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Bound by Blood

Bound by Blood by Maureen Mackey
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Francie Steele is a single mother struggling to make a better life for herself and her 5-year-old daughter Savannah. Francie's whole world consists of providing for Savannah, going to college, and working two part time jobs, which doesn't leave time for anything else. What Francie doesn't know though, that her life is about to drastically change and not for the better.

Returning home from dinner one night, she finds her apartment door open and her cousin Lisa on the floor dead. Francie has absolutely no idea why anyone would want to break into her small studio apartment, she has nothing of value, or at least that is what she thinks. The police and her friends tell her that Lisa must have interrupted a break-in but Francie doesn't believe it and the terror is only beginning for her.

Awe-Struck Publishing; October 2000
127 pages; ISBN 9781587490064
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Bound by Blood
Author: Maureen Mackey
Just then I heard Savannah call from the top of the stairs. "Mommy, Mommy, our door's already opened!"

A sharp stab of unease pierced me. "Stay there, Savannah, I'll be right up." I bounded up the stairs and found my daughter in the hallway. The door to our little apartment was ajar, and the lights were on.

I stopped in the doorway. What I saw defied reason, and I was paralyzed by shock. The place had been totally ransacked. Drawers were opened and upended on the floor, boxes emptied, their contents strewn. Candyland cards, with their little squares of bright colors, were scattered all over the floor. Even Savannah's toy box had been dumped.

And then I noticed the spiky heel of a shiny black pump protruding from behind the couch.

"Stay right there," I had to repeat my instructions to Savannah, who was still in the doorway, and would have bounded into the apartment if I hadn't stopped her.

I looked behind the couch. A woman lay sprawled, her face a ghastly shade of blue, her eyes popping out of her head. It was Lisa, gorgeous Lisa, her sophistication mocked and disfigured by death. Pearls from her broken necklace were scattered around her head.

Shock felt like a kick in the stomach, and I doubled over. Somehow the Pope materialized beside me. He must have been quietly following me all the way up the stairs.

He knelt beside her and gingerly felt for her pulse.

"Is she, is sheƑ" I asked the question, although I already knew the answer.

"Oh yes," he replied. "Better not touch anything, Francie. She's most definitely dead."

I looked again, in spite of myself, and then wished I hadn't. It wasn't only the sight of my cousin's dead body that increased my nausea. It was the broken picture frame beside it, and the picture of Savannah clutched in Lisa's lifeless hand.