Chapter 53: Suicide Mission

I came to on the taxi ride back to Plum’s house, with no memory of how I had gotten there. Any attempt to recall anything brought on a confusing jumble of images and sensations. It was a relief to just sit back and allow my mind to go blank. I didn’t find the emptiness strange, attributing it to exhaustion. From […]

Chapter 52: Marked For Death

I tried to free myself, but Aki just tightened his grip, dragged me over to a table in the corner, and forced me into a chair. Hiromi left the room. She returned carrying a long wooden box with strange swirling symbols burned into the lid. Not knowing what to expect escalated my anxiety. I pushed back my seat and stood […]

Chapter 51: The Tables Turn

I don’t recall much of what happened while I gazed at that painting. It all kind of runs together. What does stand out in my mind was the way Hiromi rifled through my pockets and purse, while the enchantment held me captivated. I realized that she had no intention of keeping her end of our bargain. She, like everyone else […]

Chapter 50: Out of My Mind

After Delilah admitted defeat and turned to leave, I stood watching with my heart galloping and chest heaving. Her posture may have been defeated, but anger still simmered in those dark brown eyes. Understanding for the first time where we stood, made watching my back around her a necessity. Part of me was hoping that she would attack again, so […]

Chapter 38: The Witching Hour

Marko noticed some of Janet’s blood on his shirt and crossed to the bathroom to it wash out. He stoppered the sink’s drain and turned on the faucets. Over the sound of running water, he heard Janet talking. “Oh look Andrea. Esmerelda’s strange little cat must have followed us. How did it get onto the balcony? Poor thing is probably […]

Chapter 37: Cursed

The family meeting had been productive.  They were all in agreement that their little investigation had unearthed some important facts.  Even though at the moment, the significance of those facts escaped them.  Like the outer pieces of a puzzle, they still needed to fill in the details in order to get the big picture. Joshua had requested that Richard ask […]

Chapter 36: A Startling Development.

The next morning, Harriet was in the throes of a nightmare. Richard’s knocking on her bedroom door fell on deaf ears. Not sure if she was in her room, he opened the door.  His sister was tossing and turning in bed. Richard walked to Harriet’s bedside and said her name softly. When that failed to rouse her, he reached down […]

Chapter 30: Richard Goes Another Round With Officer Foster.

Richard awoke with a jolt. He didn’t even recall falling asleep. It was early evening. Time to get down to the police station. The last thing Richard wanted to do was to give that Foster bastard an excuse to roll up in front of his house with his siren blaring and dome lights flashing. He shuddered to think what the […]

Chapter 28: Delilah Shows Me The Ropes.

Delilah looked at me calmly, “So what are you gonna do about Flame?” I opened my mouth and closed it again, shaking my head wearily.  A dull pinpoint of pain was forming between my eyes, “I’m so tired, I can’t even think straight.  What I want is for all this to go away.  I used to pray for my life […]

Chapter 22: Things Take an Unexpected Turn.

The siblings rode in companionable silence, lost in their own thoughts. Rachel was first to break the silence, “When I woke up the other night and realized I was still in Nicole’s kitchen, I was alone. Nicole and Thomas were in the other room having some sort of heated discussion.” “What were they saying?” “They were talking too softly for […]

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