Alone and Afraid
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by Karen Lewis
Description: Life hasn't been easy for Shannon Knight, raised by a single mother, money's been tight, but it's about to get a whole lot worse. When her mother uproots them, to be with a boyfriend, then suddenly goes missing, it leaves Shannon facing homelessness in a strange city where she knows no one. Convinced that this man is responsible for her mother's disappearance, Shannon sets out to prove it, with surprising consequences.
eBook Publisher: Solstice Publishing/Solstice Publishing, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: August 2010
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [53 KB]
Reading time: 29-41 min.
"My mother's missing." Shannon Knight strived to keep the panic from simply overwhelming her. "She's been gone all night."
"You'll have to wait forty eight hours before filing a missing person's report." The 911 operator sounded weary, fed up.
"But something must have happened to her. She'd never not call me like this, unless she can't..."
"I don't make the rules."
Oh what was the use? Shannon slammed down the phone, went over to the window. Pimps, prostitutes and drug addicts congregated on the corner. Across the harbor, the Vancouver skyline wavered through the mist. What was she going to do? If only there was someone to turn to. But she didn't know anyone here. She'd never felt so alone before, and full of dark thoughts and fear.
This was all Murchison's fault. Why had her mother given up a good job and a nice home to come out here with a man she scarcely knew? Vicky Knight was petite and attractive; she could have done better than him.
Paunchy, with balding ginger hair and freckles, John "Murch" Murchison was no prize. However, it wasn't his looks that put her off, but his nasty nitpicking nature. You just couldn't please the guy. Only he could do anything right. Everyone else's efforts were never up to par. Had her dislike of him, the resentment about being uprooted from everything she held dear; school, friends and neighborhood, triggered the break-up? She knew it was at least partly to blame.
"I hope you're satisfied," her mother had wailed, as they moved their belongings from Murch's expensive home to this tacky apartment. The Regal Suites, crouched between a pizza take out place and a tavern had a bad reputation. Streams of graffiti decorated the walls. "It's only temporary. We'll move soon. Do better," Vicky had promised. But it rang hollow.
She suffered a sort of nervous breakdown after that, stayed in bed most of the time, and their financial situation grew desperate.
Shannon managed to get a job at Burgers Plus on weekends. But the little she made did little to ease the burden. "Perhaps we should go back to Toronto," she suggested, reasoning that with any luck her mother might get her old job back.
But Vicky shook her head. "There's nothing to go back to," she said.
The framed photograph on the dresser had captured them in happier days. Shannon picked it up, bit down on her lower lip. They looked so much alike, fair hair in ponytails, fine features, and green eyes. She set it down again, wiping away a tear. Would they ever get their old life back?
She looked around at the depressing room, the few cheap pieces of furniture, threadbare carpet, and pock marked walls. Cockroaches crawled around the kitchen counter. "Ugh..." She swatted them out of the way and filled the kettle.