Audra hopped in her car and noted that the air had begun to cool, a breeze whipping around her as she drove back across town to the square and parked in front of the Daylight Candle Shop. Stepping out of the car, she once again encountered the stares of locals. She quickly opened the shop door and was greeted by soft music and the scent of lavender. The shop was small but well lit, and Audra walked through the narrow aisles, perusing the shelves for a moment before the owner, Mackenzie Knox, stepped from the back.
“Oh, hello,” Mackenzie smiled brightly, warm and welcoming. “I didn’t hear the door. I apologize. Were you looking for anything in particular?” Mackenzie’s rich dark skin had a glow, and if Audra had believed in auras, she would have associated that glow to the purity of the woman’s spirit. Instead, she waved those thoughts away and shook her hand.
“Yes, I’m Special Agent Audra Wheeler of the FBI special unit charged with bringing criminal specters to justice. I’m investigating the death of Gwyneth Miller and need to ask you a few questions,” Audra said, flashing her badge.
Mackenzie’s body tensed, and she nodded. “Yes, she was in here two days before they found her. She came in, asked for what she wanted, paid, and then left. You think a specter killed her?” she asked doubtfully.
“I do,” Audra said.
Mackenzie pointed to a small reading table and took a seat, Audra following.
“Specters do not kill, Agent Wheeler,” Mackenzie said flatly. “They may cause trouble; they may be mischievous; they may even be a little scary at times, but they do not kill.”
“If they are insane they do,” Audra said.
Mackenzie looked at Audra intently. “Specters are not like us. Once the body is dead, the spirit is always at peace, one with the universe. A specter cannot kill any more than the wind or the rain.”
“Have you ever heard of hurricanes?” Audra countered.
“That is nature, not murder,” Mackenzie pointed out. “But, I can tell this has burdened you for a long time.”
Audra raised an annoyed eyebrow. “I just need to ask you a few questions about the day Gwyneth came into your shop.”
“Let me have your hands,” Mackenzie said, ignoring her.
“This case is personal to you.”
“Why do you say that?” Audra felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise.
“I know things,” Mackenzie answered.
“Something about a sister,” Mackenzie said, closing her eyes. “But, it is not entirely clear.”
Audra took a deep breath and figured it was worth a shot. She gave her hands to Mackenzie, who turned her palms upward. Audra watched the woman’s face go through several emotional changes before Mackenzie final put her hands back down.
“It is not a specter,” she repeated.
“Okay,” Audra said, unconvinced. “What do you think it is?”
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About the Author:
Rasheedah Prioleau is a southern African American writer with an eclectic range of writing and ghostwriting credits. After a few years in the corporate world she started over from the bottom as an unpaid intern for a literary manager and never looked back.
"I love to write because there are no limits. All it takes is a finite space of time and I can create a story from infinite possibilities."
Writers who have influenced her include: Judy Bloom, Jude Deveraux, V.C. Andrews, Octavia Butler, Stephanie Meyer, Charlaine Harris, Joss Whedon, William Nicholson, Shonda Rhimes, Quentin Tarantino, Tyler Perry, Mike Kelley, and J.J. Abrams... just to name a few.