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Horrific, recurring nightmares are making Danielle Reynolds’ life miserable. Losing sleep and falling grades lead her to seek help from her college counselor, a psychologist, and against her better judgment, a psychic medium. To her amazement, she discovers her dead grandfather is trying to contact her to prove his innocence in the murders of the Cunningham family on Halloween night back in 1971. Turning to the police, she convinces a handsome young officer to reopen the murder investigation.
Officer Joel Adams isn’t sure if he believes the beautiful woman who claims to have new information about an old murder. But she knows things not written in the police reports, things his grandfather never mentioned when he worked the case years before. Despite his doubts, he can’t resist helping her discover the truth about the past that links them together in the present.
Rating: non-romance Adult Content
Page Count: 336
Word Count: 81005
After the Reynolds family left, I hardly noticed their absence. I must have sat on the porch for several hours, contemplating what lay ahead and what was in the past. How could I have allowed my family’s murderer to enjoy his life all these years without any consequences for his appalling actions? I could’ve found him and killed him with my bare hands. He left me behind to find justice for my family. To search him out. To see that he paid. I was a fool for waiting all these years. Yes, originally, I was sick physically and mentally. Then I simply had no desire to live. I was a zombie, not knowing if I ate or drank, if I was dead or alive. Then when my brain finally accepted the tragedy, I tried unsuccessfully to kill myself several times. Was I supposed to stay alive for some reason, perhaps predestined to find this maniac? Then why did it take me so long?
I walked to the lake to cleanse my mind. I slowly waded into the cool water until it was up to my waist, then my neck, and then I was totally submerged. Should I stand underwater until my lungs could not escape the murky liquid? Should I end it now in defeat? No! I swiftly jumped up, spraying and splashing as my body broke through the water’s surface. I rapidly swam back to shore. I was ready to live again.
For the remainder of the day, I went through the Gunderson House, checking for anything I wanted to keep and placing it in my bedroom. One of the things I found in Mom’s closet was her heavy, black metal strongbox. Mom and Dad’s important records were kept in it. The key was in Mom’s bedroom bureau in the Cunningham House under the fake bottom of her dainties’ drawer. I placed the strongbox in my bedroom. Night was approaching, and I was tired. I postponed any further search of the Gunderson House until morning.
The next day, I pulled down the attic stairs in the hallway. Mom had a set of luggage stored there, hopefully in useable condition to hold the meager belongings I planned to take. As I peeked my head above the floor level, shining my lantern around the space, I had both feelings of nostalgia and deja vu. Climbing onto the attic floor and disturbing the thick layer of dust covering the mementos and keepsakes, I remembered the joy in my discarded toys—metal die-cast cars, rusted tin soldiers, worn baseballs, gloves, and bats. My white stallion rocking horse Dad had made. My cradle, also made by Dad. My children had used it as babies too. We were planning to use it for the child Mary carried in her womb.
Looking through the large canvas and metal trunk in the corner of the attic, I found Mom’s wedding dress, carefully wrapped in blue tissue paper. Mary had it altered to wear on our wedding day. Betsy Ann had expressed a desire to wear it for her wedding. I’d never be able to walk her down the aisle.
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