Kindred (Book 1 The Kindred Series)

BOOK: Kindred (Book 1 The Kindred Series)
10.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

PROLOGUE

 

 

                                                                                                             
16
years earlier

 

   “Take them!
Mary
take
them! Y
ou have to go!”

   Mary stared down at the two
blond
children
that had been thrust into her arms. Her son was staring at her with wide blue eyes
that were
startlingly wise
,
and more than a little unnerving
,
for
a one year old
. His small hands curled around his blanket as he watched his mother silently. The other baby was just as quiet, her eyes wide and a shocking violet blue that
also
appeared
far to
knowing
for her age
. Though Mary
had never said anything, the age within the children’s eyes
had
always
slightly
unnerved her.

 
Now it
terrified
her.

   She blinked in startled surprise at the man before her
,
the man that had just handed her the children,
John
. He was
her husband,
but now, when it was to
o
late,
s
he realiz
e
d
that she didn

t know
him at all
.
That she
had
never known him. The thought sent a fresh wave of cold terror down her spine. Goose pimples broke out on her flesh; she could barely breathe through the anxiety clutching at her chest.

  
“Mary
,
you must get them to safety.

  
She
began to shake, clinging tighter to the children who had yet to make a sound. “Take them! Take them where?”
she cried, battling against the tears that filled her eyes and clogged her throat.

  
Jessie
, the girl’
s mother,
pushed John slightly out of the way as she
stepped forward
.
H
er
dark blue
,
almost
violet eyes
were
wide
and fearful
;
her golden hair
was
wild around her face. “To my mother in Florida, she

ll know what to do. She

ll keep you safe.”
   “
Safe from what?”
Mary inquired, hating the hysterical note in her voice, but her body hummed with
panic
and confusion.

   “She will fill you in,” Derek,
Jessie
’s husband informed her. “You must go Mary.” Unlike
Jessie
and John, Derek was relatively c
alm. To calm considering the fact that he w
as telling her to take his daughter
and flee
to Florida
.
Flee from what, Mary
didn’t know, but they seemed adamant that she go.
“If you stay, you will die.
T
hey
will die. Now go!

   Mary ga
ped at him, her heart hammering
,
and
her body cold with fear. “I
don’t understand,” she cried
.
“I don’t understand any of this!”

   “
I am sorry for that honey, but you must listen to us. You must get your
self
,
and the children
,
to safety,” John insisted.

   “What about you? Why don’t you come with me?” she demanded
.
S
he wanted to grab hold of his arm,
to cling to him, to shake some answers out of him
,
but the children within her grasp stopped her from doing so
.

   “We can’t, they will only follow us. We will meet you later,”
Jessie
informed her, though Mary realized with heart wrenching certainty that
Jessie
was lying. They
would not be meeting
her
later.
I
n fact
,
Mary
was beginning to realize
that she would never see
any of
them again.

   “The police,
we must go to the police,
” she whispered.

   “Are useless,” Brent
said sharply.
Mary’s gaze darted to the man that had been silent until that moment. Mary didn’t know Brent well, he had never seemed to like her
,
or approve of her much
,
for some reason. However, he had been friends with Jessie, Derek, and John for years, even
though he was a good twenty years older than them. Mary had never understood their strange relationship, but they were extremely close, and often kept her in the dark as they whispered and spoke quietly with each other. She had always resented the
ir
relationship, and her exclusion from it, but she had kept her bitterness hidden, unwilling to hurt or anger her husband. 
“If you involve them you will only get them hurt, and yourself killed.”

   “
They’re coming,” Jo
hn said softly, his body tensed, his face twisted
with anger.
“Go!” he hissed,
dropping a kiss quickly on her head before
shoving her
toward the door
. “Go now
,
before it

s too late!”

   Mary stumbled as he shoved at her, pushing her out the back door to the waiting car. A car that she had not started, but
it
was running expectantly, and appeared to have bags shoved into the back. “Wait!” Mary froze as
Jessie
snagged hold of her arm;
fear and misery
were
evident in her intense
gaze. “Take care of my daughter.
P
lease Mary I a
m begging you to keep Cassie
alive!

