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Authors: Diana Steele

Darque Wants

BOOK: Darque Wants
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Copyright © 2016

All Rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of required fees you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this book. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known, hereinafter invented, without express written permission of Dark Nights Press. For more information contact Dark Nights Press. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

This book is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

DISCLAIMER

Please don’t be stupid and kill yourself. This book is a work of FICTION. Do not try any new sexual practice that you find in this book. It is fiction and not to be confused with reality. Neither the author nor the publisher or its associates assume any responsibility for any loss, injury, death or legal consequences resulting from acting on the contents in this book. Every character in this book is over 18 years of age. The author’s opinions are not to be construed as the opinions of the publisher. The material in this book is for entertainment purposes ONLY.  Enjoy.

Introduction

I have a special message I would love to share with you before you start reading, including a gift to say Thank You.

 

(No Thanks, Just Take me to my book)

Amber’s Curse, Amber’s Gift
Book 1

Visions of Death & Loneliness

 

Angela Lansing

Copyright © 2016

All Rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of required fees you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this book. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known, hereinafter invented, without express written permission of Dark Nights Press. For more information contact Dark Nights Press. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

This book is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

DISCLAIMER

Please don’t be stupid and kill yourself. This book is a work of FICTION. Do not try any new sexual practice that you find in this book. It is fiction and not to be confused with reality. Neither the author nor the publisher or its associates assume any responsibility for any loss, injury, death or legal consequences resulting from acting on the contents in this book. Every character in this book is over 18 years of age. The author’s opinions are not to be construed as the opinions of the publisher. The material in this book is for entertainment purposes ONLY.  Enjoy.

*****

 

Amber Flint stood in her backyard overlooking the San Francisco Bay. The centipede grass cushioned her bare feet, her arms outstretched toward the sky as she moved them into the next phase of her Sun Salutation.   She felt grateful to live in such a beautiful part of the country, and enjoyed the ability to practice yoga in the lush expansive space she’d called home for almost ten years. However, she also felt lonely. Another year had gone by and she was still standing in her backyard, watching the Bay area teem with people, but not feeling connected to any of them. She longed for a relationship, but didn’t expect much anymore.

 

“Negativity is counter-productive. A good healer needs to be positive.” Amber closed her eyes and spoke her affirmation out loud.   She absorbed the sun on her face, and moved into a tree pose, but landed face first to the ground. Feeling dizzy, she waited a second before trying to get up.

 

Just as she stood up, Amber had a vision of a man.  He was standing in the middle of a murky pond, face contorted in a frown, and sweating with mud streaking down his cheeks. His hair was a mess, and his tan pants rolled up away from his ankles to his knees. She could have sworn he looked like her friend Jeffrey Holliday.

 

The man opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out. As     she tilted her head to try to get a better focus, the vision disappeared.

 

Still feeling a bit dazed she rubbed her head knowing deep down that there was a reason that she’d had that vision and she’d learn why soon enough, whether she liked it or not.

 

“Here we go again,” she said taking a deep breath.  

 

Amber had a gift. Ever since she was a little girl growing up in rural Oklahoma, people knew that Amber was different. Her gift began showing itself with rocks as she discovered that rocks, as well as other inanimate objects, could hold emotional impressions.  She often lined them up in her bedroom and tried to see which ones held secret powers. She would often give them names, such as “Joy” or “Sadness’.

 

Each rock, when held in her hand, provided clues about someone else’s behavior. If Amber held the “Joy” rock, and wanted her mother to stop crying on a bad day, then the rock granted her wishes. This was her pastime growing up—playing with rocks rather than dolls. To Amber, this all seemed normal until she reached middle school age. That was when the truth behind her secret gift was revealed. Her entire seventh grade class soon learned that she had psychic abilities, and Amber didn’t quite know what to do about it. The kids treated her like she was strange, and Amber didn’t know how to get around this.

 

Little Gregory Hammond had gone missing. He and his brother, Caleb, had gone fishing down at the pond off Edge Hill Road, but stopped first in the woods to collect sticks to make rods out of. Caleb had a long branch in one hand, and a piece of twine in the other.  When he turned to show Gregory how to put them together to make the rod, Gregory was gone.

