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In her showdown with the murderous Pretender, a bullet taken at close range severed the connection between Taylor's thoughts and speech. Effectively mute, there's no telling if her voice will ever come back. Trapped in silence, she is surrounded by ghosts--of the past, of friendships and trusts lost...of a lost faith in herself and her motives that night.
When Memphis Highsmythe offers Taylor his home in the Scottish Highlands to recuperate, her fiancé can't refuse her excitement, no matter his distrust of the man. At first, Memphis's drafty and singularly romantic castle seems the perfect place for healing. But shortly the house itself surrounds her like a menacing presence. As Taylor's sense of isolation and vulnerability grows, so, too, does her grip on reality.
Someone or something is coming after Taylor. But is she being haunted by the dead...or hunted by the living?
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There is a moment in every life that defines, shapes, transcends your previous spirit, molding you as if from newborn clay. It's come for me. I have changed, and that change is irreversible.
Sam, there's no doubt anymore. I'm losing my mind. The shooting is haunting me. The horror of your loss, of who I've become, all of it is too much. I'm not sure how much longer I can stand to go on like this, trapped under glass, trapped away from everyone. I'm lost.
The walls here speak. Disconcerting at times, but at others, it's a comfort. The ceilings dance in the candlelight, and the floors shimmer and ripple with my every step. I escape out of doors, and when I do, all I find is fog, and mist, and lumbering sheep. Cows with gentle, inquisitive eyes. The dogs have a sense of humor. But you can tell they'd turn on you in a second. I've known people like that.
The deer are patient, and sad, resigned to their captive lives. The crows are aggressive. The seagulls act foolish, and there's something so wrong about seeing a soaring gull against the mountainous backdrop. The chickens are huge and fretful, the grouse are in a hurry. The mist settles like a cold shawl across the mountain's shoulders, and the road I walk grows close, like it's planning to share a secret.
Above all, there is no one. And everyone. I feel them all around me. All the missing and the gone. I can't see them, except for late at night, when I'm supposed to be asleep. Then they push in on me from all sides, stealing my breath. The room grows cold and the warnings begin.
It strikes me that I'm surrounded by doctors, yet no one can help. I have to find the strength from within to heal. Isn't that what they always say, Physician, heal thyself? I shall amend it: Lieutenant, command thyself.
Sam, please, forgive me. It's all my fault. I know that now.
In moments of true peace: outside by the statue of Athena, looking over the gardens, watching the animals on the grounds, I feel your sorrow. I finally understand what you've lost. I've lost it, too. I don't think there's any coming back. I don't think there's any room for me in our world anymore.
There's something wrong with this place. Memphis's ancestors are haunting me. They don't like me here.
I did the best I could. I messed everything up, and I don't know if I can fix it.
Hug the twins. Their Fairy Godmother loves them. And I love you. I'm all done.
Taylor slammed the laptop shut. Nauseous again. Pain built behind her eyes. A demon's hammering. Her only recourse was to lie down, lids screwed shut, praying for the hurt to pass. Percocet. Another. The pills they provided had stopped working. Nightfall signaled her brain to collapse in on itself, to allow the doubt and pain to rule. Weakness. Mornings brought safety, and courage.
Her mind was made of hinges, pieces that held imaginings she didn't want to acknowledge. If she did, the demons overtook her thoughts.
Where All the Dead LieBy: J.T. Ellison