Tag Archives: laura book 4

Laura Book 4 14+

Tucked between 14 and 15…


“How’s this?” she asked as she brought the wheelchair to a halt in a weak swath of sunshine. When she received approval, she straightened the white blanket on his lap. “The sun will do you good.”

“Thank you very much,” he said. “It feels so good to get out of that room. You’re a real trooper for helping me.”

“Anytime, Mr. Morley,” she replied and took a seat on the faux leather sofa. She leaned to the end table and snatched a magazine from the stack. The random act produced one on photography. 

She had just cracked it open when she shrieked, “Oops, I forgot to tell the nurse we were headed to the solarium. I told her I would.” She shot to her feet. “I’ll be right back. Don’t you try to go anywhere.”

Like a shot, she left the room and tore down the hall.

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Laura Book 4 11+

Here’s what comes after Chapter 11…


She sat in a booth near the large front window but far enough away that she was not on display to passers-by. Her eyes scanned the area outside and looked expectantly at the few patrons who entered.

She was nervous. Very nervous.

She tightened the roll of the brown paper sack next to her and patted it when she finished. Then she checked her watch. She estimated that she had an hour to complete this mission, stop at the market, and be cooking before she came home from work. 

The cafe’s door opened, and she looked up to see him enter. As inconspicuously as she could, she flagged him down.

“How are you?” he asked her as he slid into the booth.

“I’m fine,” she reflexively answered as though to a stranger. “How are you?”

“Curious,” he admitted and then quickly ordered coffee from the waitress who appeared. When she left, he leaned across the table and whispered, “Why exactly are we sneaking around?”

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Laura Book 4 Chapter 11

Despite Mother Nature’s attempt to distract, the author got her work done. Jesus, she’s in a mood tonight, huh? I mean Mother nature, not Roz.


Chapter 11

“Hey, Doc,” McCallister called when she spied Dr. Lythegow behind the ER reception desk, writing in a chart. “Got a minute? Can I buy you a cup of coffee?”

He readily acknowledged her with both her name and a smile. “I happen to know where they give it away for free.” He gestured with his hand for her to follow. “Walk with me, Detective.”

Wordlessly, he led her down a corridor and then another. Midway, he stopped, slid his ID card into a security slot, and opened the door when it beeped.

“This is the doctor’s lounge,” he said as they entered the mauve and beige room. “It gives the impression that all we do is lounge around all day, doesn’t it?”

“You mean you don’t?”

He laughed as he went to the corner to turn off the television blasting a cable news channel. “Sit,” he said.

She did so and watched him head to another corner and pour coffee into two bone-white mugs. After she declined his offer of cream and sugar, he delivered the coffee and took a seat on the couch across from her.

“What brings you here this morning, Detective? What can I do for you?”

Continue reading Laura Book 4 Chapter 11


Laura Book 4 Chapter 9

We’re all chickenshits about something, Laura. The real plight of characters in books, though, is that our authors feel compelled to strew our secrets all over the frickin’ place, and readers feel compelled to read it. We deserve compensation! I’ll talk to our author. Maybe she can write in some extra occasions of king-sized beds. Being skin-on-skin with Claudia can make the most dastardly things somehow livable. Any remote possibility being with Holly does the same for you? 😉

In the meantime…


Chapter 9

Sunday night found McCallister on Granger Bridge with Holly’s head resting in her lap. Gently, she stroked her forehead to bring sleep, but as her breathing slowed, she sensed a clock ticking faster.

For seemingly endless hours that weekend, she reclined on the chaise lounge in Holly’s studio, feeling her eyes on her naked back, hearing her pencil give it form. A thousand times she tried to evoke enough courage to call her name, to roll over, face her, and just say it. And a thousand times, she failed. Monday would come, and they would be swept into routine. Time was running out.


Softly, she moaned but barely stirred.

“Hol, are you still awake?” She knew she wasn’t, but it was more a plea for her to return. “Hol?”

She mumbled, “Please tell me it’s not a jumper.”

“No. All’s quiet.”

“That’s good,” she said and snuggled into her.

“Hol, I need to tell you something.”

“Go ahead, babe.”

She stroked her head a moment longer and then said, “Hol, the woman who had the accident, the woman who can’t remember…” She found herself unable to utter the words. But, she knew she had to, even though she feared Holly’s reaction. Would telling her make it real—blow a hole clean through her reality—or would Holly see right through it and tell her it was all in her head? Either way, though, she knew she needed it to end: an agony that catapulted her between the extremes of hope and despair.

She thought Holly had drifted back to sleep so her sudden voice startled her.

Continue reading Laura Book 4 Chapter 9


Book 4 Chapter 8

Hey, Sutter, I think it’s time we told the world who the real chickenshit of our group is. But if they’ve been reading along, they already know who. That would be me. Would you keep posting these for me? Unless, of course, the author gives you hell for it. Tell her I started it, because I did, and send her to me.


Chapter 8

Early the next afternoon, McCallister drove toward the department’s garage for her mandated oil change. When her phone sounded on the passenger seat, she grabbed it to discover an unfamiliar number. “McCallister,” she greeted.

“Hi, Detective. This is J.”

Her stomach lurched.

“Sorry to bother you, but I ended up with your jacket yesterday.”

“Oh, I guess you did,” she said. “I’ll get it Monday when I stop by to see you.”

“Okay,” she replied.

She did not like the sadness that came with the simple word. A pang of guilt forced her to ask, “Is something wrong? Did you need me for something?”

After some silence, she said, “I’m sorry I’m such a needy pain in the butt.”

“You’re not.”

