A Dormant Howl

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Chapter 15

Chapter 15: New Beginning, new Memories

May 2002

~ Unknown Person ~

“Thank you for coming, Sister Junia. We did not know what to do about Delta Rose,” the principal for the local high school insisted nervously. The silent nun watched the man, noting that he had some strange red splotches on his tie and button up shirt. Motioning with her hands, she tried to non-verbally indicate her concern about the blood on his clothes.

“N-none of its mine, or Delta Roses’,” He tried to reassure her, though the woman did not respond. Stopping in front of a door, he ushered her into the Nurse’s office. As they walked into the room, the strong scent of iron and ammonia assaulted her senses, nearly knocking her over.

Steeling herself, she walked through and took in the small room. There were beds lining the walls, only two of them occupied--a teenage boy, a junior or senior by the looks of him, possibly a football player. Sister Junia did not bat an eye at the boy’s disheveled and bloodied exterior. It was not her first time dealing with the aftermath of one of Delta Rose’s “accidents.”

Turning away, Sister Junia soon spots the girl, though she does not need to look too hard. Those red curls are hard to hide, as well as her bloodied fists and ill-fitting clothes. Sighing, Sister Junia walked over and stopped at the edge of the girl’s cot. The girl’s jaw sets and her eyes stare at the ground, not daring to reach the nun’s eyes. Kneeling down, the nun noticed that the girl’s eyes were swimming with unshed tears...but it was not sorrow. It was anger and fear.

Turning, the nun glared at the Principal and the boy. When neither of them moved, Sister Junia stood up and crossed her arms uncharacteristically over her chest.

“Leave us,” She croaked. Everyone jumped at the sound of her smooth, rasping voice. Though she could not see Delta Rose’s reaction, she almost felt that she could hear the girl’s jaw dropping in shock.

“B-but the boy, he’s--”

“Well enough to glare, and his legs are not broken. Please, leave us.” Sister Junia snapped, voice rising slightly. Muttering under his breath, the Principal gently ushered the young man out of the room. Once the door had closed and they could not hear his footsteps, Sister Junia turned to stare at her young charge.

As Delta Rose had grown older, she had felt different, almost like she was being held back. She developed this rather large chip on her shoulder that would get her into a lot of trouble that the nuns, including Sister Junia, had categorized as sinful. She had a wild, almost animal like spirit-- a fire that couldn’t be contained and the effects of that fire would rage, igniting civil unrest and discord wherever she went. In this case, school.

Delta Rose did not bother to meet her eyes, instead just staring down at her ratty penny loafers--a donation. Sister Junia took in her young charge, noting the way her clothes hung about her. A long blue green plaid flannel shirt, an off-white lace lined ribbed tank top (another hand-me-down item), tucked over a conservative brown and black ankle length skirt. Though the nun had not bothered with looking at magazines or been into fashion since joining the sisterhood of believers, she knew of one of the few possibilities she had likely lashed out.

Sighing, she sat down on the other side of Delta Rose, waiting for the girl to say something. She had already broken her vow to speak, she did not want to further incriminate herself in the eyes of her Father. Yet, noting the mulish expression on the girl’s stubborn reddening face, she knew that while her sisters would not understand, that God would.

“So what was it this time? Your clothes, your parents, where you live…?” Sister Junia croaked out, listing off some of the various reasons her young charge had given for picking fights. Silence.

Sister Junia looked up, noting the look on the girl’s face, the way she held her head high and proud. Sister Junia knew that look, having witnessed it once or twice when some of the heathen children of the parish had cast stones or mud at the nuns.

“Who were you trying to save or keep safe from that boy?” Sister Junia asked softly. The girl stirred, taking a shaking breath before turning and lying across the bed diagonally so her head would rest on Sister Junia’s lap. She had done this as a child, whenever she needed to bare her soul or admit to a sin...at least until she was twelve.

“You’re a big girl now,” the Mother Superior had instructed staunchly, barring her from Sister Junia’s quarters. “You must unbare your sins and soul before God as well as Father Lonaghan.”

“But Father Lonaghan is a pervert!” She had whined, earning her a box to the ears and five or six hail Marys. However, Father Lonaghan had been reviewed and found wanting, removed from his post “for entirely different reasons.”

Sister Junia waited in silence. For a moment, she thought perhaps the girl would not tell her anything. Finally, the girl shifted her body taking a shuddering breath. Her voice was soft, yet thick with emotion.

