Category: Writing

Winter Flower, Chapter 9-1.

SPOILER WARNING: This preview contains a major story development. I don’t recommend reading unless you’ve been following all the previous preview chapters!!!

“Mrs. Roberts? It’s Agent Wilcox.”
“Yes,” I choked out.
“I’ve got some news.”
Time froze. In less than a second, my mind ran past all the incidents where Wilcox had given us news. When they found her car, with the broken phone. When they found the bracelet Lori gave her in Chase’s apartment. The weekly calls for a year, then less often since then. But he still called, and he almost always prefaced those calls with the statement, “I don’t have any news, I’m just checking in.”
Today he’d said, I’ve got some news.

Winter Flower, Chapter 8-3. Birthday.

“It’s her birthday,” I said.
I swear to God I wasn’t going to say anything. I wasn’t going to mention it. I wasn’t going to do this.
His face clouded, and he looked to the floor. “I know,” he said in a rasping voice. “Eighteen.”
I crossed my arms over my chest. It was too much to think he’d come over and hug me. And I didn’t know how to approach him. Not anymore. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to.
“Do you think she’s still alive?” I asked.

Winter Flower, Chapter 8-2. Birthday.

Gemini: Want to talk about it?

I swallowed. There was some safety in the anonymity of being online. And I didwant to talk about it. I don’t know why, but I hadn’t told Mrs. Mullins or Hayley that it was Brenna’s birthday. Finally I responded: It’s my sister’s birthday. She turns eighteen today.

Gemini: And this is a problem because…

Tamara: She went missing two years ago, and we haven’t seen her since. …

Winter Flower, Chapter 7-2. Cole.

I gasped. Three or four years? How was that possible? How could I possibly do three or four years in prison?

My next words came out in a rasp. “What are my options?”

Brent shrugged. “We can offer to plea bargain to a lesser charge. You’ll still almost certainly get a felony conviction, but we might be able to get them down to vanilla assault. With luck you’ll be out within a year. That’s really the best-case … if you go before a jury and they wheel Chase Morton into the courtroom, you don’t stand a chance.”

Winter Flower, Chapter 7-1. Sam.

Hayley leaned forward, her eyes wide. “I’d never tell anyone anything. I swear to God.” As she said the last words, she made the sign of the cross over her shoulders.
That exposed yet another set of bruises on her forearm. I’d seen them earlier that day in class but hadn’t said anything at the time. Now I had to. “What happened to your arm?”
She scrunched her eyes together. “What are you talking about?”
As gently as I could, I touched her forearm with the tip of my index finger. “That’s what I’m talking about. Those are new ones … the last set of bruises were just starting to heal. Hayley, who did that?”

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