The Proposal (part 30)

“Did anyone in the compound know your mom before she, you know, died?” Mearzt asked gently. “Probably. Maybe. I don’t’ know,” Ayn cried, her throat tight with tears. What if she couldn’t recover the images from the frames hard drive? “And even if there is, why would they do this?” “Don’t know,” Mearzt said through

The Proposal (part 9)

Even with all of that, Ayn couldn’t help feeling like they were running away. It had been a year since her mom had died. And while she knew she’d never see her mom again, leaving somehow made that fact seem even more real. Like somehow, living and breathing in the same walls where her mom

Fallen Star (part 32)

Jodi watched the tattooed lady place a card on the table. As the first ornately illustrated card touched the tablecloth, a story—like a silent movie—began playing in her mind’s eye. The street fair. People. Everywhere. Stacy buying cotton candy. Mom leaving them by the snack cart. The second card went down. Mom. Walking quickly to

Fallen Star (part 26)

It began to rain. Jodi barely noticed. As soon as she saw her mom’s name, tears pricked her eyes and spilled over, mixing with the rain drops hitting the paper. It wasn’t long before it was impossible to tell if it was tears or rain making the words harder to read. Brenda May Sutters, aged

Fallen Star (part 15)

She would never recall with any kind of clarity what happened in the next few hours. After some time passed, glimmers of foggy memories would slip in.. …being swept away by officers in blue… …being asked questions… “How did you know something had happened to your mother?” “The tattooed lady put the picture in my

Fallen Star (part 14)

“What about their mother?” someone asked. Throughout the crowd, other voices echoed the sentiment. “Please folks, move along,” the officer instructed. Jodi watched the tattooed woman leave with the rest of the crowd. She didn’t understand. Why was she leaving? How could she do that? She was the only other one who knew. She tried

Fallen Star (part 12)

Jodi’s fear made her bold, made her strong enough to push her way through the jostling crowd, while Stacy held tight to her waist. Breathless, she reached the inner circle. Anger. In the air. On her skin. In her mind. Pouring out her mouth. “They killed her!” Jodi screamed. The officer only took time to

Fallen Star (part 11)

The crowd closed in around the downed boys, their joined voices an excited rumble of indistinguishable noise. In the distance, sirens blared, their wail becoming more shrill as they drew nearer to the street fair. “I want mama!” Stacy wailed, tears and snot flowing freely. “Let’s go to that lost and found.” Jodi looked at

Fallen Star (part 9)

Jodi gasped as she broke out of the shared vision. “No, no, no, no, no!” she cried. The plump woman swayed where she stood. She was sweaty and pale, hands shaking so hard the cards cascaded to the asphalt in a swirl of color. And the three teenaged boys—the same from their shared vision—ran down