If you haven't yet read the previous installments, you can find them here:
Part 1 - Lori Connelly
Part 2 - Sarah Lefebve
Part 3 - Zara Stoneley
Part 4 - Lynn Marie Hulsman
Now read on...
Beth’s mouth opened, but no words came out. Matthew wouldn’t believe her anyway. Just last night he’d told her to get her head out the clouds and face reality, and the thought that had started to form... it was too improbable.
Improbable but inescapable. And there wasn’t much time.
“We need to talk,” she told Matthew.
His brow furrowed. “Then talk.”
She drew in a deep breath. She had no idea where to start. She sat in the chair where Walter had sat not so long ago. “Tell me about your grandmother.”
His frown deepened, but he sat in the armchair across from her. “I don’t remember much about her. Towards the end she was a little batty. Kept going on about a slip in time and how she needed to get home to undo the damage she’d done.”
“How did she die?”
Matthew looked away. “One day she walked out into the woods towards Watchtower Hill and she never came home. We searched everywhere but we never found her.”
The tower-shaped hill brooded over the neighbourhood. The woods that surrounded it were dark and eerie, and Beth had never dared ventured there in all the time she’d lived here on the farm with Matthew.
He sighed, and when his gaze again met hers there was sadness in them. “My grandmother grew up in a cabin in those woods. It’s the first place we looked, but the place was a ruin and there was no sign of her.”
Beth squared her shoulders. “Then that’s where we need to start.” She rose and headed for the closet where they stored their emergency gear. They’d worked with search and rescue teams in the area before, helping to find lost hikers. This wouldn’t be much different.
Matthew rose behind her. “Are you insane? Do you have any idea how cold it is outside? And a storm warning’s been issued. That’s why I came home.”
She stopped in her tracks. He was right. Walter would never make it on foot. Not as fast as he was aging. “We’ll have to take the old sled,” she said.
Matthew came around and took her hands. “You’re starting to frighten me, Beth. What’s got into you?”
The door behind him swung open, and Walter stood in the door. They both gasped.
Part Six will be up on Jane Lark's blog on 17th December.