She Has Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be by J.D. Barker
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 3.1 MB
After the loss of his parents, young Jack Thatch first met Stella as a child—this cryptic little girl of eight with dark hair and darker eyes, sitting alone on a bench in the cemetery clutching her favorite book. Gone moments later, the brief encounter would spark an obsession. She’d creep into his thoughts, his every waking moment, until he finally finds her again exactly one year later, sitting upon the same bench, only to disappear again soon after.
The body of a man found in an alley, every inch of his flesh horribly burned, yet his clothing completely untouched. For Detective Faustino Brier, this wasn’t the first, and he knew it wouldn’t be the last. It was no different from the others. He’d find another just like it one year from today. August 9, to be exact.
Isolated and locked away from the world in a shadowy lab, a little boy known only as Subject “D” waits, grows, learns. He’s permitted to speak to no one. He has never known the touch of another. Harboring a power so horrific, those in control will never allow him beyond their walls.
All of them linked in ways unimaginable.
“Hush, you little runt. I’m talking to my sister.”
I watched as Auntie Jo plucked another cigarette, a Marlboro Red 100, from the pack sitting atop her checkered cloth bag and put it in her mouth, lighting it with a silver Zippo and sending a puff of gray smoke to the heavens.
“You said one hour. That was at five o’clock. It’s six o’clock now. Time is up,” I told her. She had no sense of time. Given the chance, she’d spend the entire day sitting here in the cemetery talking to the stones. Well, talking to Momma’s stone. She didn’t talk to Daddy. She didn’t much like Daddy.
“Knight Rider is on in two hours.”
“You won’t miss Knight Rider.”
“Last time I missed Knight Rider,” I reminded her. “We left here at six-thirty, got home at seven, ate dinner, you made me take a bath, and by the time I sat down to watch, it was half over. You can’t watch a show like Knight Rider from the middle. You gotta start from the beginning.”
Auntie Jo puffed at her cigarette. “You have an uncanny memory for an eight-year-old, you know that?”
“Can we go?”
I sighed and reached for the radio.
Auntie Jo had spread out a blanket over my parents’ graves so we wouldn’t have to sit on the wet grass. Rain fell most of the morning, and the sun in Pittsburgh, even in August, did little to dry things up. The ground was still all squishy.
“Four years, Katy,” Auntie Jo said to Momma’s stone. “Four years since that wretch of a man of yours took you from us—from me and your little baby boy, Jack.”
“Daddy didn’t kill Momma.”
“He was driving, wasn’t he?”
“It was an accident.”
“He was drunk.”
“Momma had two glasses of wine, and Daddy was drinking Coke. That’s what the waiter said. It’s in the police report.”
Auntie Jo straightened the flowers in Momma’s vase. Her fingernails were stained yellow. The flowers were daisies. I picked them out myself at Giant Eagle on the way here. There were no flowers in Daddy’s vase. It was filled with stagnant rainwater and weeds. Auntie Jo wouldn’t let me clean it out.
“He was drunk before he left.”
I shook my head. “He was drinking iced tea at home before they dropped me off at your apartment. Momma, too.”
“You can’t know that.”
“I have a canny memory, you said so.”
“You were four.”
“I was drinking chocolate milk. Momma put it in my sippy cup so I could take it with me. We watched Magnum, P.I. on your couch, then you put me to bed right after. I did not have to take a bath that night.”