“Oh my God!” she screamed, bolting up from her bed in panic, covers erupting in chaos. Her forehead beaded damply and ran with little rivulets of sweat, her hair clinging to her face and neck in mahogany brown strands, while her heart drummed so hard in her heaving chest she thought it might burst through her ribs. Except for the faint amber glow of her clock radio her room was pitch black, the only sound she could hear was her lungs gasping for air, though she faintly recorded the droning trill of crickets through her open windows; the single insistent bark of a large dog like a gun shot. A pale crescent moon hung in the right corner of the dormer like a luminous tear in the sky, the vast, black night scape cloaking the world in deathly still embrace.

She sat there for a few moments allowing her heart rate to slowly subside. Taking deep, measured breaths as she always did helped calm her, release her from the terror of it. She eased her head back gently, allowing it to rotate in slowly in easy circles to release the tension. Only then did she realize her teeth were clamped tight like a vise, her jaw rigid. “God.” she moaned, “not again.” Erin Kelly recognized her nightmare with vivid, horrifying intimacy. It was the same nightmare that had haunted her for twenty years, stalked her relentlessly since that terrible, terrible night.

The car carried her along its unstoppable death trajectory. She stood on the breaks, stomped the floorboard in futility as the car careened out of control, and nothing she could do could slow it or change the horrifying inevitability. Erin knew she was going to die and die a violent, painful death. She could feel it viscerally. Her ears filled with the sound of ripping earth and brush and the pounding of the car frame, which pitched her body in contorted postures like a rag doll tossed about in a dryer. The rear view mirror caught her wildly flowing hair and she felt it rip from her skull.

Her ribs broke with a sickening crack as her chest slammed into the gear shift, ejecting air from her punctured lungs in a sickening, wet excretion. Arms flailing, her head smashed through the headliner to the car’s steel roof and she felt something snap in her neck. Great shards of glass cut into her, into the core of her, ripping flesh and organs, as she began to drown in her own blood. There was now only her sense of falling through space into the abyss that opened like ghastly, clutching arms to embrace her. She was in free-fall inside the car as it plunged over the cliff, even as she reached in desperation for the safety of the ledge, watching in disembodied terror as it receded from her and she hurtled towards the glistening, jagged rocks below....

Yet as horrible as her nightmare was she couldn’t begin to imagine how her life was about to spiral out of control and herself plunge into the abyss of  a mystery that would change everything she thought she ever knew….

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