I think all authors like to test their ability to step out of the comfort zone and try something different. Callie's Grave is intended to be a Romantic Suspense. We'll see if I can carry that off without killing anyone - because truthfully we start with the dead. This is a first draft so bear with me if you see grammatical errors as it has not been through my trusted Beta Readers or Editor at the moment.
Hopefully coming soon....
Faith Hollister stood at the edge of the small yard in front of the old cabin, her eyes adjusting to the light as dusk faded into a velvety blackness surrounding her. She'd had these dreams all her life, but this one was different. This time she could feel not only the light breeze on her face, but the cool damp grass beneath her feet. And she could smell the muskiness of the forest that lay just behind the old cabin. Her senses were primed and wide open.
Her vision adjusted to the darkness and she watched as the figure approached from the forest his body not yet fully manifested. Sadness enveloped her, squeezing at her heart. He wasn't a child, but although the features weren't clear, he wasn't an adult either. Perhaps that's why the dream was different. The emotions of the young were always more intense, stronger in their passion to reach her. And more painful for her to bear.
He motioned for her to follow him, and she moved across the yard, pushing aside the first tree branches and entering the forest. She wanted to ask him questions, but knew from past experience he wouldn't give her any answers. She would simply have to follow where he led.
The darkness of the forest closed around her, the night sounds sharp and distinct as birds squawked at their passage. How could the birds know she was here? She wasn't really here, was she?
They walked for what seemed to be miles, traveling an overgrown path through the forest to a small clearing. A huge oak tree stood in the center of a perfect circle. A body hung from the first limb, gently swaying in the breeze. Faith glanced at her companion. "Is this what you wanted me to see?"
He nodded, his lips set in a grim line.
"And this is what you want me to paint?"
He shook his head and pointed to the hanging figure.
Faith stepped into the clearing, approaching the tree slowly. If this wasn't what he wanted her to paint, then why was here?
She circled the tree, studying the body as she would any subject before painting. He was young, perhaps between thirteen and fifteen. Tanned from the sun his body glistened in the moonlight as muscled legs twitched.
Faith glanced back at her companion only to find him gone. The body turned and she gasped as a strong breeze blew the shoulder length brown hair away from the bloated blue face. A once handsome young man, he was now distorted beyond recognition by hours without oxygen, eyes red and bulging. The eyes blinked, and the swollen tongue disappeared for just a moment as tortured lips opened and a raspy voice filled her ears.
. We must all pay for our sins. Fairfax, Connecticut