By P. C. Cameron
To all my sisters, here and gone.
Jacqui and Mardi, you left me with the most precious gift.
Every time I look in their eyes or hear them laugh, I know you will never truly be gone.
To my Lil' Sis Georgia, your encouragement and enthusiasm gave me the courage to actually finish this book. Our chats
over a bottle (or two) of vino are always enjoyable as well as uplifting. I'm proud to call you sister.
To the daughter of my heart, Angie. Your strength and wisdom astound me and have pulled me through many a
dark night but your quick wit and laughter lighten my soul.
You are definitely a chip off the old block. I love you big bits.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 22 CHAPTER 23
TEN YEARS AGO
I slowly come awake but keep my eyes closed. I don't know where I am or what's happened, I only know I'm scared and not alone. My heart is thumping so loud, my chest is about to burst and I worry that whoever I sense close by will be able to hear it too. I try, surreptitiously, to move my arms but they're pinned above my head. My legs, when I attempt to shift them, are shackled at the ankles and spread so far apart, they burn. I can feel goosebumps all over my skin and for the first time, notice that it's extremely cold. I'm not sure if it's the actual temperature or my fear causing my reaction but whichever the case, I don't like it. All my efforts to remain quiet are washed away when I hear someone breathing to my right and a terrified whimper bubbles out my throat. My heart, which I thought was racing before, stops altogether before thundering back to life. It is now beating so fast I'm afraid it might explode out of my chest and I hear strange mewling sounds coming from somewhere. It takes me a few seconds to realise that they're coming from me and I know I'm in the beginnings of a full blown panic but I'm not capable of rational thought at the moment. Pictures start to flip through my brain, kind of like a slide show only disjointed. There's me, walking down the street, a fuzzy shadow, the train station, a bar. I start struggling and pulling harder on the chains but that only rubs my skin raw and increases my terror.
Strangely, the terror takes my mind to a place that allows me to process, even if it is in slow motion. I am still extremely frightened but am able to force myself to concentrate on my surroundings. My eyes are still closed and that seems to amplify my other senses. I can hear water and … I think I smell moss? I don't know how but I can tell it's dark...and damp. I don't want to open my eyes for fear of what I'll see but I know that if I'm going to get out of here, I need to make some quick decisions. Just then I hear something. No, it's not a sound, it's more like a shift in