After Adam backed out of the driveway and left Becca sitting beneath the live oak, she glanced down at the diary in her hands. She sat frozen in the chair as panic began to rise within her. "No, no," said the voice above her head. "Come now." And this time, she couldn't fight it, will it away, or shake it free. The part of her that had struggled to maintain control let go and surrendered. She felt suddenly free and expansive at once. It was like she'd slipped into another world and was somehow tuned into a different frequency. She knew she was sitting beneath the live oak in her own yard, but what she saw and heard was different, as if someone had switched the channel and she was watching a new show.
The cicadas were still humming, but the night was younger somehow. The sun had not yet set, and was glowing like a hot, orange ball in the western sky. From where Becca sat, she could see a cactus that had gone wild and flared out on a weeded lawn that was now more sand than grass. A small house stood beyond it. On the front porch, an old woman sat wrapped in an afghan, while a young girl pushed herself back and forth on a double swing that hung from chains that were bolted into the porch's ceiling. Becca blinked a few times to clear the vision, but it remained intact. Later she would say the scene had been prophetic and had come to warn her. But tonight, she knew only that it had something to do with Rebecca's diary that she held close to her chest.
What did Becca envision that night sitting beneath the live oak? Who was the old woman wrapped in the afghan and the young girl who kept the porch swing moving with the push of her foot?
Read the next blog to find out how these new characters are connected to the Westcott family mystery and the disappearance of King Daniel.
At nine o'clock Monday night, Victor and Evan followed the Blew Bayou out of the marina at the yacht club into the Hillsborough Bay. Even though the sun had set over half an hour ago, the evening came on heavy as a hog's breath. The night weighed in at ninety degrees. Victor sat bolt upright in the captain's chair, his senses firing at top speed. Earlier that afternoon, Captain Mortenson had shown him how to navigate the Lady Luck. While it proved to be much like driving a car, the captain had suspected immediately that Victor had little boating experience.
Chief Salazar and the search team were headed out to Egmont Key this evening with Captain Mortenson's boat and Hank Poppy's new Bertram. Becca had stayed up late last night explaining to her grandmother how Victor had ended up on Daniel's search instead of his yacht-club cronies. She fell back on the pillows and pulled the covers over her head.
"Salazar trusts Carlos Mendoza," Becca hold told Nattie. "They're like brothers, and Victor's the son Carlos never had." In order to secure the hunt, the chief needed to involve the fewest amount of searchers possible. "We don't know what's going to happen out there, Nattie," Becca said. "It's best the Gaspar Krewe knows only about the bogus search to Freeport, for now."
Becca suspected there was more to the cover-up that they wouldn't let on to anyone, but that was okay. She ran her hand over her belly, which was beginning to round. She, for one, understood secrets.
On the porch the night was steamy, heavy with the scent of confederate jasmine that hung thick form the trellis next to the porch. Natalie swept a piece of hair from her forehead. Not a breath of air blew in off the bay. She thought to fetch a couple of electric fans from the pantry when Victor's Camaro shot into the driveway like a silver bullet. He jumped from the car and bounded up the stairs carrying a bottle of wine.