Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Sacred Secrets, A Jacody Ives Mystery - Meet the Characters
Charity Froste closed her eyes. She could see the huge ugly bird as it descended. Red eyes glowing like the embers of fire. Snow white fangs that devoured everything in its path.
The wind howled, shrieked and sent forth blood-chilling screams. Tree limbs slapped and scraped the sides of the house, like the huge bird’s dagger-like talons.
The bones never lied.
Charity tossed the fossil stones, her eyes still closed. She would not easily be devoured. The white fangs, red eyes and razor sharp talons of the Piasa held no fear for her. She had faced it before. She feared little beyond the balance. And the balance had shifted. Billy had called the white wolf, weaved the dreams, and she had done what she had to do.
A distinct chill blew across her nape.
She opened her eyes, studied the bones. The bones never lied.
Coming into another curve Billy shifted his right foot, letting off the gas pedal, allowing the vehicle to gradually slow. His gaze drifted to the leather satchel on the seat beside him. His destiny. His grandfather had been so proud when he’d killed the buck. They’d worked side by side for days as his grandfather explained every stitch, each design, so that one day Billy could make the satchel for his own grandson. Pass on the gift.
He’d been too young to understand why his grandmother had turned away from him, hands clenched at her side, eyes brimming with tears. She had known. Even then she had known this day would come.
Father Michael sighed, placing his hand over the knotted arthritic joints of Father Peter’s fingers. “I have prayed, Father. I pray daily that God will take this cup from me.”
Father Peter felt the trembling in the hand covering his. Felt the despair. His words came unbidden. Words he knew not the source. Words he would ponder and regret in the days to come.
“Perhaps you must take the cup and drink from it.”
Father Michael embraced him. He had the forlorn feeling of being alone in the world. And that loneliness threatened to crush him. He whispered the words that sealed his fate. “Perhaps, Father. Perhaps I must.”
Claire felt her steps falter, a cold chill moving down her spine, descending down her legs. He sounded so smug. So sure of himself. Pretending to care. She wasn’t going to fall for his tricks. Not this time. And never again. They had been fine without him. Fine until he came back into their lives. Somehow this was his fault. She didn’t know how, but she knew Simon was behind Aaron’s unhappiness.
Claire refused to look at him. Give him the satisfaction of knowing he’d struck a nerve. She stood, hand poised over the doorknob. “You don’t know when to quit do you, Simon. You never understood Aaron, and you never will. Even at one in a million he’ll match. Katie O’Connor is one in a million. Don’t you go near Aaron again, and you stay the hell away from me.”
Katie wrung her hands in her lap as the intern took another curve, maneuvering the car onto the main highway at a rate of speed that was surely against the law. Everything was moving so fast. The tearful goodbye with Clover. The trip home. She had barely gotten unpacked before exhaustion overcame her. She’d slept most of yesterday, and then the phone had rung. Now the mad dash to the hospital. What exactly had Dr. Wagner said? We may have found you a heart. And what did that mean anyway? Was it possible that someone was dying as they rushed to the hospital? Could they maybe live? Had she truly gotten a pardon from death row, or was this some cruel joke of the executioner.
“Don’t go getting all happy on me, okay? I’m dying. You’re dying. That gives us something in common. It doesn’t make us best friends. In fact, if you look at it realistically it makes us pretty pathetic. We should be doing something absolutely amazing like diving to the bottom of the ocean, bungee jumping off the tallest building, or getting boinked by some good looking guy.” Clover paused for breath, swallowed hard and stated through gritted teeth, “Instead we’re just sitting here on death row.”
Jacody Ives smiled, flexed the fingers still gripping the sink. Evil attracts evil. He’d heard its call in the nightmare. He would answer. There’d never been any other choice for him. Evil knew his name.
The old man cackled, gumming away on another piece of bacon. “I tell you story.”
Tall Feather made himself comfortable on the couch, rubbing his greasy hands on the fabric.
“I, too, at times have a great hatred for those who have taken so much with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy.
“It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.”