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When Deina Hauschild’s mother was murdered three years earlier, the authorities were convinced they’d caught and convicted the right man, but Deina’s not so sure. Just like before, the ominous phone calls come whenever it rains, the whispering voice warning… Now Deina is being stalked.
With the help of her best friend, Micah Day, Deina solves the murder of a young girl at the community playhouse. The identity of the mystery lady who keeps appearing, then disappears into thin air brings Deina together with loved ones she thought lost forever, and straight into Micah’s arms.
How had anyone ever thought Elmo’s children would ever be free of him? Frustration pushed Deina up from the swing and into her shoes.
A pretty young woman with copper colored curls appeared on the path along the cliff. Deina stared across the lawn, afraid to call out to her. The woman stood too close to the edge of the cliff. If she weren’t careful, and Deina startled her, she could go over the side.
Slowly, Deina made her way along the front walk toward the gate. Spikes of delphinium and larkspur were as tall as the white picket fence. "Excuse me," she spoke softly, in an attempt to keep from alarming the woman. Large, round green eyes filled with fright stared back at her when the woman turned to face her.
"You’re too close to the edge, I don’t want you to fall. Where do you live? I haven’t seen you around here before," Deina spoke carefully.
A gust of wind blew in from the water, bringing with it the scent of saltwater. The woman opened her mouth as if she planned to speak. Deina cried out when the woman disappeared into thin air. She threw open the gate and rushed to the cliff, certain the mysterious visitor had fallen over the side. She searched the area carefully. Deina couldn’t find any sign of the stranger.
Deina paused to catch her breath. "Great. Now I’m seeing things," she muttered.
She refused to think of Elmo, Varga, the play, or the imaginary woman any longer. A trip to the Blue Ribbon would wash away the hateful mood she was in today.
~ * ~
Deina plopped down on the red vinyl stool in front of the soda fountain where Micah leaned against the counter.
"What will it be for you this evening?" he asked.
She placed her purse on the counter next to her. "Make it a double."
Micah cocked an eyebrow. "Foul mood tonight, huh?"
She sighed. "You don’t even want to know."
He rested his elbows on the counter top and peered at her. "Would you care for anything else?"
She sighed again. "How about my usual?"
"Coming up." He stepped back and reached up on a shelf. When he turned, he handed her a couple of aspirin and a glass of water.
She smiled. "Thanks, Micah."
"Be right back." He tapped the red and white Formica counter and walked through the swinging door to the kitchen.
Deina pressed the bridge of her nose between a thumb and index finger, urging the pounding in her head to go away. How she would love to have a neck massage to ease the stress building along the base of her skull.
"Double espresso." Micah set the cup of steaming black coffee in front of her.
She looked up to see his nose wrinkled in disgust.
"I don’t know how you can drink that stuff," he commented.
"This is the only place I can find that makes it the way I like it, so you should feel honored."
Micah removed a deck of cards from under the counter. "It’s a real privilege to watch you after the jolt of caffeine hits." He shuffled the cards. "An even better one is when you’ve ‘OD’d’ on the cholesterol from a double cheeseburger and fries."
She cocked an eyebrow at him. "Which is cooking in the kitchen, right?"
"Yes, ma’am, that would be correct. You can cut the deck while I go check on your meal." He pushed the ball cap back on his sandy colored curls.
Deina tapped a fingernail on the top card. The bell above the door jingled, breaking her concentration. She glanced up at a mirror located in the corner and smiled. Josie Garcia and her boyfriend of eight years came every Thursday night for a banana split before a movie at Turner’s.
Micah returned with a plate laden with hot, greasy French fries and the requested double cheeseburger. "You haven’t cut the cards yet."
She rested the palm of her hand over the stack and glanced up at him. "I was just wondering how we got started doing this."
I continue to reside in the state where I was born and raised. One of three daughters, I would stand at the kitchen sink daydreaming of different lifetimes I believed I’d lived before. With each passing year, I continue to wonder about past life experiences, déjà vu, and the blueprint of life we are all born with. As time continues, I hope to discover more of my own past lives through my studies. With the help of my guides I believe this will be a major accomplishment for me.
I am surrounded by my four children, my beautiful grandchildren and my sisters, who love me, but don’t always understand me. My parents offer me their encouragement from their home state, by reading my books, then telling their friends. I am blessed to share my living space with my cat, Gracie, who only knows true and unconditional love. Which she’s bound and determined to teach me in this lifetime.
I am constantly being challenged with new thoughts and ideas by my close circle of friends. They never know when something they say may start to smolder and flame into a new story.
I would love to hear from each of you and you may reach me at Sthornton@neb.rr.com.
In the combined tradition of Tami Hoag and Dean Koonz, author Sue Thornton creates a spellbinding tale of horror and murder.– Cindy Penn, Word weaving
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 288
Paper Weight (lb): 12.1
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