Welcome back to my release party for Silence in the Dark! Today I'm sharing the prologue to the story. It's an event that happened when Bailey was ten-years-old, and it affected her the rest of her life.
It is based on something that happened to me when I was twelve. After reading the prologue, I'll tell you a little more about the true story.
Ten-year-old Bailey Adams huddled with the Carver twins on Cassie’s bed. They’d given up pretending Cassie and Jem’s parents weren’t arguing or that their dad wasn’t drunk. She avoided their eyes, knowing how embarrassed they were. “Maybe I should just go home.”
Jem shook her head. “No, stay. He’ll go to sleep soon, and tomorrow it’ll be like nothing ever happened.”
Cassie threw back the blanket. “I’m going to tell them to stop!”
Jem grabbed at her arm and missed. “You’ll just make it worse.”
“I don’t care. I can’t stand it any longer.”
She wasn’t gone five minutes when it sounded like firecrackers exploding in the living room. And screams.
“No! Don’t shoot!”
“Cassie! I have to go help her!” Jem jumped from the bed.
“No. He might shoot you.”
“My daddy wouldn’t hurt me.”
“Wait, we’ll call the police.” Bailey snatched the phone from its cradle. “Its dead.”
“I have to find Cassie. You climb out the window and go next door to Mr. Arnold’s house and call the police.” Jem ran out of the room.
Bailey’s thumping heart jerked in her chest as she turned and stared at the open window.
Another gunshot bolted her into action as footsteps stomped down the hallway. She climbed through the window and ran for all she was worth to the neighbors.
A week later at the funeral home, Bailey slipped away from the stateroom where three caskets lined the wall. Every time she heard someone say how lucky she was, her insides cringed at how she’d run away. Why did she live and Cassie and Jem and their mother have to die? What if she’d stayed and tried to talk to Mr. Carver? He’d been like a dad to her, and maybe he would have listened and the twins would still be alive. She should have stayed…but sweat ran down her back just thinking about it.
She found the washroom and hunkered down in one of the stalls. She didn’t think she could face one more person. The restroom door opened, and Agnes Baker’s nasally voice filled the room.
“Such a pity.
Just her luck to be caught in the same room with the worst busy body in Logan Point.
“Yes. I heard he lost his company and started drinking,”
“Really? I hadn’t heard that.”
“They say he was gambling, too. Christine Carver was a saint. And those two beautiful girls. Only ten years old and so sweet and innocent.”
Correction. Maude Arnold was the worst busybody. She just hoped they didn’t want the stall she was in.
“Well, I’ve heard that God only takes the best,” Agnes said.
“Explains why the Adams girl survived without a scratch.”
“Maude, you shouldn’t say things like that. And you certainly don’t joke about it.”
Bailey’s cheeks burned as she stared down at her Mary Jane shoes.
“Well, it’s true,” Maude snapped. “Don’t you remember when she hid my keys in Vacation Bible School? And wouldn’t tell where they were until I threatened to paddle her? That girl gets into more trouble—”
Bailey flung the stall door open. “Excuse me.”
“Bailey! I didn’t mean—”
She glared up at Maude. “Yes, you did. You don’t think I’m good enough to go to heaven. Well, I think you’re just mean.”
She walked out of the washroom, her head held high. But what if Maude was right?
What if she wasn’t good enough?
~Can you see how something like that could change Bailey's life?
It did mine. When I was in the sixth grade, one of my best friends was killed by her father the weekend I was supposed to spend with her.
For months, I feared my own father would do the same thing. While in my heart, I knew he would never ever do such a thing, my head didn't always believe my heart. We didn't have counselors back then to talk us through such tragedies, and I'm really glad we do now.
However, because of what happened to the twins and their mother, Bailey becomes a missionary, but did she do it for the right reasons?
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And come back tomorrow for the last day of the party and a surprise.
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