“Oh, yes, I am, and we both know it. I just don’t have anyone else. You’ve been so kind to me, and this time, I actually have something good to share, and I wanted to share it with you. Maybe it will make all you’ve done for me not seem like such a waste of time.”

“It’s never felt like a waste of time. Tell you what—” She glanced to her wristwatch. “I was headed to the station, but I’ll swing by and see you first. About ten minutes?”

The woman eagerly affirmed, and McCallister swerved into a right-hand turn.

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Book 4 Chapter 7

It’s pretty easy slapping chapters up here. I don’t know why the author thinks it’s so tough. And Sutter wonders why she hasn’t locked us up in some room yet for doing this. Sutter’s a chickenshit. Has anyone else noticed that?


Chapter 7

Wordlessly, McCallister drove them down the country road. She minded the odometer and slowed to a crawl when she knew they were in the vicinity of the woman’s crash site. After spying the small orange flags planted by County, she pulled over and came to a halt.

Both peered out the passenger window into forest that seemed far too thick to have allowed the passage of a vehicle. Yet, it had. A burned area about a hundred feet in attested to that, as did a charred tree with a large chunk missing. Surreal ice sculptures stood as creations by fire department hoses.

She minded the woman’s ponderous silence and then tried to assure, “It was dark that night. Even someone with a perfect memory wouldn’t find this familiar.”

“What in the world was I doing out here?”

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Book 4 Chapter 6

Sutter, you big chicken, this isn’t so big and scary.

Proof positive:


Chapter 6

At 10:00, Holly had just rinsed the last ice cream dish when McCallister approached from behind and slid her arms around her.

“Hol, would it be okay if I borrowed your baby car?”

She nearly dropped the dish as she spun around. “My baby car? It’s not spring yet.”

“Close enough, I figure.”

“Does that mean I can drive it now, too?” 

“As long as there’s no snow or ice, you can.”

“Yes!” she screeched.

She savored the smile that spread across her face. When her car came out of winter storage, Holly experienced it as a glorious milestone, the surest sign of spring. She realized she was so lost in her excitement that she forgot the original question. She tried again, “So, can I use your car?”

“Of course, you can,” she answered as she placed the dish in the drainer and grabbed the towel. “Why do you need it anyway?”

“Because a little red sports car does not look at all like a cop car.”

“True, but what does that have to do with anything?” Suddenly, her face twisted with dread. “A stakeout?”

“Actually, I’m going to spend the night in it, um, by Granger Bridge.”

“Laura, you can’t—”

“Hol, I have to do something. After the other night, how close another came to jumping, I have to. We can’t let our guard down. The number of patrols drops at 11:00 on weeknights so I’m going to pick up the slack, off the clock.”

“Then I’m going with you.”

“No, you’re not.”

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Book 4 Chapter 5

And another…


Chapter 5

On one of the high school’s side streets, McCallister leaned against the hood of her car, impatience making her crave a cigarette, duty forcing her to resist. She tapped her foot and looked to the bike racks that lined a large parking lot. While she knew it was an unseasonably warm day, she ranked the thought of riding one up in the vicinity of a root canal.

Her mind then wandered again to the woman in the hospital, to their outing, to the prospect of taking her to the scene of her crash. To banish the intrusive thoughts, she retrieved her cell phone and texted Holly, a simple note to let her know she occupied her mind. Holly’s quick reply grounded her.

Soon, the school bell rang, and within seconds, the entire campus morphed into ordered chaos. Teenagers poured out of every door and headed in every direction. Voices rose. Doors slammed. Cars revved and hurriedly took positions in the processions that led to either exit. She wondered how, in this human haystack, she would find the three needles upon which her plan depended.

Madly, she scanned the faces of everyone moving in her direction. She felt nearly defeated until she saw three young men halfway down the block. Their steps lacked exuberance; their expressions possessed no pleasure from the school’s unshackling. They strode more out of mechanics than freedom.

Sure in her assumption, she focused on them. Right before she watched them turn toward the bike racks, she called, “Jonathan Morales, Lyle Keene, Neal Collier.”

In near unison, they stopped dead in their tracks and slowly pivoted.

Continue reading Book 4 Chapter 5


Book 4 Chapter 4

Yet another punchline.


Chapter 4

The next morning, McCallister stood just outside the hospital room and reminded herself to maintain a cool, professional distance. She would keep her word and take the woman out into the city, and that would be the end of it.

She braced herself and knocked.

“Detective!” the woman nearly yelled when she looked to the doorway. “I thought maybe you were going to back out.”

She glanced to her watch to discover that her reluctance made her uncharacteristically late by 20 minutes. “I’m late. I’m sorry. I’m not backing out,” she said as she entered. “But are you sure you’re up to it?”

“I’d be absolutely thrilled to get out of here.” She rose from the side of the bed, and with a gesture of presentation, she asked, “How do you like my outfit?”

She noted pink sweatpants, green tennis shoes, and a white T-shirt with a large flower on it. A mauve jacket hung over her arm, concealing her bandages. Fortunately, the woman did not await her reply.

As she put on her jacket, she said, “A nurse was kind enough to stop at a thrift store for me. I sure hope this was not how I liked to dress.”

Trying not to laugh at her remark, she assured, “You look fine. I’ll just make sure we don’t stop anywhere that requires formal attire.”

The woman sniggered as she neared her, and McCallister almost gave into a reflexive move backward. Except, this was the first time they stood face to face, and McCallister was taken aback to discover they were close to the same height. And indeed, her eyes were blue—not as blue as Holly’s but blue nonetheless.

“Last chance to back out,” the woman said.

She shook her head. “I don’t need it. Let’s go.”

Continue reading Book 4 Chapter 4