“It was after the assembly...I had forgotten my book bag inside the auditorium but when I went back for it. When I found my bag, I turned to leave but heard muffled voices coming from the back of the auditorium behind the stage.”

The girl shifted then, her face looking up at Sister Junia. Her bright eyes stared at her through her tangled mass of red unkempt curls. Sister Junia gently swept the hair from the girl’s face and saw the tears beginning to fall past thick eyelashes.

“I went behind the curtain, and saw him with a girl. She was small, usually wore glasses- a Muslim girl. Her hijab was gone and her glasses were shattered beneath his feet as he reached for her clothes while his friend tried to hold her down...I don’t remember much else after that.”

“What do you mean?”

“I-I saw red and could hear everything- their heartbeats, steady while hers sped up so fast I thought it would burst through her chest -and I could smell them, their aroused hunger, taste for blood...the next thing I knew, the girl was gone and one of the boys was knocked out and I had him beneath me, hands on his throat…” Delta Rose rushed, her voice rising into a shuddering squeal that shattered into a cry. Sister Junia pulled her charge to her, holding her close and stroking her back.

Whatever anger or reprimand she had been prepared to give, it lay dead and buried within her heart. She could not fault the girl. She gently stroked the girl on the back, holding her and shushing and soothing her like she had when she was that lost lonely infant on those steps.

When the girl stopped crying, Sister Junia pulled out of the embrace and said softly, “Go wait outside and tell the principal to come in. I wish to speak with him...and the boy.”

After that event, Delta Rose was allowed to attend school from home- only attending school for events such as testing, games or track meets. The boys who were kicked out of school silently, transferring schools. The other girl never returned to that school, possibly moving away. Though Delta Rose had never received a ‘thank you,’ she found a box of handmade ghotab cookies outside one morning when she was leaving with Sister Junia and the nuns for an early morning run.

Things after that were meant to settle down- life go back to normal, Sister Junia being quiet and retaking her vow of silence and Delta Rose her hot-headed self. But things changed, somehow, with that act. Whenever she walked into town or left the school after taking her tests and quizzes, Delta would feel eyes on her...but whenever she looked, no one was there.

Delta Rose

2004

“Delta Rose, Booth Five wants their drinks and food! Think you can hurry up?” Chef Durham bellowed. I say “chef,” because that is the title he apparently has earned- God knows how he earned that damned title. Pivoting on my heel, I smile broadly at him and grab hold of my laden tray with steaming baskets of greasy blobs that resemble burgers, fries, and onion rings as well as something green and lumpy that passes for a salad.

“One tray of slop coming up,” I chirp, turning to grab the three beers before exiting the bar. The Silver Bullet Grill and Bar is packed tonight, though I have heard that a lot of people were going to be at some big shindig at a ranch outside of town. With that being the case, I had planned on taking off early in order to get some much needed cramming for my biology class as well as some much needed shut-eye.

But then over an hour ago, that all changed. On top of snow and cold weather, we now had a tremendous storm with rain, sleet, more snow, and of course more regulars. Which meant I was here at this little bar--taking orders, being barked at or ogled by patrons. I could handle all of that, except when he came into the bar.

Ever since I had arrived in town, most of the people treated me well--minus Chef Durham and some little uppity bitch called Merigold. Seriously, the girl makes me cringe: the way she dresses, the way she acts, the way she is all over that blond adonis--sorry--boyfriend. Ugh, like seriously--what did he do, rob the fucking cradle?

I have had my run-ins with that girl, nearly been fired once because she tried to simper and grovel her way out of stealing money from the till of her parent’s business--Meri’s Sweet Treats and Tricks, like seriously, what a name! I was able to get payback though, for myself and another of her victims--a sweet thing with brown hair. Reminds me of a younger me.

But no--that’s not who bothers me the most. The one who bothers me the most, who always seems to be watching me, is some creeper with a fedora and black raincoat. I swear, I sometimes wonder if the guy is a flasher, just waiting to catch me alone and rip that thing open. Wouldn’t surprise me if the dude was hard up or had a shrimp dick.

And he’s here tonight, at the first booth by the men’s room. I purse my lips, trying to fight a rising scowl. The guy and I have never talked, yet just seeing him fills me with the sense of dread, like he’s just waiting for me to slip up and--

“Yo, girlie, while we’re still young!” A young man barks. Smiling, I turn and plunk the still warm grease and lukewarm beer bottles on the table.

