Audio File Download: Episode 007
One of the kinds of episodes I’m wanting to do on this podcast, I guess you could call it a series, are episodes devoted to exploring my fiction books, the stories, the characters, the worlds within my own imagination. So, on this epside, I’m going to talk about the first novel I ever finished and published on kindle called In the Meadow.
I think it turned out to be a great story, better than I had first imagined, and it has also spawned a sequel called Returning the Meadow and will eventually develop into a trilogy with the last installment I have in the works, Beautiful the Meandow.
So, let’s just jump in and find out everything there is not know (without spoilers) of this strange story of ghosts and maybe even demons and betrayal and sacrifice, but really what the story is about most, the brokenness of people and real, tangible, nightmarish fear….
My Writing Background
So, since this is my first ever episode to explore one of my books and my writing, let me start off with a little background of how I started writing in the first place, where I’m at now, what my future plans are, and maybe my view of the publishing industry.
First off, I have been writing stories since I could remember. Teachers throughout school and into college always encouraged me to write, even to the point of allowing me to skip regular assignments. One teacher would let me sit in the corner of the class by myself and just write each day as long as I turned in a new story to him by the end of class.
Now, I don’t really know if I am a good writer. Many people have told me so over the years, but this kind of thing is so subjective, and the publishing industry is so relative, I have no benchmark really to determine. Books I’ve loved all my life many, many people find to be horribly written with terrible plots and characters, while on the other hand, many novels considered to be classics in western culture I find impossible to get through.
But, after I became a Christian I basically gave up fiction writing altogether. I didn’t really think it was against God, but it just kind of happened. I did self-publish a few non-fiction books, but they never really went anywhere. I’ve sold probably 50 copies of my non-fiction book in the last 20 years. But, I was never really geared the right way toward marketing. I wasn’t good with people. I definitely couldn’t write what people wanted. Writing for me wasn’t about that. It wasn’t about an audience. I wrote for myself. I was my audience. I wanted to write books that I wanted to read. Books I could never find at the local bookstore.
After my divorce, as I floundered for about a year in my faith, I thought maybe I could sink myself into fiction writing again. After all, if God didn’t want me and the church didn’t want me, and my wife no longer wanted me, then why couldn’t I devote myself to writing?
So, amid trying to piece together my life, I sat down with my laptop and started to write again. I started to write characters that had been existing and talking to me for a long time in my own head and it was quite cathartic to get them out onto the page after so long. Pretty quickly I recognized I wasn’t making these things up as much as I was just clearing the dirt away like in an archeological dig, uncovering what was already there, what already existed.
Fast forward to today and I’ve written now eight novels in five trilogies. I didn’t know it when I started that all my stories would eventually be developed into trilogies and all of those trilogies would be connected to one another in some rather intriguing though often subtle ways.
But far my most successful book today is this one, In the Meadow. But, of course, success is relative like just about everything in the writing world. Of the reviews I’ve gotten, though, they have been for this story.
And that’s pretty much where I’m at. I’ve taken some time off the last few years, not really writing anything aside from the first novel in my new Jack Shaw Journey triology called, “Writing Kathy and Charlotte.” I’ll do an episode on that book in the future, once it’s actually published.
Now that I’ve finished my doctorate degree and it looks as if I’ll be staying in my current job for the foreseeable future, I’m thinking I might commit some part of my 5 days off each week to finishing the stories I already know I want to write.
But, enough about me. Let’s switch gears here and talk about In the Meadow.
About In the Meadow
I’m really going to try not giving away any of the surprises or plot twists or any spoilers here if I can help it. But this might just prove difficult, since I really love talking about this story and the characters within it.
The book doesn’t actually start with the main character, Dawn Mckensie, but starts instead in the woods, in a meadow (shocking right?) with a young girl who discovers rather abruptly that she’s just been murdered. Well, let me just read to you the opening prologue:
“…The sound of the shovel biting into the rocky topsoil echoed off the ridge on the opposite side of the river, the blade scraping up a mixture of loam and small chunks of debris. It was then tossed onto the large pile of dirt near her body, her clothes already caked with mud.
The incessant starts and stops of the rain saturated everything in the meadow.
It had been raining for three days.
At least, that’s what she thought – what she could remember.
Just the rain.
Dark clouds gripped the sky, hugging tightly to the steep edges of the granite outcroppings protruding out from the valley walls along the sheer banks on either side of the river.
