Ryan peeled back the sweat-damp sheet, set his feet on the wood floor then switched on the bedside lamp. Eerie moon shadows danced beyond the window but it wasn’t anything outside that concerned him. This wasn’t the first time he’d felt a haunting presence in the room, hovering near him. The air grew thick, rank and damp. He got up to open the window but stopped dead.
What the hell?
A woman all in white stood at the edge of the woods just twenty yards or so away. His body went rigid with terror. There was something ethereal about her but his mind refused to accept the familiarity of her features.
Couldn’t be. He quietly eased open the window to get a better look. She stared right at him and his knees went weak.
He fisted his hands and dug his fingernails painfully into his skin to confirm he was truly awake.
The spirit seemed to float next to the black oak tree. “Heed your vision.” Her lips hadn’t moved yet he’d heard her voice all the same.
“Becky!” He stumbled backward until he crashed into the bed.
The apparition was gone as suddenly as it had appeared. Gulping for air, he grasped the footboard, sure he must still be dreaming.
“Becky…wait!” He lunged toward the window but she was gone before he could ask who’d killed her. Scrubbing a hand over his face, he wondered if he’d lost his mind.
Could someone be playing a cruel joke on him? Who would do such a thing? And how would anyone know about the visions he’d been having? He hadn’t told a soul for fear he’d be committed.
He yanked on jeans then shoved his .45 into his waistband and headed downstairs. Armed with flashlight, he searched his property, calling her name, but he found nothing.
I didn’t imagine her.
This might have been the first time he’d actually seen her since she’d passed away, but deep inside, he’d sensed her presence for weeks now. He’d shrugged it off as part of his frustration over not knowing who’d murdered her. He wasn’t ready to admit he’d seen a ghost but he was positive some unknown force was at work.
Had his mental images of Emily been a dire prediction for her? Maybe she was really in danger. Desperate as he was to learn the identity of Becky’s killer, the more urgent issue was to warn Emily she might not be safe.
He’d read an article in the paper that she’d helped the police over in Raleigh with a murder investigation last year. His rational mind told him nothing paranormal was real but he couldn’t deny what he’d just witnessed with his own eyes. Like it or not, he had to look into it.
His sister deserved justice and her friend needed to know she could be in trouble.