“No problem, gents. Can I get anything else for you--like a rabies shot? And hey--hands off the merchandise!” I snap, slapping a man’s hand away as he tries to go for my ass. Though not a college town, we still get quite a few college pricks boys in here. I am not scared of them though--most of the time, they are big softies but a few are pigs. I always manage to put them in their place.

“Ooh, feisty red head--I like that.”

“So did your dad-- too bad he couldn’t satisfy me either.” I said, taking my now empty tray and pivoting away. I hear the table make a lot of ‘Ooohs!’ but don’t hear anyone follow after me. As I make my way to the bar, I notice my Creeper is gone. I relax a little, but still feel tensed--like something is going to happen and I can’t stop it. I just feel dread all over.

I continue to go about my shift, cleaning tables and taking orders, yet I cannot shake this feeling. Oh, what I would do to go back home to Sister Junia! She would understand, provide comfort...except, Mother likely wouldn’t allow her, saying I am “too old” or what I am feeling is “natural,” just like on my high school graduation two years ago. I graduated early ever since the nuns pulled me out after that incident with the boy. Being home schooled was the best thing for me. But the bad thing was, they allowed me to walk with the rest of the graduating class. On the day of my graduation, it was even more pronounced.

Wherever I went that day--my bedroom, my the shower, in the garden, even on the way to my high school graduation--it felt as if I was being stalked. Sister Junia listened, not speaking and tried to relay that she felt her concerns, but the Mother Superior waved away them away as just “nerves.”

“You’re a young woman about to leave childhood behind and move on into adulthood. Soon, you will be leaving home for the first time,” she signed, "it is common to feel nerves."

Then at eighteen, no longer interested in being cooped up or denied a life, I left--hoping I would escape that overwhelming sense of dread – and then, one day, I felt something inside of me and for a time...that feeling was gone, as though it had fallen asleep and something else had awoken and taken its place. Call it confidence, hope, an epiphany--I don’t know, maybe even God, telling me everything would be all right. So I began my journey, stepping out of my shell and learning more about the world about me--even began searching for my parents.

With little to go on besides a blood test, I began searching and made plans to explore, learn, and find something--a place I belonged. And yet the one place that made no sense yet all the sense in the world was here, in New York. This town, this place, it calls to me...unlike any place I have ever been. I feel a pull, as though I am missing something...

“Hey, Carter, ain’t your shift supposed to be over?” The bar man, a bear of a man named Rick, asks. I look at the clock and smile, suddenly feeling dead on my feet. I run by him, loosening my apron and give him a peck on the cheek.

“Thanks, ya big galoot!” I say, grabbing the wad of bills in his hand. With this job and the one at Meri’s, I have enough to pay my bills, keep myself cared for, and still attend classes--even working on buying a car.

“You gonna need a ride home? These roads can be pretty treacherous, especially in the winter and with that bike of yours.” Rick offers when I come back from the employee lockers. He is staring at me with worry in his eyes, like I am one of his own kids. I smile at him and give him another squeeze.

“Nah, I’ll manage. That old bike of mine has gotten me through all kinds of weather. I’ll text you once I get home, though, if it’ll make you feel better.”

His cheeks dimple beneath that big shaggy salt-and-pepper mustache and beard he’s got. He pats me on the shoulder and nods. “Oh, by the way, if you don’t have plans for Christmas, why don’t you come by? I know my boyfriend and our kids would love to have you over again.”

“I plan on seeing my Nuns for Christmas, but I should be fine for Christmas eve, if you’ll still have me.”

Rick beams now, nodding in the affirmative. Smiling, I grab my scarf and tuck my helmet beneath my arms as I walk off into the night. As I walk towards my bike, I begin to think about what I need to do once I get home, not really paying attention to my surroundings.

All right- home it is. Shower, homework, dinner then--

" Excuse me, miss, do you have the time?” A gruff, yet silky voice crawls up my neck. Before I can even turn, I know who it is. I don’t know how close he is but I see my bike and I--

Arms grab me, encircling around me as a cold clammy hand coils around my neck and squeezes cutting off my building scream. My attacker is strong, stronger than I believed he would be--his arms holding me. But I am not weak.

Struggling, I hook my leg behind his and yank it forward, sending us both sprawling back onto the concrete. My attacker let’s out a surprised yet pained ‘oof,’ his arms loosening about my body. Swiftly moving away, I slam the heel of my boot into his groin, hearing a satisfying wet crunching noise. He screams and let’s out a bowl of pain.

