As the blackness all around her swam gray, Brydie realized she’d fainted there on the motel bed.

Now she heard a car screech to a stop outside the window. Vaguely through her thundering headache she heard a key turn in the lock,  saw the door fly open.

“Come on!” she heard Will shout,  though Will was dead.  “Get in and let’s go!”

She heard herself let out a long groan, couldn’t even focus on the room around her yet, much less stand. She felt Will  (but no, Will was dead and this was some trick of Cowan’s)  pick her up and carry out the door.  (And what a cruel trick,  his arms  felt just like Will’s….)

“Put me down!”  she tried to scream,  but it came out a croak.

He put her down  –  into the  plush leather back seat of a big silver car with four doors.  And now the car was pulling away with her.

Where was Danny  –  ?

Suddenly Brydie recalled a forgotten phrase from her childhood.  A silly thing she’d actually once substituted for swear words,  back when Brydie Phelps did not swear.

The old silly phrase was gosh darn it.

Gosh darn it, there was a very good chance Danny had gotten away.  After all,  he was Will O’Graidy’s son.  Smart,  and tough as nails he was.

But gosh darn it, if Cowan had harmed the boy in any way, then she would just have to kill him.  Not hit him over the head with a lamp, but really kill him.  She’d never killed anyone before, but she’d always assumed the day would come.  Maybe today was the day,  when she would become a killer.

Well, wherever Will was, she hoped if she killed Cowan she would make Will proud.

Slowly she pulled herself up in the back seat,  her brain pounding bass notes against her skull.

“You should lie down,”  came Will’s voice from the driver’s seat in front of her.

“You tell me what you’ve done with my boy!”


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