By Heather Topham Wood
Second Sight Book One
Two years ago, 21-year-old Kate Edwards became deathly ill and slipped into a coma. While unconscious, she crept into the mind of a missing boy and awoke with the knowledge of his location. Friends and family were skeptical and wary of her new ability to see into the minds of others. Their fears prompted Kate to keep her psychic powers a secret. Feeling alienated, she dropped out of college and spent most of her days holed up at her mother's home.
Now another child has been abducted. Police detective Jared Corbett seeks out Kate for her help in solving the case. Reluctantly, Kate agrees and they must work together to bring 8-year-old Cori Preston home to her family. Although attracted to one another, Jared has a girlfriend with ties to the abduction case and Kate is sarcastic and guarded since her coma. With visions she can't control and an uncontrollable attraction to the detective, she wonders if she can leave the past behind and finally stop hiding from the world. Otherwise, Cori may be lost forever.
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|Jared and Kate have lunch together to discuss one of Kate’s visions about Cori’s abduction (Excerpt 1) |
I get you? What the hell was that supposed to mean? His comments were making her feel unsure and suddenly exposed. Quickly, she decided to change the subject. “Your aunt doesn’t have any abilities?”
“No, she just always felt there was more to the world than we could see. Most of her major life decisions are based on answers she receives during tarot card readings. Some of her ideas are pretty out there. But I learned from a young age how to take things with a grain of salt,” he explained.
“Is she local?”
“Not anymore. Kind of lives off the grid now. She met this guy from Maine and moved up there about five years ago. He makes these amazing homemade brooms and Aunt Lizzie helps him run his business.” He gave a fond smile as he thought about his aunt. “You should meet her one day, you’d love her.”
“She sounds cool. Although introductions might be a little awkward. How would you present me? As your psychic sidekick?”
Before he could reply, the waitress returned for their order. He ordered a grilled chicken sandwich and potato salad. Against her better judgment, she went for the cheese fries with a side of gravy.
Jared gave her an undisguised look of distaste once the waitress had left. “How can you eat that crap? Sounds disgusting.” As he let his gaze run over her body, she felt heat rise to her cheeks. “Why are you so thin? You should be a hundred pounds overweight if you eat that kind of stuff.”
Kate snorted. Jeez, she really needed to stop snorting in his presence, talk about one of the least attractive qualities. “I’m hardly thin, I saw your girlfriend. I look like Cartman from South Park next to her.”
“Ugh, girls with their weight issues,” he said and waved her off. “Want to show me that sketch now?”
She pulled the picture out of her purse and he examined it thoroughly. After a moment of thoughtful consideration, he remarked, “You did a good job, I have a few ideas of what type of car it may be. Looks like an older model Ford or Toyota sedan. You said about ten years old and dark green?”
She nodded and he continued, “I’ll work on getting printouts of models from around that time period. See if we can get an exact match.”
“I wish I could’ve seen the license plate, but it wasn’t visible from the angle he brought Cori out in. The garage was well-lit, but the rest of the house was dark. The layout of the house looked like a Cape Cod style, but honestly he dragged her through so quickly I couldn’t say for sure.” She sighed and then took a sip of her diet soda. She figured ordering the diet soda helped to cancel out the massive amounts of calories in the cheese fries.
“Do you have any idea of a timeframe? How long she was in the car for?”
“She was unconscious for part of the ride. She didn’t have a good sense of time, but I would say he was driving for no more than twenty minutes while she was awake. It was very dark in the house which makes me guess it could have been a lot later after he left the Prestons. Not sure if he went anywhere first before heading to his house. Maybe someone near Cori’s house will remember seeing that type of car. I can’t imagine too many of the Prestons’ neighbors drive a hoopdie like that.”
He leaned back and chewed on his thumb. “With the damage to the front, it would definitely stand out. Of course, I wish we knew more, but this has been extremely helpful, Kate. Thank you.”
Closely, she watched his movements as he patted her hand. It only lasted a second, but Kate felt the touch long after he pulled away. Suffering a loss for words, Kate was grateful for the interruption when his phone rang.
After answering, he put his hand over the receiver and addressed her. “I’m going to step outside and take this. It’s a call from another one of the detectives working on the case.” After her nod, he disappeared out of the diner. While she waited, she fidgeted and tried not to think about how right his hand felt on hers.
