Friday Sampler: Here The Truth Lies by Seb Kirby
April 6, 2018
Sometimes your past is stranger than you ever imagined.
Emma Chamberlain has a consuming ambition – to prove the innocence of a convicted murderer sentenced to life. But the more she digs into the evidence, the more she is forced to confront threatening secrets about her own past that lead her to the ultimate question – who is Emma Chamberlain?
To discover the truth, Emma must expose those responsible for a dark conspiracy that has ruined the lives of many and now threatens her own.
I’m alone in the bed, unable to sleep, my eyes wide open, willing darkness. One of those who needs complete absence of light.
This means, as a minimum, full blackout curtains to take care of the lamps in the street outside. Even then, I detect stray splinters of light appearing around the edges of those curtains once my vision adjusts to the supposed blackness. This involves using the bed sheets to cover my head just enough to shade my eyes while leaving space to breathe. It’s a ritual that, once complete, is an essential prerequisite to any more sleep this night.
But here I am, awake, aware that something is wrong with the room.
I close my eyes. Too much is happening in my mind. Above all, McLeish, my boss, is hounding me for progress on the Stanley story. I doubt I’ll get back to sleep again but I must try.
A faint noise, a rustling sound, comes from the corner of the room. I don’t want to look. I’m phobic about moths, spiders, crane flies and anything with spiny legs. It could be one of those or, worse, a mouse. Nocturnal visitors are more than likely in the ground floor rooms I rent in this old Victorian house.
It’s at times like this I wish I were with someone. But I live alone now that Mark has given up on our marriage and gone to work in Prague. I miss him, yet value the feeling of independence. But now I want someone beside me to say: Emma, what’s that?
I raise my head from the pillow and turn toward the sound.
It’s a young girl. The rustling is made by her nightdress dragging on the ground as she walks towards the bed.
I look away and dig my fingernails into my wrist so hard I fear it might draw blood. The pain is intense. I need to know I am, in fact, awake.
I turn my head back. The girl is still there but she has stopped still now and is standing looking straight at me. She is nine or ten years old with curly blonde hair. Her blue-green eyes hold a look of fear that tells of great suffering and sadness. She is speaking, her mouth opening and closing, but I can hear no words. Yet I’m sure from the way the girl stares at me that whatever she is trying to say is meant for me.
My voice, when it comes, amounts to nothing more than a whisper. “What do you want?”
The girl’s lips stop moving for a moment and her eyes widen, as if she’s heard what I’m saying.
As she mouths silent words again, I strain to decipher them. It looks like I’m here now. And now, perhaps she is trying to say her own name. I’m Jenny. I can’t be sure.
I struggle to find my voice again. “Tell me. You know you can tell me.”
The little girl says no more. Instead, she turns and retreats to the corner.
I raise myself from the bed. “Come back. I need to know who you are.” But, by the time my feet touch the floor, the girl is gone.
My eyes search the room, looking for any sliver of light. There is none. All is once more pitch black and silent.
As I lie back down, my heart is racing. My nightclothes are heavy with sweat.
There is no chance of sleep now.
Sometimes your past is stranger than you ever imagined
Please click HERE to find Here The Truth Lies on Amazon.