The Mystery of Lightning Cove A novel

Lightning Cove in Austin, Texas, has a tragic past. When Ted Carron and his friends head there on Halloween, they meet some smugglers and other criminals, who are intent on keeping their search for a gold statue that's worth a lot of money.

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1. Lightning Cove-Austin, Texas-Halloween, October 31, 2016

~~~~

​Ted Carron ​gazed into the rugged coastline near Austin, Texas. He was eager to believe in mysteries that couldn't be solved by other adventurers. He saw Mrs. Frank, the English Teacher, smile at him. "What are you doing for your vacation, Ted?", she asked him.

"I'm going to Lightning Cove", he answered her. Mrs. Frank's face went pale.

"That's a dangerous place to go to". Ted nodded. He had seen a map of the cove last week when he was sick with the flu; he was thinking of a perfect place to spend Halloween. He looked around to see Mike Greg fumbling with a brown coloured pen. He smiled, as he heard the sound of the bell to end the day at school. Ted, who was fourteen, gazed at his I-pad. He placed it in his black bag, then he saw Kate Sheppard watching him. She was relaxed, as she wrote down a note to complete her English homework. Ted sensed she was being watched. He smiled at her. Then, feeling self-conscious, she spoke in a superior, English voice: "​What do you want?​", she asked him. "I was considering if you'd like to join me in a hunt for a treasure at Lightning Cove, Kate", he answered her. Kate, who was too busy writing, was surprised. "Me! I don't know...". Mike smiled at them. Mrs. Sheppard, who gripped her felt pen in her left hand, spoke. "Everyone can go now. See you in the next term". And they headed out of the classroom door, and walked home.

~~~~

Ted walked down the long hallway.

He opened the front door.

"Hello, Ted", Kate said.

"Hello, Ted. Where's Mike?", he asked her.

"Here", he answered her.

She gripped her books in her hands.

"Lightning Cove is three miles to the north of Texas", Ted said.

"I heard that it's full of smugglers", Mike added.

"They could be dangerous", Kate said. She saw her parents' blue 2003 Mazda. She looked at Professor Harry Sheppard and Mrs. Allie Sheppard, his wife. When she told them about Lightning Cove, they gave her permission to go there with Mike and Ted.

"Thank you", Kate said.

And she smiled.

~~~~

Lightning Cove's raging sea battered the coastline of Texas. Ted, Mike, and Kate walked towards the front edge; Ted shivered as he pondered on whether smugglers were up to no good. Suddenly they grabbed their bags. "I know David Cove, the owner. He is expecting us", Ted said. Up ahead they saw several fishermen. They were fishing for flake. Kate looked at them.

"It's freezing". Mike agreed. He was about to say something when David Cove walked towards the teenagers. "Good afternoon, Ted. Let's go inside Lightning Cove. It'll be warmer". Ted nodded. The three of them walked towards the front door which was cast in iron; Mike and Kate followed their friend into the immense looking house. By four o'clock PM, David grabbed a steel key in his hands. He opened the front door, and walked towards the red coloured carpet that was the beginning of the spacious room that led to the servant's quarters from 1883. Ted gasped in surprise. He was sure that Lightning Cove's reputation for smuggling was something that was part of the early American way of getting rich quick almost two decades after the Civil War ended in 1865. Kate stared at the framed pictures of the Cove family. She looked at the six pictures, and shuddered. David smiled.

"I'll get the firewood from outside. It'll be warmer during the night". She nodded. Mike focused on the bedrooms. He was about to say something when a woman arrived near the tall hallway. She watched the children with cold blue eyes.

"David, you didn't tell me that we had guests". She glided towards Ted.

"I know you. You're Lisa Cove". She grinned, as she looked at Kate and Mike, "I'm sure that you'll be spending the weekend here", she said. Ted nodded, and so did his friends.

"They'll be fine, dear", David Cove said.

And he smiled, as Lisa Cove sighed...and remained silent for the rest of the evening.

~~~

Ted was used to disappointment. He was sure that the Great Gold Statue of Texas, (as it was called), was valuable to smugglers and collectors on-line. He glanced at Mike and Kate. "Do you think that the smugglers will be here?", Kate asked them.

"Yes", Ted answered her.

"How do you know?", Mike challenged him.

"​I ​know that everyone wants to have the statue. It's worth two million dollars". Ted opened the tan door. He flicked on the light. He saw three beds, a window,  and a black cupboard that was in the middle of the room. Kate, who wore a red dress, glanced at the spare clothes on their beds. "It's going to be fine now". She glanced at the window. As she did so, Lisa Cove smiled at them. Then, by five o'clock PM, she said: "I decided that there'll be new clothes for the evening". She was wearing a black dress. Her eyes focused on the cove, as if she knew what was going on, leaving everyone blinded by the news that the mystery of the house remained so. Ted walked to the bathroom. He opened the door, then closed it.

****

The smuggler, Thad Grimes, grinned at his friends. "We're close to the Harping Statues". He smoked a cigarette; he focused on the lighthouse at Lightning Cove. He had dreamed of making a fortune that would make him rich. It wasn't his fault that Carter Shields had disappeared under mysterious circumstances. He didn't need to believe in the eerie story of deaths near the beach. He was a man who had made his money off illegal means, mainly gambling in town. Simon Throws, a fellow smuggler, also smoked a cigarette. He had a mean scar on his left cheek after a fight in the darkened Inn three years' ago. "David Cove won't know about anything", Thad said. He stomped onto the cigarette with his right, black, boot. The fiery embers were smoked out. He then they walked towards the shoreline, where the strong currents lashed the sharp cliffs of Lightning Cove.

****

 

 

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