A couple of minutes later, he returned with an apologetic look on his face. “Sorry about that. He wanted to let me know that they’re organizing a search party for tonight. The plan is to comb a few wooded areas in town to look for Cori. We have other detectives going door to door with Cori’s picture to see if anyone has any information,” he explained solemnly. It was hard to not get drawn in by his intensity as he spoke about Cori.
As the food arrived at the table, she became convinced greasy food would help get rid of these butterflies she was feeling. She saturated the fries with the gravy. After shoving a forkful in her mouth, she closed her eyes and sighed. “These are heavenly.”
Jared gave her a dubious look while taking a bite of his sandwich. “I can see your arteries clogging right before my eyes.”
She held out her fork to him. “Go ahead and try them. You know you want to.”
He looked on the verge of denial, but eventually caved. “Fine, but I have a feeling I’ll be regretting it.”
She grinned as he took a large bite. He showed no reaction, but she giggled as he reached over and took another large forkful. “I can’t tell if I like it. I better taste some more in order to make a sound judgment.”
“Sounds like a plan,” she said. She grabbed a side dish plate and piled some on it. “Here, stop denying yourself. One serving of disco fries will not kill you.” Her grin could not seem to fade as she pushed the plate to his side of the table.
“So, that’s what these are called? Now that you have me addicted to them, I can blame you when I get too fat to chase anyone down,” he commented between bites. He cut his sandwich in half and held out a piece to her. “Wanna share?”
She took the sandwich from him and felt a jolt as their hands brushed. She was in big trouble and she knew it. More of this and she was going to ask him to procreate on the table right then and there. He returned her smile and seemed to also revel in the intimacy of the moment. She wished she could’ve thrown his phone against the wall when it rang again a second later. Kate felt embarrassed that she was weirding him out when she noticed how uncomfortable he suddenly looked.
|Prologue (Excerpt 2) |
Kate Edwards Journal
I always prided myself growing up as being one of a kind. Being fearless and never giving a damn what anyone had to say about it. In high school, I was one of those girls who refused to fit into a mold. I wasn’t with the glue sniffers out back under the bleachers, but I wasn’t sitting with the head cheerleaders either. I felt in charge of my destiny and I was going to pursue my dream of being an artist despite the odds stacked against me. If anyone had told me otherwise, I had no problem telling that person where to shove it.
Little did I know, it sometimes really blows being one of a kind. For starters, I contracted bacterial meningitis in college. What are the chances? Only about 1,500 people in the entire country get it each year. I think there were more kids than that in my graduating class of high school. Once a person has meningitis, she has an eleven percent chance of dying and a twenty percent chance of losing a limb or suffering from brain damage. Nineteen years old and there was a good chance I was either going to be dead or armless.
Lucky for me, I woke up from the coma I fell into. No brain damage, both arms in tact and alive and kicking. Kate was back in business and ready to kick ass and take names. However, fate decided to kick my ass instead. I came back from the dead not the same old Kate. No, I was now Kate with a second sight.
Some people may not understand why I don’t simply bask in the glory of having psychic abilities. Set up a psychic hotline, write a book or maybe open a palm reading shop. My mother and I could move to a mansion and I could rename myself some cool mystical name like Clairvoyant Caterina.
Well, the first reason is— that idea isn’t possible. I have no control over what I see. I’ll go to sleep at night and dream myself unwilling into someone else’s head. It’s unimaginable how truly awful that could be. Do I really care about that special day my mailman spent with his first dog Skippy at the park during the summer he turned eleven? Or do I need to know about the yearlong affair my dentist has been having with his secretary? Worse yet, I haven’t been able to predict anything. I may be able to tell someone what he ate for dinner on a first date ten years ago, but not if he is going to die choking the next night.
Sometimes I think maybe there is some way to control what I see. Or maybe I should be doing something worthwhile instead of destining myself to a life as a shut-in. I just can’t understand why this happened to me. Whose brilliant idea was it to nominate Kate to see inside other people’s heads? And now that I’ve been given this gift, what the hell am I supposed to do with it?
Heather Topham Wood graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005 and holds a bachelor's degree in English. Working full-time as a freelance writer for publications such as USA Today, Livestrong.com, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style magazine, she writes fiction novels in her spare time. She resides in Trenton, New Jersey with her husband and two sons. Besides writing, Heather is a pop culture fanatic and has an obsession with supernatural novels and TV shows.
First Visions is the first book in the Second Sight series.