Contains graphic sexual content, adult language and violence.
This book is intended for mature audiences.
This excerpt is appropriate
for all to read.
           Nature Kranderson bolted upright from her resting position. She looked around, bewildered. It took her a minute to get her
bearings and to realize she was not in a wooded area, but in her own study. Four people sat in the room with her. Two were the people
who hired her, one was her secretary and trusted friend, the last was the local sheriff. The sheriff did not look pleased.
         “How long was I out?”
         Sheriff Westerly replied, “Six hours.”
         “Did you see anything?”
         The woman asking the questions was in her mid forties. Gray streaks ran through her brunette hair. She was beautiful. The man
next to her remained silent. He must have been a body builder at one time. His upper half still rippled, but his waist rolled over his pants,
probably from too much beer on football nights with the boys.
         “Liz—give her a minute. She just came around.”
         “Our daughter may not have a minute!”
         “It’s been almost four weeks.”
         “What difference does that make? She could still be alive. I know she is—I can feel it.” She stared at her husband, holding the front
of his shirt tight in her clenched fists. “I can feel it!”
         “Calm down baby. Getting all upset doesn’t make the situation any better.”
         Nature watched as Mark Mosby, her client, pulled his wife close. He looked at her with pleading eyes. Nature kept her expression
blank. She knew what had happened to their daughter. She had seen it in her vision, her gift, her nightmare. She was a psychic.
         She did not want to be the one to tell them but knew she must. They needed closure. She gripped the teddy bear tighter against
her body. It had been the daughter’s favorite toy. Even at sixteen, she still slept with it.
         Someone moved toward her. A cup came into sight. A dark brown liquid filled it. The smell of tea wafted to her nose. She looked up
to see her secretary standing there.
         “Thought you might need this after such a long session.”
         Nature took the cup, wrapped her stiff fingers around it, and sipped at the contents. It helped warm the cold emptiness she felt
inside.
         “You always know how to take care of me, don’t you.”
         “I have to. You don’t seem to know how to do it yourself. You need my help.”
         She tipped the cup at the young woman, “Help appreciated.”
         Sandy Nemoy was in her late twenties. She could have been a super model in New York, with her long slender legs, dynamite body,
and flowing mane of blonde hair, but chose to be a secretary instead. Nature had asked her about it once. Sandy only laughed. She said
she did not want to be stereotypical. Besides, she liked being a secretary, especially to Nature. It was exciting.
Sandy returned to her chair, crossed one leg over the other, and waited. Nature saw Sheriff Westerly eye those legs with appreciation.
He noticed Nature looking at him and looked away, blushing. He may be in his fifties, but he was still a man after all.
         The Mosby's shifted on the couch, bringing her attention back to the current situation. They were waiting for some word on their
lost daughter. She had not come home from school and a missing person report was filed with the local police. Search parties combed
the neighborhood and surrounding areas. They found nothing. After just over two weeks without any leads, the police moved on to other
more pressing cases. Cases involving murder, shootings, and death. Unwilling to follow their example, they hounded the officers, friends,
neighbors, and anyone they met, without results. That was why they were here now. Nature was their last option, their last hope.
         Sandy had taken the desperate call on Wednesday. By Friday, they had the money for the fee and the airfare to come to Montana.
They were staying in the guest cottage on her property. It was the only building Nature refused to enter. The feelings emanating from it
were too much for her to handle. Too much sadness, too much anger, too much loss.
         “Mrs. Kranderson…?” Mark Mosby said.
         Nature drew in a deep breath. She held it only a second before releasing it, the built up tension eased somewhat by it. This was
going to be rough. She set the cup of tea on the end table.
         “Mr. Mosby…Mrs. Mosby…” She nodded her head to each. “I’m afraid your daughter is dead.”
         “What?” Mrs Mosby asked, her face covered with disbelief, “That can’t be right, I can feel her…she’s alive….she’s alive I tell you.”
         Mr. Mosby stared at Nature. He asked in a voice barely above a whisper, “Are you sure?”
         “Yes.” Nature looked at the wife, “She was late and didn’t want you to get mad at her. She was taken from a shortcut through the
woods behind the school.”
         Mrs. Mosby’s mouth hung open, her hands clenched into fists before it, hiding it.
         “Did you see who took her? Did she know who the person was?” Mr. Mosby asked all the questions. His wife was too stunned to
speak.
         “I couldn’t see him. I could only feel the evil within. And your daughter didn’t know him.”
         “Do you know where she is?”
         “She’s close to some mountains, somewhere not frequented by many, somewhere in a forest. I don’t know which ones. But I do
sense they are toward the east.”
