Chapter Twenty Eight


The Gift

“I found a body in the water this morning,” Bryony said to Police Detective Ian Bridger.

He was young, and he tried to seem hard, but somehow he wasn’t able to pull it off. He was a sweet man underneath, the kind that called his mama and worked on the neighbors’ cars without expecting payment. This was maybe why the girls was able to talk to him so freely when her tongue had frozen up with his partner. His partner had looked right through her, looked at the body as though it was nothing except an annoyance. It wasn’t an annoyance; it was a woman. At least it had been. Once.

“Why were you at the lake?” the detective asked her. He spoke softly, afraid that if he raised his voice he would spook this young woman, this poor shuddering girl who had seen such a terrible sight. Her eyes had faded, the irises dimmed from whatever color they had been, to a pale gray. Her pupils seemed to be shaped like stars. Those eyes kept roving to a small cactus sprung up ne
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