Click on image to enlarge.
by David Greske
Description: Murder, madness, and revenge. Meagan Connors is young and beautiful, but her dreams are driving her mad. She seeks the help of psychologist Donovan Grey, and he begins to unlock the secrets to Meagan's troubled past. But Dr. Grey develops a secret of his own--he's falling in love with his patient. Paul Connors is Meagan's much older husband. Victim of an abusive childhood and haunted by horrid images of his dead mother, he's begun the slow spiral into insanity. At his mother's insistence he focuses his madness on his wife and takes her to the old deserted park, where the past and present collide and Meagan's dreams become her worst nightmares. And then there's Marlene.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: December 2008
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [292 KB]
Reading time: 171-239 min.
"Megan sought the help of Dr. Donovan, a psychiatrist. She was plagued by nightmares. Donovan suspected that she was reincarnated. He also realized that he was falling in love with her. The personality of Paul, Megan's husband, began to change when he began having nightmares. The memories of years of child abuse at the hands of his mother began to surface. Retribution by David E. Greske has a gripping plot. I'm not sure whether to classify this as suspense, horror, or thriller, for it is a combination of all three. Plus you can throw is romance. While I abhorred Paul's actions, I also felt sorry for him as a sexually abused child. Megan is a delightful character. She has too much strength to be considered a victim. Retribution has it all: ghosts, murder, insanity, and great romance. Don't miss Retribution."_Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com, 5 Stars! This book has it all?
Hand in hand they strolled down the dirt path meandering through the pines and weeping willows. The last days of summer had been swallowed by autumn and the air hinted at the approaching winter. The couple wandered past the windmill, its four latticed blades creaking over lazily in the afternoon breeze.
"I'm sorry," the woman said.
Her companion only grunted.
Cabins were scattered throughout the park. Children played in front of them. Adults sat on redwood decks sipping iced teas or drinking cocktails. The wind soughed through the trees.
During the summer months, hordes of travelers vacationed at Deer Park. But as winter closed in on their dreamland the park became less populated and in another month it would be as deserted as an Arizona ghost town.
They walked past the last cabin, strayed from the marked path, and shuffled through a meadow where the dried, brown grass brushed their ankles. She tried to take the boy's hand--he pulled away from her.
"We need to talk about this," she said.
"There's nothing to talk about," the companion responded. There was an edge to his voice that frightened the woman.
They headed toward the lake at the northeast corner of the park. Here there were animals locked in cages far too small. A deer, trapped in a pen with a metal floor, cowered as they passed. A black bear slept on a bed of its filth as its stubby tail tried to swat the flies buzzing around its hind quarters. Smaller cages rested on rotten planks above the deer and bear. These housed rabbits and beavers and badgers. The woman looked into the rabbits' eyes and saw pain and misery staring back at her.
"Poor things," she whispered.
The boy only sneered.
Fifty feet to the left of the cages was a small tin shed. A sign written in red paint against a white background hung above the door. It read:
FEED THE ANIMALS--25 CENTS
HOURS OF OPERATION:
MONDAY THRU SATURDAY--9AM TO 5:30PM
A bright, silvery padlock held the door closed.
They passed the pathetic zoo, the pain of the suffering animals locked in her heart, and journeyed across a wooden bridge spanning the small, man-made river which flowed into another natural lake. Halfway across the bridge they stopped, gazed over the railing, and stared at their reflections.
The water was so clear, so cold, and so very deep.
The woman turned her head upward and gazed at her partner. She couldn't see his face, but could see his eyes. They were as dark and as cold as the water.
Then there was darkness and falling ... falling ... falling...
* * * *
Meagan Connors woke. She was exhausted. The back of her blouse was soaked with sweat. Her brown hair was plastered to her forehead in dark, wet ringlets. She ran her tongue across her dry lips. She wanted a drink of water.
The face in front of her came into focus and the sound of traffic began to filter through the haze.
"So, what happened this time?" Meagan asked as she peeled her upper legs from the leather chair. She pushed her damp hair away from her forehead.