Moss grew everywhere.
The girl took a clump of it off the ground from where she sat in the dirt. It was bright green and squishy between her fingers, soaking up the rainwater like a sponge.
She took a deep breath as she watched him work, the blade of the shovel taking another spade full of dirt from out of what was surely intended to be her grave.
The pile was spilling over onto her limp body, dark chunks of mud cascading across her blouse, getting into her hair, smearing her pale, lifeless face.
She looked down at herself, almost surprised at the cold, vacant stare looking back up at her.
Those eyes, wide, frozen white.
She blinked repeatedly, shivering.
The man looked so familiar.
She could remember him looming over her, as she wrestled against him, his hands so strong and tight around her neck. She remembered choking, gasping for air. It was like a dream now, though. Her thoughts, her feelings, all jumbled together in a kind of gray, icy haze.
She looked down again at her lifeless body.
An empty shell.
Everything she had been or could have been was gone now. There was nothing left, something to be discarded, covered over with earth, hidden and forgotten.
The girl looked over her shoulder at the black sky, then looked back at him. Daylight would come soon.
And he was almost finished.
The man abruptly stopped digging, his breath rough, his lungs forcefully sucking in large gulps of air.
She sighed at the thought of it.
Her own chest didn’t move anymore.
Not like before.
She didn’t – couldn’t – breathe.
Not like him.
There was no draw left in her lungs.
No life left.
A memory flashed across her mind, her throat suddenly burning red hot, just like it had when….when he had….
She could feel it.
She could even taste the rush of adrenaline. He was pushing down on top of her, so enormous, heavy, so strong. She trembled, thinking of how he had so utterly consumed her, her body seizing from the lack of oxygen, her brain starting to shut down, going black, her spine bridging upward, her tiny arms flailing, hands fruitlessly slapping and clawing against him.
She closed her eyes and lay her head softly on her knees.
The memory would pass soon. She just had to think of something else – will it to go away.
The man tossed the shovel and stepped up out of the hole he had just dug. He turned and grabbed hold of her ankle. She flinched, still able to feel the sensation of his touch on her skin, even though she was no where near him.
He couldn’t hurt her anymore, but that really didn’t seem to matter.
The man pulled her lifeless body down into the hole.
She just sat there at the edge of her grave, silent, watching, as the man positioned her arms and legs.
He took his time, almost admiring her.
He straightened her long hair, gently tucking errant strands behind each ear.
A putrid feeling washed over her.
She peered down over the edge, and looked at herself staring back. She was so peaceful now, all but those empty, hollowed eyes. In them, she could see the deep etches of pain he had inflicted, scarred deep, deeper than she could have ever imagined possible.
He stood and retrieved his shovel.
Without even a second glance, the man began filling in the hole. The girl looked up at him frequently, but couldn’t keep her gaze on his face, somehow still frightened he might notice her sitting there.
But he couldn’t see her.
She was finally safe and out of his reach. But that fact wouldn’t alleviate the irrational fear welling up inside, the tight knot in her throat.
Dirt was covering her, first her arms, then her chest, her legs.
He was saving her face for last, those wide, opened eyes.
She peered over the edge again as another shovel full erased her completely. The sky above was now a blotchy predawn gray. The sun would soon peer out over the horizon.
He had plenty of time to finish. It was about done, anyway.
There was nothing left of her now.
Before too long her shallow grave would be just another inconspicuous depression. There could be anything buried there underneath, or nothing at all.
She was nothing.
He had finally finished what he had started with her, finally put her out of the world, hid her beyond the reach of anyone or anything.
The wind clipped at her wet clothes as its chilly fingers swept through the trees, rustling the underbrush. A strange sound echoed back from across the river, the wind circling through a hollow in the rock outcroppings on the ridge above.
Something in the far tree line caught her eye, and the girl perked up for a moment, trying to figure out what it was.
Maybe someone was out there, coming to rescue her.
Maybe they knew what he’d done, and they could come and save her, pull her out of that hole and give her back what he’d stolen.
She slumped forward where she sat and sighed.
There would be no rescue.
She looked back down at her shallow grave.
No one knew where she was or what had happened. He’d made sure of that.
There was nothing anyone could do for her now.
The man launched the last blade full of dirt onto what now looked like just another slight depression in the meadow.
She shivered, but not from the cold.
