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Authors: Terri Reid

Tags: #Mystery, #Romance

Secret Hollows

BOOK: Secret Hollows
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Secret Hollows – A Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery (Book Seven)

by

Terri Reid

 

*

PUBLISHED BY:

Terri Reid

 

Secret Hollows – A Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery (Book Seven)

Copyright © 2012 by Terri Reid

 

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

This
ebook
is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This
ebook
may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work.

 

The author would like to thank all those who have contributed to the creation of this book. Richard Reid, Sarah Reid, Debbie Deutsch, Jan Hinds, Ruth Ann
Mulnix
, Lynn
Jankiewicz
, Lori
Zaremba
, and
Kimella
Walker.

And especially to the wonderful readers who walk with me through Mary and Bradley’s adventures and encourage me along the way. Thank you all!

 

Prologue

The sound of his bicycle tires crunching against the gravel on the small one-lane road blended with the other sounds of the country morning; cicadas humming, cardinals singing and a flock of Canada geese honking as they flew in formation overhead. Somewhere in the distance he could hear the mechanical rumble of a tractor as it made its way through a field of ready-to-cut hay.

Timmy paused at the top of the hill and wiped the sweat from his forehead. The sun was just coming up and it was already hot. It was going to be a scorcher all right. Good thing his mom suggested he wear his swim trunks, so they could dive off the pier when they got done fishing.

Looking down the hill, he saw the driveway to the Richards’ farm, Mikey’s house. The big oaks on either side of the entrance were some of the best climbing trees in the county. He and
Mikey
had spent quite a few hours in their large sturdy limbs surveying the countryside.

Jumping up and putting all his weight on the pedal, Timmy urged his bike down the hill as fast as it could go. The wind whipped his dirty blonde hair away from his face. It felt cool against his sweaty neck. He started to press on the brakes a couple of yards from the entrance and once there, turned quickly, one foot pivoting on the ground, and shot into the farmyard.

“Cool entrance, Timmy,”
Mikey
called from the big wrap-around porch.

“Be cooler if this was a Harley,” Timmy responded, coasting over to the porch and dropping his bike on the grass. “You ready to go?”

Mikey
looked at Timmy’s stainless steel rod with its black
spincast
handle and bright red reel with envy. It was the coolest pole he had ever seen. “Yeah, I got my stuff right here,”
Mikey
said, pointing to his plastic fishing rod and tackle box lying on the steps. “Why do you have your backpack?”

“My mom said we should go swimming after we fish,” Timmy explained, “so
its
got my lunch, a towel and my underwear in it. My swim trunks are under my shorts. You should bring your swim trunks, it’s
gonna
get real hot today.”

“Great idea, I’ll be right back.”

Mikey
ran back into his house, the screen door slapping after him. Timmy walked up the steps and sat in the big porch swing hanging from the ceiling. He looked out over the cornfields across the road and watched the sun spilling color across the horizon. The sky above him was a calm twilight blue, but the bright rays of orange and pink peeking just above the cornstalks were slowly slipping upwards and claiming the day.

“Mike, is that you?”

Mikey’s mom called from inside the house.

“I’m just getting my trunks, Mom. Timmy and I are going to go swimming after we fish,”
Mikey
called back.

“Did you clean out the chicken coop?” his mom asked.

Noting the sudden silence, Timmy grinned.
Busted!

“Did you?” his mom repeated.

“Aw, Mom, I’ll do it later,”
Mikey
said. “I promise.”

“That’s what you said yesterday,” his mother reminded him.

Timmy pushed his foot against the floorboards, to get the swing moving. He might be waiting for a while.

“Mom, Timmy’s waiting,”
Mikey
pleaded. “I’ll do it later.
Really.”

“You tell Timmy that you can go in an hour,” she replied. “You have to learn to work before you play.”

He heard Mikey’s footsteps on the wooden stairs echo in the house, and then he saw his friend’s face behind the screen door. Timmy’s grin spread even wider.

Mikey
sighed. “You heard?”

Nodding, he shrugged. “No big deal,” he said. “I can meet you at the pier.”

“You don’t want to help me?”
Mikey
asked with a smile.

Timmy jumped off the swing and laughed. “Uh, no, you can deal with the chicken poop,” he said. “And I’ll be sitting under a big tree catching fish.”

Mikey
nodded. “I don’t blame you,” he said. “See you in an hour.”

“Don’t forget to shower before you come,” Timmy yelled as he hurried to his bike. “You don’t want to scare the fish away.”