"Well, we got you to the bridge this time," Doctor Grey said, looking up from his clipboard.
Six months ago, Meagan Connors started having dreams. Bad dreams. Nightmares, in fact. She thought they'd go away in time. But they didn't. They just got worse. Every night was haunted by horrifying visions, but she remembered none of it in the morning. She woke exhausted instead of refreshed and she carried with her an uncomfortable feeling of dread throughout the day.
She'd been to countless doctors with her problem, and the diagnoses ranged from insomnia to stress. There was nothing physically wrong with her--she just needed to learn to manage her life. And then a doctor suggested she see a psychiatrist.
Great, she thought, a shrink. Now I'm going to spend the rest of my life spilling my guts to some fat, little man to see if there's some tragic childhood trauma held prisoner in the dark recesses of my mind.
But she had to admit, talking to someone really did help. The only problem was all of her talking was done under hypnosis and she never remembered any of it. As far as Doctor Grey being a fat little man, she couldn't have been more wrong. The doctor was rather attractive in a somewhat doctorish kind of way. He had a square solid jaw and a thick head of dark hair. A brilliant sparkle twinkling from his steely eyes made her swoon. If she was single and shopping around for a man, she wouldn't mind his shoes parked under her bed.
"Is that good? Getting to the bridge, I mean," Meagan asked.
"It's progress," the doctor replied, "and progress is good."
Meagan sighed. Three times a week for the past two months all she'd ever heard was: "It's progress." At a hundred and fifty dollars for a forty-five minute session she expected a bit more than just progress.
"I know you're disappointed, Meagan, but these things take time. Lots of time. It isn't easy to unlock the secrets in a person's mind, especially when I'm not quite sure what I should be looking for. Sometimes things like this can take years."
Meagan cringed. She couldn't imagine coming to this office for that long. She wanted--no, she needed--a breakthrough soon.
"So, do you have any idea what's happening?" Meagan asked. She shifted in her chair and tugged at her blouse.
"Oh, I have ideas."
"Yeah?" She scooted herself forward and put her elbows on her knees. "Care to share?"
"I'm afraid it's a little too soon to say for sure."
Meagan puffed. A whistle of frustration sang through her nostrils. She'd seen right through the doctor's excuse. He didn't have an idea in Hades what was wrong.
Doctor Grey glanced at the clock on his desk. The minute hand clicked a quarter past the hour.
"I'm afraid your time is up for the day," he told Meagan as he lifted himself from the chair. He walked across the floor and dropped the plastic cup into the trash can next to his desk.
Meagan, already up from her chair, straightened her skirt with the palms of her hands.
Doctor Grey tossed the clipboard and pen on the desk and turned around. "So, I'll see you again on Tuesday."
"Yes, Tuesday," Meagan said. She was halfway to the door when she turned. "When you find out what's wrong..."
"When I find out what's wrong, you'll be the first to know."
"Of course, Meagan," the doctor said and smiled.
Meagan thought it was the kindest, warmest smile she'd seen in a very long time.
* * * *
Meagan stopped at the supermarket on her way back from the doctor's office. She picked up a loaf of wheat bread, a half gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, and something that would be quick and easy for dinner. At the last minute, while she was in the check-out lane, she asked the clerk to toss in a pack of Kool Lights. She put the cigarettes in her purse where she would find them two days later, unaware she'd bought them at all.
* * * *
Donovan Grey pulled Meagan's file from the second drawer of the cabinet, dropped himself into the chair behind his desk, and opened it. He flipped through the piles of notes he'd scribbled during their sessions, stopping occasionally to read a few of them.
It was fascinating. He could remember only one other case so similar to Meagan's, and that one he read about in an article published in Psychology Today a dozen years ago while attending the university. He'd been so intrigued by the story he built his entire doctorate around the findings. The research almost made him a believer--almost, but not quite. Not until Meagan. Could it be possible...
Donovan Grey closed the folder and slid it across his desk. He closed his eyes and thought about Meagan.