She couldn’t feel regular cold anymore.
Not like he could, or like other people could. This cold was something else entirely – an icy cold that seemed to seep slowly, continually from out of her own bones, numbing everything within her.
The man patted her grave with the back of the shovel, smoothing out the rough spots here and there, matching it to the immediate terrain.
The girl looked down at her tiny hands, bits of flesh and blood still under her fingernails from when she fought back. It hadn’t even slowed him down. She remembered the last gasp of air – the last breath she’d ever taken – spittle escaping from her quivering lips, not sure what he was doing to her, but so certain that if he continued, she was going to die right there, right then.
And she did die.
Twisting and fighting with every ounce of strength she had left in her.
Maybe she could have gotten away, run toward the highway, get help.
She just stared at her hands.
It didn’t matter.
Nothing mattered now.
It had happened so quickly, the poor girl hadn’t even realized it. She’d heard the faint snap of her larynx collapse under his weight, the last bit of life draining out of her, like catching water through open fingers.
It was just gone.
Just like that.
One moment she was underneath him, the next, she was standing, her whole body trembling, just a few feet away.
And so cold.
She was suddenly so cold.
The man collected his things, and she watched as he made his way across the meadow, his back turned to her. He whistled happily as he walked back toward the tree line.
Her death hadn’t even fazed him.
Not a second thought.
But that was the point, wasn’t it?
Forget this lifeless thing now buried in the dirt.
She sat there for a long time, even after the whistling had died off, the man disappearing into the trees.
Now only the wind could be heard.
She tried not to, but the tears welled up anyway, and the girl started to cry softly, her broken body buried beneath her in the earth.
From a distance, at the edge of the meadow, in the opposite direction from where the man had gone, they waited for her. They were quiet, and the girl didn’t notice them for what seemed like forever.
But they were there.
Background Info on Writing In the Meadow
So, I wrote this story back in and around 2013. I started it while briefly working up north for a small company that I quickly jumped ship on (the owners were a little mentally unstable). It was actually supposed to be based on my then newly ex-wife. Dawn McKensie is actually modeled after her, or was initially modeled after her, until I discovered Dawn in the book had taken on a life of her own.
I had intended to kill her off at the end, but Dawn turned out to be a fighter and…well…I really don’t want to say any more about that.
Oregon is the setting for the story, well, the first part. The second half is set in Washington State, in a little town calls Skaggit River. I’ve never actually been to either of these towns before. I found them on a google map and then started researching them. There are locations and destinations in these towns that don’t actually exist or were picked out of their actual context that I know them in and mended into the background of the story.
Many of the characters are real names of people I know. I rarely make up names, though certain ones are utter fabrications. Much of the time, though, despite the names being real, the characters are completely different from the real life individuals. Though many of the characters and personalities are adapted from people I know or have known in the past. In the very first novel I ever wrote in high school (never actually published it), I included my then girlfriend as one of the main characters. She was brutally murdered by someone she slept with in the story, dismembered, with her head left on the headboard of the bed. I didn’t even realize the similarities until my girlfriend read the manuscript and ripped me a new one for killing her off (well, and for cutting her into pieces)!
But, like I already said, Dawn turned out to be much different than my ex-wife. Though she had a pretty horrible childhood in Oakridge, she seemed to always make the best out of her situation. Her job. Her fascination with reading books (this is based on my fascination as a teenager). All except for her relationships with the opposite sex. She makes a point a few times in the book that her luck with men is absolutely abysmal.
Of course, this is the juxtaposition of meeting Paul when she did, out of the blue, with his captivating blue eyes, and the attention and interest he poured into her when she was really alone and expecting to be alone the rest of her life. She missed her father who she lost as a young girl. And, though she was glad her mother was gone, she did feel the hole left by having someone there in the trailer with her, even if her mother was drunk most of the time.
Dawn has that thing I don’t really have…that insatiable desire to be around people or that she is somehow fulfilled with a relationship with another person. But, she also has my innate ability to be content in being alone. Dawn seems almost to have lost that drive toward other people because of other people and how they’ve hurt her. I do think she gets this from me. Though, I still can’t be certain if I had that drive once in my youth and lost it as a reaction to pain caused by others or if I never really had it in the first place and I was just masking it in my early days to try and fit in. I felt that way alot while I was married to my wife. In fact, toward the end of our marriage I was so miserable I would often fantasize about her being killed in a carwreck, so I could finally be alone again (of course, I never mentioned that to her. I don’t think I’ve ever admitted it to anyone). But, since my divorce I’ve embraced my solitude, being alone, and it has truly been the best years of my life. But, still, sometimes I wonder.
