The Secret of the Red Stone
Book one in the Midnight Streaming Series. Austin Gray received a gift at 18. No, it wasn’t a new car, or his athletic scholarship or his voice. He has sightings. Not in the psychic sense. Austin sees violent crimes as they happen. Worse, he can’t turn them off or keep them to himself. He’s forced, under threat of debilitating pain, to tell what he sees. Some gift huh? More
It wasn’t the heat of the infamous Southern Pines summer nights that woke me. Nor the insistent clang of pots or pans. I’d grown accustomed to Ma’s insomnia. She cooked at all hours to soothe her nerves. No, this drive to get up was something new. More like a shove from the inside.
The urge to move my sore body from its toasty resting spot pummeled me. As I scratched the scarred skin between my neck and shoulder, I placed my right foot on the hardwood floor. The left followed more slowly. The bones were still knitting from the car accident and I had no interest in having them reset because I fell.
Slow was good.
My eyes adjusted to this new position and, keeping that mantra in mind, I sat still on the edge of my bed to get my bearings. It took a moment to bring everything in focus. The desire to go online surprised me. As I waited for the laptop to boot up, I hoped this wasn’t the beginning of another series of nightmares. Violence in video games was cool, expected even. That should be the end of it. My sleep should be safe, free from the horrors of life.
The login screen appeared. Scooting over, I sat in the ergonomic chair Ma bought six months ago as a bribe to get me active again. It felt good against my back as I settled, wondering what to do next. My fingers flew over the keyboard. Good to see they still worked.
Looking at the screen, I recognized a familiar chat room; I hadn’t visited it since the accident. Closing my eyes, I breathed through the pain of loss that filled me every time I remembered the day our car ran off the road and hit a tree.
A beep pulled my attention back to the screen. The clock at the bottom read a little after midnight and the room was full of lively chatters. Scrolling down, I suppressed a yawn, read the inventive names of the active participants, answered a few shout outs, and decided to leave. I’d just turned eighteen and some of the suggestions in this room had my face on fire. A new person sent a shout out.
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