The Order of the Beloved L. D. Anderson
ldandersonbooks.com
Winner: Editor's Choice and Publisher's Choice Awards!
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Here is a sample of the writing from the award winning novel, The Order of the Beloved:


    There was a scream. It was a whopper. It came from beyond the gravel parking area, beyond the picnic table, way on the other side of the garbage can, almost from the river. Kaylynn let it out.

    While we were discussing Nathan’s note and her new name, neither Sylvia nor I had kept watch on the children, who were roaming around somewhere in the meadow that hugged the bank of the Madison River. More than likely, Sherry and Jeremy had tagged along behind Kaylynn as she traipsed around the grassland, determined to get a good, close look at a real, live buffalo. Kaylynn had led them to within twenty yards of the water. She had also taken them within a hundred feet of an enormous bull, one that I had noticed earlier when he was pawing at a stump, digging for new shoots of grass.
    It is difficult to find fault with a child in such a situation. The mid-morning air was fresh, pristine in its chlorophyllose cleanliness. The sun beamed brightly, happily, as it reviewed the parade of fluffy white clouds that sauntered before it. The river’s waters sparkled in the sun’s rays as they danced and bubbled around the moss-sheathed boulders in their bed. The verdant meadow, grass whipping in the breeze, each blade fain for resurgent life, spread out from the river to the edge of the forest on one side and to the perimeter of the gravel parking lot on the other. On both sides of the river, the buffalo and the elk chomped the new-grown grass with slow, rolling jaws. To a child, the animals appeared as tranquil as their surroundings. Kaylynn and her rank had stationed themselves for a much closer view of the buffalo.
    The huge bull was disheveled and ornery. He was wearing the worse half of a winter coat that was no longer functional. His dark brown mane was—mangy. The thick hair on his hump and rump was falling out in fitful clumps. His legs looked as if they had been trimmed, here and there, by a drunken barber. It had been a long winter. He was hot and hungry and wanted to be left alone to feed and to shed.
    He must have snorted and pawed the ground just before Kaylynn screamed, because when I looked out over Sylvia’s shoulder and across the meadow, I saw the bull slowly shake and raise his wide, dark head, paw again, and then charge.
    “Oh, shit,” I mumbled. I had jumped up from the picnic table and was racing into the meadow before Sylvia had time to turn completely around. The kids were at least a hundred feet in front of me and less than that from the bison. Sherry hauled her baby brother a step or two, but then dropped him and scampered toward safety. Kaylynn, still screaming for help, tripped as she stooped to pick up Jeremy and then toppled over him.
    The buffalo was advancing so swiftly that he had closed to within sixty feet of the children in the mere seconds that it took for Kaylynn to reach for her brother and fall down. His hooves pounded the earth like syncopated thunderclaps. He snorted once; the air burst out of his nostrils in a high-pressured grunt. I waved my arms and shouted as I ran, hoping to distract the charging beast, nearly certain that I would fail. He was less than fifty feet from Kaylynn and Jeremy, his hulk of a head bent, his horns pointed, bearing down on them. He would not turn aside.