Not waiting to see what happens, I lunge onto my bike and gun the engine. Footsteps are running toward me, but I don’t look back and I race out of the parking lot, not even bothering to stop when I hear Rick call out for me.

I don’t look back, I keep going, making it through traffic--ignoring the honking cars. I need to get to the highway, I have to make it I have to--

Lights illuminate me, the blaring of the car horn deafening me as the light swallows me whole and I fall into the light.

~ Unknown ~ Present~

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” A man’s voice says warmly inside my head…I have heard it over and over. But I cannot get up today. I feel so...so tired. Why am I tired and cannot think straight? Why is my mind so hazy and dizzy?

I open my eyes, blinking and taking everything in, trying to recall what had happened...Did I party too hard again last night at some watering hole? My throat burns and my tongue-- ugh, it feels like cotton. Damn cheap moonshine and tequila!

All I could process and understand was where I was at this very moment. My body was being pulled down and encased by a fluffy, cocoon like cloud. It was white and feathery. My body sunk down deep as the heavy, plush, dark green blankets kept me cozy and toasty. The yellow waves of morning welcomed me to this new day as they seeped through the curtains that weren’t wide enough to block the light from entering the room.

Shaking my head and trying to remove the sleep from my eyes, all I managed do was feel even groggier and more achey. Fuck me, this damn hangover is going to stick with me all day. I attempted to sit up and felt the room spin. Gagging, I collapsed against the safety of the fresh smelling pillows. After my third attempt to rise, I pushed through the effects of over drinking.

Finally, I was able to take in my room…but it was not my room. Nothing in this room looked or felt familiar. Neither were my clothes familiar...my clothes. These weren't my clothes! Dread bloomed in my stomach, threatening to empty out over the floor. I took in the room, assuming this was in a stranger’s home--that much I knew as I stumbled out of bed. My knees wobbled, causing me to lurch forward and almost injure myself--almost as though I was a newborn who could not stand up just yet. It was infuriating. Bracing myself on the edges of the antique furnishings, I made my way to the bathroom attached to the bedroom.

When I entered the bathroom, I looked up into the mirror, and stopped- not quite recognizing my face. I looked ashen, my frizzy bird’s nest of red hair leeching color from my face. Disoriented, I looked away but then, began to look over myself more thoroughly. Without looking at my reflection, I could tell my hair fell just above my shoulders. I ran my fingers through my hair, taking stock of the ginger curls and finding that I quite liked them. I was happy my complexion was no longer ashen. Returning to the alabaster I grew to adore, along with the random freckling on my chest, down my arms, and covering my torso down my legs.

I also noticed the artwork I had inked onto my skin. Down my back, across my shoulder blade, a birthmark in the shape of the sun and moon that rested on my hip, another tattoo running across my right side rib cage, and my final one that ran down my forearm. My hands shook as I traced the welts with my fingers, nearly in tears realizing that I must’ve really lucked out waking up here. It could have been worse, right? The only thing on my face that I could find comfort in were my eyes. The intense emerald green that glared back at me.

Just as I finished brushing my hair, the lights on the mirror began to blink and the glass darkened, except for a couple of shadows peering from behind me. As I looked over my shoulder, I saw nothing. As I turned back around, I thought I heard a slight howl and a hand with mighty claws, grab my shoulder. As I jumped out of my skin, the lights came back on and the mirror cleared.

“Focus, you need to focus. A bath, yes, a bath,” I wheezed, my voice still not quite used to talking. Everything, for some reason, still ached. The bathtub was huge, surprising the most modern thing here.

I hoisted myself up onto the toilet to start a bath, thinking maybe the hot water would soothe my aching muscles. As the water warmed, I looked inside the bathroom cabinets and found bath salts. Eager to get inside, I dumped them into the steaming water and as the tub filled with salt infused water, I peeled off my clothes that were dirty and had a faint copper smell and hopped into the water.

I felt like I was in heaven--back amongst the majesty of the snow capped peaks, wildflower meadows and lush green pastures, blue skies that never were overcast, temperate weather with lukewarm breezes. As suddenly I was back in the warm embrace of the almighty, I was jolted awake as my legs started to kick violently, my head thrashing around, uncontrollable arms splashing the water over the side of the bathtub. I couldn’t explain what I saw. All I knew was, I didn’t want to be there anymore. Something frightened me that much, where I nearly drowned.

I was dumbfounded on how no one heard that and came to my rescue. Who lived here? Were they deaf? Unable to move? How could no one respond to the violent episode i just awoke from?

