Fallen Star (part 25)

No one had told her and Stacy what had happened to their mother, other than she was dead. Their father and step-mother had kept media out of the house, no television or radios had been turned on without them being present, they’d stopped their subscription to the newspaper, and had enrolled Stacy and Jodi in a private school across town at the start of the school year.

Nothing stops gossip, though, especially when it involves murder. Not long after school started, Jodi and Stacy were pulled out again, with a plan to home school them for a year.

Jodi’s only piece of information was the vision—the strength of which had faded with Dr. Mitchell’s pills and her own anxiety over having had it to begin with. That wasn’t enough. She needed to know more.

Last night, she’d convinced her step-mother to take her to the library with the pretense of finding a book. Her half brother, four-year-old Henry, had begged to join them, something Jodi had counted on. With Henry there, her step-mother would have her hands full. She’d found newspapers with articles written about her mom and made copies. She was putting the folded sheets of paper in her backpack when her step-mother came to find her. “Ready? Did you find the book?”

Jodi avoided eye contact as she answered. “Um, yeah.” Jodi shook her backpack. “Checked it out already.”
She didn’t like lying to her step-mother. She generally avoided lying. Their mom had had an uncanny sense when either of them lied, and had no patience for it. But this was necessary, Jodi reasoned. She had become a half orphan, without being given the reasons why.

The cell phone buzzed against her back. Jodi reached around and read the text message. “checking in. ok?” It was her father.

Jodi swiftly texted back. “yes. ok. bck soon.” She tossed the cell phone in the backpack beside her and began reading the articles.

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