In my book, Beyond the Shadows, a large portion of it takes place at Michael Hawkins’ home. Read below for a description of this fascinating place…
About a mile down the road, he flipped off his headlights. We drove on for another half a mile, with me panicking silently in the passenger seat. He turned onto a dirt road, and the theme from Deliverance popped into my head. We continued in utter darkness for a few more miles. The woods lining the road were dense, barely illuminated by the moonlight. The night seemed like it was closing in on me, and I was wondering if it would swallow me whole. I realized that the further we drove away from the road, the less likely I could be found if I was hurt, starving, or in need of emergency resuscitation.
Just when I started thinking I really was going to be killed and left for dead, a house came into view. From first glance, it looked like a heap of stone, but drawing closer, you could tell that it truly wasn’t a heap at all. This was a Tudor castle. I could make out a stone turret on the back far left corner. Small windows decked each floor about ten feet apart, with arches and stained glass ovals for decoration. The roof was lined with battlements just begging to be walked on for a wonderful view. There was no moat, but there was a garden maze to the left of the building, creating a natural bit of defense around the property. Tall trees lined the drive leading up to the gate. I was dumbstruck by his home.
I let out a soft, breathless “ooh” before I could catch myself. “That’s yours?” I breathed, not taking my eyes from the house.
Michael chuckled. “Yeah, that’s mine. You’ll see it in just a minute.” He pulled up to the gate, which was actually two huge wooden doors held in place by stone columns topped with angry gargoyles. The doors were roughly 15 feet high and probably six inches thick. A keypad was hidden in the bushes just to the left, and Michael reached out his window to enter a series of letters and numbers. The Kong-sized doors opened and he pulled through, circling around the oyster shell driveway. A waterfall fountain, lush with ferns and backed by several birch trees, took up residence in the center of the circle. A small pond at the base was decorated with happily swimming bright orange Koi fish.
Michael stopped just in front of the steps leading to the main house. I began to unbuckle, eager to get out of his car and see this magical place.