 

“Gregory! Gregory!” Caleb called getting nothing but silence. He walked to the edge of the pond and kicked his feet in the water. He knew his brother couldn’t swim, and he worried that he’d fallen in.

 

“Gregory! Are you playing a trick?” But still there was no answer.

 

Finally, he dashed home and told his mother that his little brother was missing, and that he thought he might have slipped in the water.

 

Amber was playing with her rocks on the front porch, when all of a sudden she was overcome with dizziness.

 

“Mom!” she yelled to her mother. “M om!”

 

She didn’t know why she felt so weird. Before her mother could reach her, Amber fell backward into a chair, closing her eyes and holding her head in her hands. Her mind felt strange and she was scared. A single tear rolled down her face and before she could wipe it away, an image of Gregory Hammond appeared before her. He was in a rusted out car with busted up headlights and a sloping, green roof – and it seemed like he was trapped.

 

“Amber! What’s all the yelling about?” Carol Flint came running out the screen door, a grilled cheese in one hand and lemonade in the other. She looked at her daughter and panicked. Amber was pale and shaky, holding onto the arms of the chair like they were a lifeline.

 

“Are you okay?” Carol knelt down, shoving the sandwich on the table and handing the drink to her daughter.

 

“Here. Take a sip of this lemonade.” She watched as Amber sipped slowly, and the color started coming back into her face.

 

“Mommy. Gregory is stuck inside a car. He’s down by Edge Hill Road, but nobody can find him.” 

 

Carol’s eyes widened and she covered her mouth with her fingers. She called Mrs. Hammond to see if Gregory was indeed missing. Mrs. Hammond, who was desperate to find her son at this point called the police and told them of Amber’s vision.

 

Gregory was discovered trapped inside a car that matched Amber’s description an hour later.

 

Carol never pressed Amber to disclose the details of her gift. She wanted her daughter to be like the other children—to play games and to have a safe and happy childhood. When the visions came, and they often did without warning, Carol knew that there was nothing that could be done to stop them. And since many times the visions resulted in reuniting a loved one with a lost child, or providing important clues to the police department, Carol tried to accept the reality of the situation, and simply let the events unfold as they would.

 

Amber reached for the copper doorknob and let herself inside the house. She walked into her brightly colored kitchen and poured herself a lemonade. She found enjoying a nice, cool glass of lemonade removed the taste that lingered in her mouth after a vision.  

 

“Delicious.” Amber smacked her lips together and savored the sweet and sour liquid. Placing the glass in the sink, she turned toward the wooden steps that led to her bedroom.

 

“OK so what the heck is going on with Jeffrey Holiday?” 
She shook her head and then reached for a bright green scarf that hung in her closet. “Brodi, lets’ go!” She yelled down the hall, and a large Collie bounded in front of her, wagging his tail and shoving his snout at her feet.

 

Amber took the steps by two, and Brodi followed behind her. When she got into the kitchen, Amber reached for Brodi’s leash, clipped it to his collar, and started out the front door.

 

The sun was shining bright in Berkeley and Amber rummaged around in her purse for her sunglasses. As she pulled them out, an old ticket stub fell out, too. She looked at it and shook her head.

 

“Another crappy first date.” She crumpled it up and tossed it back in her purse. She double checked to make sure that she had put a water bottle in her bag, and then she and Brodi started their walk into town. No sooner had they reached the end of the driveway when Natalie Griffin, the next door neighbor, hustled over to Amber’s side.

 

“Amber. I haven’t seen you all week. Have you heard the news?” Natalie was a short woman with dyed red hair that she usually wore pulled back in a headband. She taught Pilates and dance at the Springboard Studio in town, and she and Amber had gotten close over the last few years.

 

“The only news I’m aware of is Thursday night’s yoga class being cancelled.” Amber shrugged and then looked down at Brodi.

 

Natalie shook her head and frowned. “No. There’s a huge murder mystery floating around. Jeffrey Holiday went missing yesterday and they just found his body over by Salmon Creek.” Natalie cupped her hand over her mouth when she finished speaking. Her eyes were filled with water and it looked like she’d cry at any minute. Amber thought back to her vision and then took a deep breath.