“Funny!”
Mikey
called back.

Still laughing as he pedaled out of the driveway, Timmy wondered for a moment if he ought to go back and help
Mikey
. Then he thought about the inside of the chicken coop at his own house and shook his head.
No thank you!

The large wooden sign adjacent to Lake Road proclaimed the entrance to Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park. He wiped the sweat off his forehead again. The fifteen minute bike ride sure seemed faster when there was someone along on the ride. Once inside the park, Timmy turned left and followed the road that circled the 40 acre lake. A quarter of the way around the lake, he pulled his bike into the grass and leaned it up against a tree. He grabbed his fishing gear and his backpack and hiked down the gently sloping woods to the huge oak whose limbs dangled over the water. This was their secret fishing spot.

He threw his pack into the hollowed out cavity on the side of the tree and hurried the remaining feet to the edge of the lake. Bending over to open his tackle box and remove the night crawlers, he froze when he heard a snap in the underbrush. He held his breath, waiting for a glimpse of a long-tailed deer or raccoon and exhaled with disappointment when he saw the man step out from behind the brush.

“Hi Timmy,” the man said. “How’s the fishing?”

Shrugging his shoulders, Timmy glanced down at his gear, “Don’t know. I just got here.”

The man placed his hands on his hips and looked up at the sky. “Looks like a good day for it,” he said, nodding. “Yes,
siree
, it’s a good day for fishing.”

Timmy rolled his eyes.
Okay, you can leave now so I can get some fishing done.

“So, is
Mikey
joining you?” he asked.

“Yeah, he’s coming in about an hour,” Timmy explained, impatiently kicking his tackle box. “He has to clean the chicken coop first.”

The man laughed and nodded. “Well, then we don’t have much time.”

“Time?”
Timmy asked.

“For me to show you my secret fishing hole.”

Shaking his head, Timmy said, “Yeah, maybe some other time. Mikey’s going to meet me here.”

“But I already put your bike in the back of my truck.”

“Sorry, but I
gotta
stay,” he replied.

“I understand,” the man said. “But, I could sure use your help getting your bike back out of the truck. It was heavier than I thought.”

Then maybe you shouldn’t have put it in there in the first place!
Timmy thought. But he smiled and said, “Sure, I’ll help you.”

The man smiled at Timmy. “That would be nice of you. Why don’t you lead the way?”

Timmy moved past the man and started back up the hill. He heard the whoosh of something moving quickly through the air, but it hit him before he had time to react. He felt the impact against his head and his whole body flew sideways through the air. Landing in the dense ground cover, his face was momentarily buried in loose dirt, pine needles, dried leaves and twigs. Lifting his head, he took a deep breath and started to scramble away on his hands and knees. A strong hand caught him by the neck and pushed him back into the dirt.

“Sorry, Timmy, I can’t let you go now,” the man whispered. “You’d tell.”

Chapter One

“Daddy!”

Mary O’Reilly and Katie Brennan smiled when they heard Maggie’s cry of delight. They peeked out Mary’s front door to watch Maggie throw herself into her father’s arms. Clifford Brennan lifted his daughter and hugged her tightly while Maggie wrapped her arms around her father’s neck and returned the hug.

A shadow of sadness passed over Mary’s face.

“What’s wrong?” Katie asked.

Mary shrugged.
“Nothing really.”

Katie laughed. “You’re not a very good liar, Mary. Now tell me.”

“I don’t know if Bradley and I will be able to have children,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to be a mother.”

Katie hugged Mary. “My mother always told me never to borrow trouble,” she said. “Just wait and see what happens, you might be just fine and you’ve worried for nothing.”

“Mom, come on,” Andy yelled from the sidewalk.

Mary smiled. “You’re right, thank you. Now, you’d better get going.”

Katie squeezed Mary’s hand. “Things will turn out the way they are supposed to,” she said, moving to the door. “Besides, there’s always adoption.”

Mary walked with Katie out to the porch. She nodded. “I know,” she said. “But I’ve always wondered about that.”

Katie hugged her again. “It’s a wonderful experience,” she said softly, “I know, because our sweet Maggie is adopted.”

Mary stepped back, away from Katie, her heart pounding.
Maggie was adopted?
Could she be Bradley’s missing daughter?

“Mary what’s wrong?” Katie asked. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Mary shook her head, trying to decide what, if anything, she should say. “I’m... I’m just surprised she’s adopted,” she finally managed to sputter.

BOOK: Secret Hollows
11.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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