Dawn doesn’t have that dilemma. She’s just doesn’t see much of an option. She lives in a small town in the mountains of Oregon. She works at a dead end job pumping gas (yep, it is actually illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon). She’s broke 95% of the time. There are no prospects in Oakridge, which isn’t all that realistic for an attractive woman as there are always suitable suiters. But, this is my story so who cares about realism, right?
The only man she’s ever really loved was her father who doted on her and spent time with her. It’s the time he spent with her on the trails in the woods that draws her back to those places. Trying to relive those memories she shared with him since they are all she has left.
Let me read a really short section from her visit to her father’s grave:
“…The wind gently fanned her hair, a low hanging branch from a nearby cedar occasionally reaching down at touching the top of her head. Her dad had told her one morning, while hiking together, that ghosts and angels sometimes spoke to people using the wind and trees and…..
She smiled, looking back down at her father’s grave.
Her dad was gone.
Dawn sighed, her shoulders slumping forward as she stood there for a long time.
“I miss you, Dad,” she finally said, a single tear streaking her cheek.
A gust of wind blew against her.
Dawn swallowed hard, and stuck her hands deep into the back pockets of her jeans, steeling herself against the tears welling up inside.
There was nothing wrong with her.
Nothing wrong with her life or how everything had turned out.
Her dad had died.
No big deal.
It happened to countless others all the time, and she certainly wasn’t shedding any tears for her mother. There was just no excuse for her to be dwelling on this crap. She wasn’t missing out on anything, and there certainly wasn’t some grand escape from her life.
She just had to live with it.
Her life was pretty good, anyway.
Who was she to complain?
Dawn sniffled back more tears and gritted her teeth.
“Bye, Dad,” she said, turning away from his grave. “Love you.”
Another gust of wind caught her by surprise, nearly pushing her over.
As she walked, Dawn’s thoughts drifted off, thinking about what was happening in the book she had been reading all morning.
She made her way back out onto Rainbow Street, then out to the highway…”
Excerpt from In the Meadow
Before I close out this episode, let me read one last exerpt, when Dawn was in the library at Skaggit River, and this section is about her meeting what would probably be Dawn’s one and only true friend:
“…She flipped the book over in her hand, leaning her forehead against the shelf as she read the blurb on the back. It sounded interesting, but couldn’t place the author.
Maybe he was new, or, at least new to her.
Dawn glanced up and noticed several other titles by this Peretti guy.
She dropped it in her bag.
As she made her way down to the end of the row, Dawn paused a moment, letting another woman go around her.
She recognized the book in the woman’s hand.
“Have you read it?” the woman asked, making eye contact with her. “Is it any good?”
“It was okay. Have you read any of his stuff?”
“No,” she said.
The woman was young and beautiful, maybe a little bit older than Dawn, but not by much.
“I can’t decide if I’d like it. It sounds so freaking strange.”
“That’s Coelho,” Dawn said, laughing quietly. “It’s worth it. The Alchemist was better, though.”
“I don’t think they have that one.”
“I hate that.”
“Me, too,” the woman said. “Are you new in town? I’ve never seen you in here before.”
Dawn didn’t really know how to answer.
“I just – I’ve been here a few days. Visiting a friend.”
The woman seemed intrigued.
“Where you from?”
“Oakridge,” Dawn said. “Oregon.”
“Okay – ”
The woman smiled, pointing a finger at her.
“I know who you are.”
Dawn felt flush.
“Sorry,” the woman said, putting out her hand. “I’m Rachel, Han’s sister.”
“Oh, from the grocery store?”
“Yeah, that’s Hans.”
Rachel rolled her eyes as they shook hands.
“He mentioned Paul had a new girlfriend with him.”
“I’m not sure if I’m – ”
“Oh, trust me. You’re his girlfriend,” Rachel said. “That boy has been chased by just about every girl in town and no one has managed to bag him. You’re big news, honey.”
“I hate the thought of that,” Dawn said, squirming in her shoes.
Rachel waved a hand.
“Most of the girls in town are bitches anyway. It’s no wonder he fell for an outsider.”
