Chapter 6: Kate

KATE The hotel felt sterile yet safe after the closeted warmth of her mother’s house. Tyler had pitched a bit of a fit over leaving but he seemed soothed by the fact that Des would be just down the hall at the hotel. Kate had thrown their things haphazardly in the corner and then sank onto the bed while Ty ran around opening every drawer and cabinet to see “if anyone left anything cool.” It had been a long time since she’d stayed in a hotel in her own...more

Chapter 5: Samantha

SAMANTHA The bedroom door had barely closed behind her when the tears began. Everything she’d worked to protect against, everything she’d fought so hard to prevent from happening was playing out in front of her. Her little...more

Chapter 5: Max

MAX He watched his sister leave with a mix of apprehension and relief. Being around Kate was always one big top away from a circus; he never knew what to say or where to step to keep both her and their mother happy. He wished he could remember a time when they got along, but he just couldn’t ....more

Chapter Four: Kate

KATE She paced the floors of her mother’s house while Tyler watched television. “Should we call someone?” Her voice sounded shrill as it rang through her head, tinged with the fear of losing two parents in one weekend. Max shook his head and handed her an opened beer ....more

Chapter Four: Samantha

Although she wanted nothing more than to be home, Samantha didn’t drive to the house. Instead, she meandered the familiar streets of her town, finally pulling into a parking lot at one of those coffee shops she saw everywhere but never went into. Of all the places in town,...more

Chapter 3: Samantha (Pt. 2/2)

SAMANTHA This was taking too long. Why did it have to take so long? She just wanted to be home, alone in her bedroom ....more

Chapter Three: Kate (pt. 1/2)

KATE She couldn’t believe Des had done it, but she had to commend him for his timing. He was absolutely right, Max needed him there. Hell, she needed him there ....more

Chapter two: Max (3/3)

MAX He almost felt him before he saw him. It was like a wash of peace sort of settled in and around his heart and when he looked up, there he was. Of course, he wasn’t supposed to be there, but damn if Max wasn’t glad as hell to see him ....more

Chapter Two: Kate (pt. 2/3)

KATE Tyler was getting tired. She could tell that he was bored and ready to go by the slight whine in his voice and the restlessness of his feet. He was only five and really, her mom was right… five was too young for a funeral ....more

Chapter Two: Samantha (Pt. 1/3)

Samantha It was the same church, the same aisles, and even many of the same people. Yes, they were all older, but if she squinted just so, she could almost transform her neat black suit into the flowing lace and silk of her wedding gown. If she closed her eyes and breathed in, the flowers even smelled the same ....more