When I finally composed myself and I felt like I finally had control over my faculties, I wrapped a towel around my body and finally - the door to the room burst open and with spatula in hand and apron wrapped around his waist, a mountain man gasped at me.

The man who barged into the room was of average height. His hair was in an untamed, wild free flowing curly brown afro. He was heavily bearded, creamy pale skin and sharp features and wore thin wired spectacles that curled around his ears.

“What’s wrong? What’s going on? Are you hurt?” He asked, eyes shining in concern. My vocal chords burst to life, bringing forth a mighty shrill scream so strong I believe it shattered the glass of water on the night stand next to the bed I woke up in.

He left the room, allowing me to compose myself. Taking deep, even breaths, I managed to calm down a bit. Carefully redressing myself, I was about to open the door when the man knocked on the door.

“You-erm-decent?” He asked. I croaked a noise meant to...

“I-I’m f-fine. I-I just had a b-bit of a s-scare.” I felt like I haven’t spoken in years. I “spoke” clearer in my head than verbally. I didn’t get a good vibe from this guy, but how bad could he be if he helped me from possible danger?

“Oh, I’m sorry lass . . .” he wiped his hand on the back of his jeans and extended his hand out to me. “My name is Lennon Caferty. You must be famished. Get dressed, I left clothes for you in the closet there. Meet me down stairs when you’re ready. I’ve made a feast.”

I silently nodded. I would tell him my name if I knew who that was. In the closet, I found a pair of oversized grey sweatpants, worn but wearable black converse, an oversized men's white tee-shirt and a black hoodie. I glanced into the small hanging mirror as I dressed, taking stock of myself and I was happy my complexion was no longer ashen. Returning to the alabaster I grew to adore, I noticed I actually liked my freckles. Finding a hair clip, I hastily pulled my now clean hair into a bun.

Refreshed, I descended down the stairs into the kitchen, Lennon was back at the stove finishing the cooking. My senses weren’t so foggy anymore. It’s amazing what how the aroma of coffee and sausage wakes you up.

“Well, don’t you look better.” The man Lennon said without even looking at me. “Are you feeling restored?”

He looked up, turning away from the stove with two plates in hand. I nodded as I pulled the chair out and smirked in a distant, yet friendly manner.

“I suppose you have some questions?” Lennon poured me some coffee. “Do you remember anything from last night?”

“N-no . . .” I still croaked as I tried to use my voice.

“Don’t fret about your lack of ability to talk, it’ll come back.” He reassured me, “but first, you need to regain your strength. Please eat whatever you like.”

The food was laid out on the table--eggs, sausage, biscuits, waffles, and fresh fruit. As I began to put things on my plate, Lennon watched me intently as though he were sizing me up. I turned and looked at him, arching an eyebrow.

“I found your wallet on the banks of the creek late last night. It’s drying out over the fireplace. According to your drivers license, your name is Delta Rose Carter. Says you were from Peekskill, New York and you’re 18-years old.”

“I-Is that all? H-how did my face get all these bruises and my entire body felt like I-I w-was hit by an 18-w-wheeler.”

Stuffing his face with egg, Lennon held up his pointer finger asking for a moment, then he spoke. “T-that could be because you were. Something hit you, that’s for sure. And it’s probably exactly why you have no memory of who you are.”

I suddenly lost my appetite. “Have I only been out for a day?”

Why was he laughing? “No, lass. you’ve been out for three days.”

“T-Three d-days! Shit! I’ve been here for three days! What about my parents? T-They must be worried.”

“They can’t be worried when they don’t exist.” Looking up at me through his lashes, framed by his glasses. It unnerved me, making me stop eating for a moment.

“W-wait, I have no parents . . .?”

“Nope. I looked you up. Looks like you were raised by nuns just a few days old and never was adopted. Seems you grew up in a convent until you aged out of the system.” He said, chomping down on his toast with relish that the egg yolk ran down his chin like blood.

The tears flowed at his cold tone. I had to get out of there. I began to rise out of the chair and head for the front door, but without warning he trapped me with his form standing in front of the door.

“Where are you off to, lass?” His manner completely changed. I could feel the power radiating through him and it frightened me.

He will hurt you...go along with him, placate him. Don’t make him suspicious. A voice in my head urged me.

“I-I was just going to get some air. This is a lot to take in.” I lowered my voice and spoke slower, so he wouldn’t get agitated.

“Well, if you wouldn’t mind sitting back down, finish eating the meal I prepared for you, then we can discuss the plans I have for you.”

