is expelled from the equally dead mother.” Looking down at his hands again, Cam picked at the label on the bottle. “Anyway, shortly after this find, the cries of a baby could be heard coming from the graveyard. It so disturbed the archaeological team that no one wanted to dig anymore and the work came to a grinding halt.”

 

“And did it also disturb you? Cam, I can tell this is difficult to talk about.”

Cam rolled his eyes and exhaled deeply, his words were clipped. “Yes, right. It bothered me a great deal. The baby was an innocent and completely blameless, yet she was left to suffer horribly for centuries.”

“But wasn’t the mother with the baby? How did you finally help her to move on?”

“I went into the churchyard with Zackie late one night to find the baby. The mother was nowhere to be found, so I assume she crossed over shortly after her death.”

“She left the baby?” My mouth hung open, aghast at the thought of just taking off and leaving an infant.

“She probably didn’t know the baby remained. In her time, the belief was that unbaptized infants went to Limbo, so in all likelihood, she died assuming that the baby would find its way and be taken care of.” Cam shrugged again. “Who knows? All I know is that earthbound souls of infants are a rarity, so most of the time, they move on with no difficulties. Something went wrong for this one.” Cam frowned as he stared into the middle distance for a beat. “But, you know, as soon as she saw Zackie, she quieted and stopped crying. Getting her to go through the portal was a breeze compared to the clergyman. I had to work another two weeks before the clergyman moved on.”

********
Bio:
Reyna Favis is the author of SOUL SEARCH and SOUL SCENT, modern tales of the psychopomp set in the search and rescue world. Reyna holds a Ph.D. in biology and brings a scientist’s critical eye to the unseen world, imposing logical consistency and mechanistic detail to the unexplained. A proud and militant introvert, Reyna exerts her power as mistress of the dark arts of introversion through her blog, Introvert Broadcasting Network. When not writing, she responds to callouts as a canine handler for search and rescue.
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