Inside Voices by Sarah Davis
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.7 MB
The mind is a strange beast…extraordinary, unpredictable, protective.
Penny Osborn’s mind is no exception. In High School, Penny witnessed a massacre and lost her father to the same killers. She had seen it unfold before it happened, in a premonition, but could not prevent it.
A college research project at the edge of the Arctic is her chance for a new beginning. Struggling with PTSD, Penny’s therapy includes running, dogs, and guitars. Yet her fresh start is plagued by new premonitions, dark and foreboding, that coincide with a rising number of murders in the community. Her visions are vague, offering little to identify the killer.
When confronted with an orphaned polar bear cub, Penny risks everything to save its life. The deepening mystery of the murdered women, coupled with the exhaustive duties of caring for the small cub, draw her closer to her friend, Noah, and further from her sister.
Fearful for the serial killer’s next target, Penny discovers where her physical abilities can help her.
Will letting go of the past lead to healing? And can she stop the murders?
The buzzing beneath eighteen-year-old Penny Osborn’s skin started while she spoke to the officer. It worsened during the car ride from her high school in Pasadena to her mother’s veterinary clinic north in Eaton Canyon. As she rested her palms in her lap, atop the wrinkled and blood-crusted jeans, she wondered why her hands were still while everything beneath her skin vibrated.
A whine from the back of the Jeep pulled her from the depths of her daze; the school’s security dog, Zeus. They were taking him to her mother’s clinic for a complete exam, possibly surgery to remove the bullet. Or bullets. Penny had forgotten he was in the vehicle. She had forgotten getting into the Jeep.
Her gaze returned to her hands, the hands with the intense buzzing beneath her skin. The hands she earlier tried to clean with hand sanitizer. Many rust-colored crusts still flecked the backs and stained her fingernails. Penny considered the mess she would leave behind.
“Don’t worry about the seat, sweetheart. It will clean easy enough,” her mother had said when Penny climbed into the passenger seat.
She scrunched her eyebrows together and tried to recall leaving the school grounds. Her mother, Dr. Eelyn Osborn, and Penny, loaded Zeus in the back. No, that wasn’t right. Billy, the school Security Officer, helped her mother with the dog. Left unattended, Penny sought to focus on something, anything, instead of the pandemonium surrounding her. Her attention drifted to the clear, sharp outline of the mountains. The overnight rainfall had washed away the smog allowing an uncommon view of the mountain tops so sharp against the blue, clear sky – a jagged tear in the ether.
Upon reaching the clinic, her mother parked in the unloading zone. Penny climbed out with care and walked to the back of the vehicle to help lift the German Shepherd. Several technicians swooped in like white geese coming in for a landing, their white frock coats billowing behind them in their haste. They had with them an electric wheeled cart: one able to lift and lower a hefty animal with ease leaving Penny jobless, standing at the curb, distracted by the buzzing beneath her skin.
Her mother led her through the back door of the clinic where the antiseptic nasal blast both embraced and comforted her. The fragrance she had known since childhood. While in the employee locker room her mother spoke quietly. How are you doing? Fine. Do you need something to drink? No. Do you mind waiting while I check on Zeus? Sure. Please clean yourself up. Okay.
The glimpse Penny caught of herself in the locker room mirror revealed the extent of her disheveled appearance. Her hair, mostly freed from its ponytail, fell around her face like limp noodles; the excess blood on her face, arms, and clothes suggested she played the target at the shooting range. But, no external injuries, so said the EMT who examined her. No external injuries. Of course not. She had not been in the field with her senior class but had witnessed it from the picture window in the science room just as in her nightmare the previous night.