  
Mary
stared back at the
frantic
woman she had considered her best friend.
Mary
had neve
r been more wrong
about someone;
Jessie
was a stranger
to her
.
Mary
managed a
small nod;
her mouth
was
dry with terror. “I will,” she vowed.

  
Jessie
released her;
she
t
ook
a step back as tears rolled down her cheeks. Mary had no idea what was happening, but their terror spurred her into action. Fleeing down the back stairs, she hastily strapped the
children
into their car
seats.
The
children
continued to watch her in eerie silence as she jumped behind the whee
l. Her hands were shaking as
she
shifted the car into reverse
and pulled out of the drive
as calmly as her thumping heart would allow
.

   She glanced back at the house, the home she had shared with her husband and his friends. People
she
now realized she knew
nothing
about
.
Nor
,
she realized with bone shaking c
ertainty
, did she know her
own
son. She glanced at the eerily silent children
in the rearview mirror
.
The
girl wa
s usually fussy in the car seat;
she
was
immobile
now
and
did not fight against the straps
.
H
er son
was
usually fast asleep
the minute he hit the car, he
was staring in
tently at her
.
With their blond hair, and wide unblinking eyes, Mary was
suddenly
reminded of the Children of The Corn. A chill ran down
her
back as she
gasped
and
chok
ed
on the tears that burned her eyes.

  
Shrill screams
pierced
the night.
Mary
jumped
in surprise
, her eyes flew
wildly back to the house as the sound of splintering wood shattered the air. For a moment Mary could not move as
more
shouts
,
and
the sounds of an ensuing battle
,
rent the
silent night
.

   Then, her survival instincts, for herself and the children
,
kicked into gear. Shifting into drive, she stomped on the gas
.
T
he tires sp
un
on the asphalt
, squealing loudly,
before finally grabbing hold. The car lurched forward
;
the smell of burning rubber
follow
ed
her
as she sped down the road. She headed
toward the highway, and Florida.
It was almost a ten hour drive, but she had a feeling she would make it there in record time, as long as she didn’t get pulled over first.

   She
never look
ed
back;
she
knew
she
would
see
nothing but death
behind her
.
There would be nothing
left
of her life
,
or
her loved ones.
In fact, s
he
was
certain that they were already dead, and that whatever had
killed them
would be coming for
her
next
.
But the fact that she had lost her loved ones was not nearly as unnerving as the fact that t
hough she squealed through turns, raced through red lights, and people
blar
ed
their horns at her, the children remained quiet
,
and knowing
.
 

 
 

***

 

                                                                                                         
   
T
welve
years later

 

  
S
ort
ing
through the change in her hand,
Cassie
hastily
picked out the
nickels and dimes
,
absently
shov
ing
aside the pennies
. Sighing in aggravation, she glanced at the unattainable Coke machine before digging into the pocket of her cutoff
s
once more
. All she wanted was a cold soda, was that
to
o
much to ask? App
arently as all she pulled out
were a few pieces of lint
, a gum wrapper,
and dirt.

  
Cassie
fought the
fierce
urge to kick the
machine
in frustration
;
it was not its fault that the price
of soda
had gone up fifteen
cents. It was the stupid, greedy
,
owner of the store.
G
lanc
ing
past
the machine
, she peered into
the dingy windows of the
F
ive and D
ime. Mr. Lester was watching
her
intently
, waiting to make sure
that
she didn

t do exactly what she longed to do most.
She wanted to stick her tongue out at the man, but then she would be banned from the store, and he did have the best selection of baseball cards
,
candy,
and comic books in town.

BOOK: Kindred (Book 1 The Kindred Series)
10.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Mystery at the Dog Show by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Devil in Denim by Melanie Scott
Elicit by Rachel van Dyken
Lady by Viola Grace
Taboo by Leslie Dicken
Trouble in Tampa by Nicole Williams
Babylon by Camilla Ceder
When Gods Die by C. S. Harris