“So, did you two know each other growing up?” Dawn asked.
Rachel ran a free hand through her long, blonde hair.
“We were in the same grade, the three of us. He’s been friends with my brother since they were like ten or something.”
“Oh, wow,” Dawn said, nodding.
“So, what about you? What’s Oregon like?”
“Kind of similar to here,” Dawn said.
“Sad and depressing?”
“You don’t like it here?”
“It’s alright, I suppose. One of these day’s I’m going to escape, though. Maybe join the circus or something.
Anything, as long as it gets me out of this hell hole. So, you think this book is good enough to read, or am I wasting my time?”
“It’s pretty good.”
“Just pretty good?”
Rachel fanned through the pages.
“That’s not much of an endorsement. You want to reconsider? I’ll blame you if it’s bad.”
“Well – ”
“That’s what I thought.”
Rachel put the book back on the shelf.
“So, what’s Paul’s place like? I’ve driven by, but I’ve never actually had a reason to stop in. Is it nice?”
“It’s really beautiful.”
“Hans has been out there a few times,” Rachel said.
“Hunting or some stupid thing like that. You’re not one of those woodsy-type girls, are you? I always figured he’d go for one of Tommy’s boys.”
“I like hiking.”
Rachel threw up her hands.
“I told you. A tomboy. I absolutely hate the woods! All that dirt and crap.”
The two of them started back toward the check out counter.
“Where the hell is Ms. Steiner?”
“Did you have her in school, too?” Dawn asked.
Rachel made a sour face.
“Miserable experience. And now I’m get double punishment every time I come in here.”
“I’m really glad I didn’t take your word for it,” Rachel said, looking back at the bookshelf. “It would have been really bad for you to steer me wrong on a book recommendation after just meeting for the first time.”
“So, you two been out skinny dipping in the river?”
Dawn’s face went red again and Rachel looked pleased.
Rachel put her hands up.
“To each their own. Curious minds, though. How about lunch? Pepper’s is really the only place in town, so, my treat?”
“The hamburger place down the road.”
Rachel rolled her eyes again.
“It’s actually the only hamburger place in town.”
“Uh – ”
Dawn had no idea what to say.
“Come on,” Rachel said. “Don’t leave me hanging here. It’s just lunch. I’m not asking you out or anything. Well, not yet, anyway.”
Her grin was devilish.
Dawn had met some strange and abrasive people before, but this girl was absolutely crazy.
“Sure,” she finally said. “I’d love to have lunch with you.”
So, that’s about it for this episode on an exploration of my novel, In the Meadow. I hope you liked the background and a sneak peak into some of the reasons why I wrote this story to begin with, and a look into the main character, Dawn.
I will be doing these review episodes for each of my books and also for stories I hope to write in the future.
But, let’s shift gears again and tackle a few questions.
I had one question a reader asked me awhile back about one of my novels and it kind of pertains to my overall writing style, so I’ll post it here along with my answer.
Why do you use bad language in your books if you claim to be a Christian? This was a good book except for all the language.
This reader was actually quite angry with me after reading one of my books. I assume it was Sacred the Circle since it is not only about an overtly religious subject matter, but it is actually one of the few books I’ve written where the dialog has a good share of foul language in it.
First, if one inspects the use closer (which the reader obviously didn’t, she was just upset to be exposed to it because she was a Christian and thought I shoudn’t use bad language since I claim to be a Christian) she would have found that the foul language was only in the dialog and only between either completely unsaved people or people who were recently saved (or who were being used by God but not necessarily a believer). This is not only more accurate to these groups of people, it is more accurate to everyday life as the masses typically are foul mouthed people. Just listen to your co-workers sometime or just normal people in every day experiences.
Second, just because I’m a Christian does not mean I buy into the pseudo-Christian culture of mainstream evangelicalism. This kind of sub-cultural aberration is why I don’t actively participate in a local church (plus I really can’t find any local church that is remotely close to biblical Christianity in today’s pluralistic society). Many people over the years have apologized to me when they use foul language. Some don’t even know I’m a Christian. I personally do not use this kind of language around other people, but I cuss like a sailor when I’m alone. I think it has more to do with the idea of bearing with the weaker brother (like this particular reader) rather than thinking it is necessarily evil.
