By: S.E. Green
Publisher: Oftomes Publishing
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2017
Vickie has always lived a quiet, ordinary life in an equally quiet and ordinary small town. Yet one fateful night a child turns up dead in the woods behind her house in a ritualistic slaughter. Vickie and her family are suddenly thrown into a national spotlight. But as the investigation unfolds, she begins to realize her family isn’t so ordinary after all. Evil is inching closer to those she holds dear and Vickie isn’t sure who she can ultimately trust.
Glancing up from my magazine, I turn my head toward the woods that border our property. I stop the porch swing from swaying and I listen . . . but I hear only the sound of Mom’s music floating through the open screen windows.
I glance down to the pond where my younger brother, Kevin, sits. But he’s fine, fishing pole in hand, staring idly at the calm water—just like he’s been for the past hour.
I lunge to my feet. That’s Travis!
I fly down the porch steps, and my bare feet hit the wet morning grass as I take off in a full sprint toward the woods. “Travis!”
My twin brother emerges from the line of pine trees that separate our property from our grandfather’s goat farm.
“Vickie!” Travis screams, hurling himself across our lawn.
Blood is the first thing I see, covering the front of his white V-neck tee and down across his yellow swim trunks. Then his eyes—wild, crazy, and so full of fear that everything within me clenches.
“Mom!” I yell as I keep running toward my brother. “Dad! Uncle Jerry!”
There’s so much blood, but I don’t think he’s hurt, at least not hurt bad because he’s running like he’s okay. We both enter the vegetable garden from opposite ends and seconds later we collide in the middle of the green beans. Sobbing, he falls to his knees.
Behind me I hear my parents yelling, racing toward us. I hear Uncle Jerry. “Travis?” I search his face, his body, trying to run my hands across him to see where or if he’s hurt. “What is it? Talk to me.”
He grips my arms so hard I grimace, and his hazel, tear filled eyes lock onto mine. “In the woods. She—she’s dead.”
S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of the thriller, KILLER INSTINCT, the spy series, THE SPECIALISTS, and the romances, THE SUMMER MY LIFE BEGAN and SHADOW OF A GIRL. She lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog. ULTIMATE SACRIFICE is her debut YA horror, due out October 2017.
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