Six days left until the release date for Permanent Damage. Ten stories. A teaser every day for each story to whet your appetite, give you a hint of the plot and the feel of them.
This time, we visit a man who’s just agreed to let the neighbors use his house as a safe place for their children to come in an emergency . . . .
“How come you’ve never had children of your own, Mr. Avery?” Doris asked him at one point. She’d asked him this before — she never seemed to remember that she’d asked him on more than one occasion. Probably because he never gave her a good answer.
“Oh, never saw much call for it,” he said, and gave her another sunlit golden-brown smile.
“You just seem so good with kids,” she said back.
“Other people’s kids,” he laughed. “There’s always people having babies. There’s always enough children around. And I can send them home with their parents when they get cranky, isn’t that right, Claudia?” And he bounced her on his knee some more.
That must have been enough of an answer for Doris, since she stopped asking. They talked about the President instead, and the weather.
Nice kids. They really were. Nice young couple. Sweet young daughter.
But when they were gone —
Lawrence watched them leave. Hand kept carefully steady just barely lifting the curtain aside, peering out, watching them — Claudia skipping and bouncing her way down the driveway, Howard and Doris sedate and confident behind her, and he watched them all get into their Saturn and drive off.
The smile left Lawrence’s face. Drained away as quickly as the blood would drain from his face if he cut his own throat.
He let the curtain fall, grabbed a screwdriver from the kitchen drawer where he kept his tools, and headed upstairs.
“Permanent Damage” — Available Oct 1, 2012. Pre-order now!previous post: “Permanent Damage” Teaser Four: THE LEAK | next post: “Permanent Damage” Teaser Six: HEROES AND VILLAINS