         Mrs. Mosby bolted from her seat. She ran to Nature before anyone could stop her. Grabbing her exposed hand, she pleaded, “You’
re wrong. You’re wrong! Rew can’t be dead, she can’t be!”
         Nature jerked her hand back, trying to free it. Liz wrapped her other hand around the wrist. Desperation and despair made the
woman’s grip strong, too strong to break free. She felt the woman’s sorrow, her grief. She experienced her pain as if a knife had been
plunged into her back. Her breath came in ragged gasps. Her heart felt like it was going to rip out of her chest. Her world disappeared
into a shroud of blackness. She started to scream.
         “Liz! Let go NOW!”
         Suddenly, the hands holding her were gone. The feeling from them remained. Nature heard Mr. Mosby shouting, she heard Sheriff
Westerly, Web, shouting, she heard Mrs. Mosby crying. She kept her eyes closed tight. She was trying to work the horrible feelings out.
Her body had had too much and wanted to withdraw. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, she was able to bring herself under control.
         “Don’t ever do that again,” Westerly growled.
         “She couldn’t help it. Rew is our only child; the news hit her hard. How would you feel if you just found out your daughter was dead.”
         Nature opened her eyes and surveyed the situation. Sheriff Westerly stood in front of the couple, hands resting on his gun belt,
legs shoulder-width apart, a cold look locked onto his face. The Mosby’s were seated again. Mr. Mosby had his wife wrapped in his arms,
rocking her back and forth. Sandy had remained in her chair. She knew the man with the gun could handle things. She had witnessed this
kind of outburst before.
         “I’m so sorry,” Nature started, “You can stay in the cottage as long as you need.” She rose to her feet, wobbled a bit, then grabbing
onto the furniture as she made her way to the double doors leading to the rest of the house.
         Sandy rose to her feet but did not help. Nature would not want it. She was very independent and would be insulted by the gesture.
Westerly remained in front of the Mosby’s, preventing them from following. The rest of the house was off-limits to outsiders.
         Nature made it to the hall, shut the doors behind her, and leaned back against them. She closed her eyes, fighting back the tears.
Every nerve was raw. She needed a scalding hot shower. She turned and stumbled her way up the stairs to the second floor.
         Her house was located in a remote section of Montana. She had it specially built then sterilized before moving in. It could be
considered a mansion to some, but she considered it home. She owned 375 acres, allowing her to be away from the crowds and the
unwanted feelings associated with them. Her property skirted the Charles M Russell National Wildlife Refuge.
         At the top of the stairs, a hall went right and left. To the right were the bedrooms. There were two in use at present. One was hers;
Sandy used the other. Sandy was the only other person allowed on this level. The woman had great control over her emotions. Moreover,
she touched as little as possible. To the left were more rooms, including her office. She loved her office. It was full of soft oversized chairs
and a huge mahogany desk littered with her papers.
         She turned right. Upon entering her room, she locked the door. She did not want company right now. Peeling off her clothes as she
walked, she made her way to the large bathroom. A modern walk-in shower stood in one corner, an old-fashioned porcelain tub next to it.
She slid the door open to the shower, reached in, and turned the hot water knob several times. The water rushed out. Gradually she
mixed the cold water in, but only enough to keep from scalding her when she entered.
         She moved to the built-in radio/CD player located on the wall near the doorway. Pushing play, the blaring sounds of
Nightwish
echoed throughout the room. She turned up the volume and returned to the shower. The infectious beat of an electric guitar caused her
to dance into the hot water. It hit her skin, turning it beet red. Loosing herself to the words about wishing to have an angel, she opened
her arms wide and leaned back under the spray. She began to spin slowly. The hot water helped wash away the feelings of the girl, her
mother, the tension.
         Classical instruments blended with the sounds of heavy metal. She could feel the bass vibrate through the floor, the wall, her soul.
As the music intensified, so did her dancing. She threw her mid length brown hair forward then back, like a major rocker during a concert.
When the music changed to a melancholy one about a trail of tears, her own tears followed suit. The feelings washed away rushed back
with a vengeance. She slid down the wet wall and curled into a small ball. The water pounded her. It hit and hit and hit, just like the rod.
She threw her head back and screamed.
         Downstairs, Sandy sat in her chair. She watched as the Sheriff and the Mosby’s left through the side door. She heard the music
start afterwards. She felt the bass as it vibrated through the house. Now, sipping her coffee, she sat quietly as she listened to the
screams.
Excerpt from the book
Innocence Taken