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I can’t remember how long their bodies burned, but I do remember the sun setting before it was over, not far off in the distance, just beyond the still and dismal outline of downtown San Diego. Its flame-colored glare hit the Pacific Ocean and slowly melted beyond the horizon as smoke drifted up in dark gray coils into the sky. The fleeing sun took the heat away with it, and as the first stars of the night made their appearance, the crisp chill of January returned.

Ash settled all around me, resting on my eyelashes and the tip of my nose, threatening to choke the oxygen from my lungs. I kept vigil over my dead family while sitting at the edge of the garden, slumped forward with my legs crossed and my hands resting loosely in my lap. A steady breeze from the approaching night collided with the draft from the fire, sending hot gusts of air in my direction. My face and arms stung from the warmth, but the smell was worse than the heat. The strong odor of burning flesh kept my nostrils flared and stomach turning.

I knew that day it was true what they say; one can never forget the smell of a dead body. I know, I’ll never forget.


 

I Hope You Find Me

Book 1 of the Find Me Series

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Fire can’t destroy everything, not even hope. Follow Riley’s journey today – for free – at the retailers below. Happy reading! Don’t forget to leave a light on. *wink*

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Tuesday Teaser – Dying to Know

“Not every moment here is a pleasure,” his gruff voice says above my head.

I shrug. “Right. But, it’s not meant to be a pleasure though, is it?”

“No, I suppose not,” Rush answers.

We both stare at the wall, and he reaches out to touch the picture of Mallory’s face as it comes up. “She’s a good friend.”

I shrug again. “Yeah. And a good volunteer, even though things didn’t go so great with me, obviously. That’s not her fault though.” I pause to take a long sigh, bringing the air deep into my lungs before letting it back out in a loud puff. “I don’t know how she can stand to look at my face after what I did. Maybe Sloan’s right – volunteers really shouldn’t be friends with their failed cases.”

Rush nods. “I can see how that makes things…difficult. In a perfect world, none of you would be here. And I’ll admit with more than a little embarrassment, that sometimes I wonder how different both our lives would be if you’d not arrived at the Station at all.” His voice is quiet, pensive. Whatever else is going on inside his mind, he’s keeping it to himself.

My own thoughts are racing circles around its own silent track. “You know, I think about things like that all the time. Part of me wishes I’d never woken up here, but then I feel grateful to have this place. The Station is a second chance for those of us who felt no chances were left.”

– Dying to Know, Coming Soon


Dying to Know

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