 

“I haven’t heard anything. This is awful news. I was just heading downtown to get a cappuccino. I have a new curriculum to write for these summer classes, so I thought I could get some work done over there.” Amber knew that she was heading to Pacific Roasters because she had an intuitive pull to go there. Sure, she had curriculum work to get done, as well, at some point over the summer, but her main purpose in leaving the house was to find out what had happened to Jeffrey Holiday.

 

“I can’t believe you didn’t hear about any of this. Have you been under a rock the last two days?” Natalie tried to crack a joke but her smile faded quickly. “I just feel so bad for the kids. How the hell is Ginger going to raise three kids on her own?” Natalie shook her head and then gazed up at the sky, expressing her sympathy for the widowed Holiday woman with a moment of silence. “Someone must have the answers,” she said and then sighed.

 

Amber loosened her scarf and then started to walk away. “Call me later.” She waved her hand at Natalie and then tugged on Brodi’s leash. He had fallen asleep by her feet during their conversation and required a little coaxing to get going again.

 

“I will. Maybe we can do diner tomorrow. Roy is gone for the weekend,” Natalie spoke and then turned around to collect her mail from the box. Then she headed up her driveway and into her house.

 

Amber and Brodi walked along the tree-lined sidewalk, and Amber admired the many lemon and orange trees that grew effortlessly in front of well-manicured lawns. She tried to recall what the houses had looked like back in Oklahoma, but the harder she tried, the less vivid the memories were.

 

When her mother had passed away eleven years ago, the homes in her neighborhood had looked old and weathered. Most of the families that she’d known as a child had gotten older and moved away. Many couldn’t afford to live there anymore because their farming businesses had gone under.

 

Amber closed her eyes for a brief moment and could smell the lilacs that bowed over onto her front porch. She could see the plastic patio chair that she used to sit on, and she could feel the bristly rug under her crossed legs, lining up her special rock collection. She saw her mother, standing in her checkered apron with a bowl full of rinsed cherries and a tall glass of ice water.

 

 

“Those were the days,” she said to no one in particular as she crossed the street to Pacific Roasters.

 

She tied Brodi to the dog-rail and then made sure that a water bowl was filled outside. Then she walked up the three uneven concrete steps and turned the handle to get inside.

 

“Be good, Brodi.” She smiled at her dog and then entered.

 

The drink shop was packed as usual and Amber listened to the whooshing of the cappuccino maker, the grinding of the coffee beans, and the clanging of the silverware. A line was formed in front of the counter and a handful of children were running around in the back of the café. Before she could scan the drink menu on the chalkboard that hung above the cooler, she heard someone calling her name.

 

“Amber! Over here!” It was Bethany Rose, one of the local gardeners, and Amber’s closest friend. She waved frantically, then heaved a large tote bag off the empty chair at her table and waited.

 

Amber held up her index finger, motioning that she’d be there in a second. She wanted to order a Grasshopper, her favorite kale, spinach, and apple juice smoothie. As soon as she did, she spun around and made her way toward Bethany. They had been friends ever since Amber had moved to the Bay area. 

“What’s up? I hear there’s some drama. It’s terrible, really.” Amber often spoke the way that she thought, in a quiet stream of consciousness that didn’t always make sense right away, but that always emanated her best intentions. She pulled out the chair that Bethany had cleared and then took a sip of her drink. She rolled her eyes in satisfaction and then took a deep breath. “Tell me what you know.” She looked at Bethany and then folded her hands on the table.

 

  “Apparently Jeffrey left the house at about nine in the morning to teach a photography workshop, and he never came home. Ginger said she was expecting him back by two, and when it got to be four and he was still gone, she called his phone but got no answer.” Bethany wrung her hands together and then took a sip of her coffee. She liked to drink it black and sweet, and she was now on her second cup. “So, I guess that after there was no answer, she called the cops and they put out a search.” Amber toyed with her straw and then frowned. The story sounded peculiar.

 

“It sounds like there’s a lot of missing information.  And who are the suspects? Maybe he simply slipped and fell into the creek.”   Amber had already seen Jeffrey’s angry face in her vision. She knew that there was something big about all of this. But as far as how fast she could build off what she knew… Only time could tell.

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