Third, there was a specific point I was trying to bring across to the reader concerning not only the particular characters in the story (that were using foul language) but also about how God works with people and uses people for his purposes that do not always align with the thinking of the sub-culture of modern evangelicalism. These guys in Sacred the Circle are mostly college kids or auto mechanics, just run-of-the-mill guys who are pulled into an upsidedown reality to serve a purpose. God doesn’t care that they are losing their jobs or their families, and the burden he gives them is one cloaked in mystery and vagaries (like God often seems to do). For many of them, they’ve never even read the Bible.
So, that is it fro this episode. If you have any questions about the podcast or one of my books or if you have a Bible or theology or philosophy question you would like to ask me, or just want to leave me a comment you can do so by emailing me at email@example.com or your can leave a comment on the show notes post on the website at isaachunterthewriter.com. If you want to support this podcast, please consider buying one or more of my novels. Just head over to the website and you can find them all listed there on the front page with excerpts and links to where they can be purchased.
Until the next time we meet together…..be well.
Please consider supporting this podcast by purchasing one of my books on Amazon or from my website at isaachunterthewriter.com. Let me read you an excerpt from one of my novels.
Excerpt from Our Daughter:
“Okay, mom,” Randy said.
“You behave yourself and be nice. You’re lucky to have company while you wait for the doctors.”
The woman turned and started back the way she came.
“The nurse said it would be twenty or thirty more minutes, so we’ll eat quick and be back up here before they take you in, okay?”
“Sorry for him,” the woman said to Katie as she walked by.
As the woman left, Katie noticed the boy moving around again on the bed. Before she realized what was happening, the tiny lump disappeared and she could hear the faint sound of bare hands and feet on the tile floor.
He was low crawling under the beds toward her.
A moment later, Randy popped his head out from under the nearest hospital bed, craning his neck around to look up at her.
“Hello, there,” Katie said.
Randy disappeared back under the bed, the bed sheet draping down almost to the floor. Katie could still see three little fingers pressed to the tile.
“What are you here for?” Katie asked, readjusting her seat in the chair, trying to get the ache in her chest to lessen.
For whatever reason, the wheelchair was really uncomfortable.
“Why are – ”
Randy’s voice trailed off for a moment as he looked around.
“Why are you here?”
“I’m getting my leg fixed,” Katie said. “See?”
Randy poked his head back out from under the bed and looked at the leg she was pointing to.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“The doctor said it’s broken,” Katie said. “Shattered.”
“Can you feel it?” Randy asked, able to stay out from his hiding place.
“I can feel it, but it’s not too bad,” Katie said, then tapped the IV in her arm. “This thing is giving me medicine of some kind for the pain. At least that’s what the nurses said.”
“Why are you – ”
Randy stopped mid-sentence.
He scooted out from under the bed entirely and slowly crept over to er on all fours.
“What are you, some kind of spider?” Katie asked, giggling a little.
“What are you?” Randy echoed.
He was now only about a foot away from her chair and sat there, his legs folded up under him, gawking up at her.
“What are you staring at me for?”
“I’ve never – ”
Randy put out a hesitant hand and ever so gently touched her arm.
“Are you some kind of ghost?”
He looked around again.
“Are you – ”
He leaned in, talking in a whisper.
“Are you dead?”
A nurse came around the corner and stopped abruptly, spotting the empty bed in the far corner where Randy should have been.
“Randy Andrews,” the nurse said, her hands now on her hips. “You get right back into the bed and you stop playing around, please. They are ready for you in surgery.”
Katie watched as Randy scrambled on all fours under the beds and back up onto his, pulling the sheet back over top of himself again.
She started to ask him about his question, but couldn’t get the words out before his parents appeared at the door.
Katie sat there quietly, watching Randy stare back at her from under his sheet. She glanced over at his parents and the nurse, noticed Randy’s dad had no hair on the top of his head.
Are you dead?
What kind of question was that?
The snap of the wheel locks being disengaged on Randy’s hospital bed jarred Katie out of the confusion she was in.
The doctor she’d first seen was now at the door, waiting for Randy.
He was his surgeon.
They wheeled Randy out of the room, his parents following right behind, disappearing to the left, heading for his operating room.
The pre-op room was empty again.
Are you dead?
What kind of crazy question was that?
The nurse came back through the double doors.
“It won’t be long now,” she said.
Katie tried not to think about the dull ache growing just behind her sternum.
The nurse disappeared around the corner as Katie watched the double doors to the operating rooms slowly shut.
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