Excerpt 1.

****Warning: the following may include content of an adult nature.****

Cold trembling fingers reached out to trace the letters engraved on the headstone, the chilly marble slab the only tangible link to the family Jolene still missed. Ten years hadn’t even begun to numb the pain or take away the gaping hole in her heart. The years hadn’t answered the questions that screamed to be answered.

Set back from the rest of the graves, the stone sat under a shady tree. She’d picked the spot for the lack of light, her babies would never again enjoy the sunshine and neither would their final resting place. She knew it wasn’t a rational thing to want for them but at the time, and even now, it seemed fitting.

The icy pre-dawn wind blew across the ground and whistled between the marble, slate and sandstone that marked the lives of so many. In this place, surrounded by death, Jolene breathed the breath of the living-dead. She wasn’t physically buried in the soil with her family but her soul was. If it hadn’t joined them the day they died, it had the day she killed the man responsible.

The courts ruled it self-defense. She wasn’t a murderer and could live her life a free woman. She didn’t feel free. She had taken a life. It had been kill or be killed and Jolene had come out the winner. But in the end he’d won. In the struggle for life and death her ex-husband hadn’t succeeded in taking her life. No, when she’d gladly taken his, he’d taken something far worse.

He’d taken her soul.

COPYRIGHT © RACHEL CHARLTON 2008

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