My body took a step back, recoiling at his words, but I quickly covered it with a shrug as I turned and weren’t back to the table. I noticed in the reflection of a silver pitcher his body visibly relaxed and caught a quick flick of the wrist and heard a faint click as the door locked.

Despite the loss of appetite, I continued eating though the rest of the meal was spent in silence. I helped my host clean up – he washed as I dried the dishes. I had to lift the cloud of unnecessary silence.

“So, tell me – what are your plans for me?” I began feeling a heat rising up into my head. A near grumbling, perhaps? “Can I just go back to the nuns that you say raised me? Surely they are the closest thing I have to a family?”

Lennon doesn’t come off as someone who keeps up appearances. He’s a straight shooter. At least that’s the vibe I get off him, but I could be wrong. Suddenly, I can see a faint glow of red surrounding him. Flecks of orange and yellow shoot out from the top of his head.

“You’d like to think so, right?” The timber of his voice changed again. Almost wicked, demon-like hills and valleys to his voice. He must have noticed the change, so he cleared his voice as he handed me a glass cup. The snap in alteration nearly made me drop the glass. “I called them earlier today. Wouldn’t you know, the convent is no longer accepting phone calls…”

He’s lying Delta – don’t not believe any- that voice again. I pushed it down. This man saved me…h-he s-saved me…

“What? No, that can’t be…” I shifted my weight from left to right, then right to left again.

“They are a silent order, my lass. Rather convenient, wouldn’t you say? No worries – I wrote the Mother Superior a letter and mailed it out two days ago, giving them your new address.” Lennon smiles a big bright yellow smile, the same color as the peeling paint color on the walls.

Once the dishes were done, Lennon provided me with clothes and all my essentials to take with me on my cross-country journey. I didn’t want to dilly dally and overstay my welcome longer than I already have. But that whisper in my heart. It felt like the only thing that I possessed that was truly looking out for me. I worried about her when I didn’t hear her. Then, I felt her. My heart beat double time every time I felt his eyes on me.

“You’ll be driving to this address…” His boney, long pasty fingers – well manicured nailbeds thrust an aged piece of paper in my face. As if it was rescued from the garbage can instead of wasting another sheet of fresh notepad paper.

I gasped when I saw the last two words scribbled on the crumpled scrap of paper. “New Mexico…?” I raised my eyes to meet his, cruelly grinning at me. “What’s in New Mexico that isn’t here?”

“Friends. It’s neutral territory. The man there can carry on with your treatment in my stead. He’s a holy man, a shaman. He already knows about your case.”

Don’t trust – that voice again, this time in a flutter. But I felt protected by her. More so by a ghost than the creepy man who saved me.

Lennon placed his hands on my shoulders and led me outside to the side of his property. The ground was moist from the rain and snow that should have fallen the night before, but it felt unseasonable warm for January.

He gave me my wallet that held my drivers license and social security card. In the car, he pointed out a full of money, even though I argued with him that I couldn’t take it, he insisted. For some reason, he also told me to take his keys, title, and insurance cards to the 1998 Ford F-150. It was in pristine condition - black exterior and black leather interior.

“Now, you have the medication and the recipe for Tourne to make more. The duration is over a ten-year period of time. Don’t fight him on how to administer it. My instructions are explicit.”

“And after ten years, I won’t need to take it anymore?”

“Right…” again with his snide chuckle. I didn’t like it, but I felt like the more I complied, the safer I’d be.

I felt chilled as I recall the name of the “friend” he was shipping me off to – Tourne Murdock. Now, if he were friends with Lennon Caferty, how safe would I actually be?

As I backed out of his dirt driveway, I started to do something I hadn’t had the clarity to do until now. I cried. As I pulled out onto the main road, I heard howls in the distance. I couldn’t tell where they were coming from, but you couldn’t miss the sorrow behind the sound. To drown it out, I turned on the radio and was pleasantly surprised when I heard a song I loved…

Rolling down the window, feeling the rain pouring into the car, I blast the song--belting it out, line for line and note for note.

Oh, boy I can sing I thought to myself. As I continued to sore along with Stevie, a hot male on a classic Harley pulled up next to me and as my eyes closed, getting into the song and guitar rifts, my head swaying, he smiled this cocky yet familiar grin.

“You go girl…” with a wink he flew down the road.

Just for that fleeting moment I felt the crimson take over my face, if this is what it felt like to be uncontrolled, YES I’LL TAKE IT!

“Thank you Stevie…New Mexico, here I come!”

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