Excerpt from T. K. Harris:
The dim light of the fading sun filtered through the dense pine trees, making it difficult to tell which of the four was the one he sought. Anger surged through him and he worked to control it. He was close. He closed his eyes, raising his head slightly as he drew in the strong, decaying scent of the forest. He could smell her. So close. So very close. But, which one?
Can't we just kill her and go home?
He gritted his teeth, ignoring the whining voice in his head.
One of the women rose and started toward where he lay hidden. Silently, he backed up as she found a bush and squatted. Moments later, the air filled with the sharp scent of ammonia. He moved as close as he dared, ignoring the rocks and branches biting into his hands. When she was close enough for him to touch, he peered into her face. But it wasn't her. He watched the woman return, waiting for the group to set up and go to sleep. Then he would move closer.
A loud crashing sound to his left alerted him to the approach of other people. As he watched, the small group of women was joined by three other hikers, all male.
He wasn't sure if it had been the voice or him that thought it, but he agreed.
Just like Mama. Kill her now!
His teeth ground painfully together against the urge to confront her. But he had to wait. He could not screw this up like he had with the last woman. That imposter had deceived him into thinking that she was the one.
The men introduced themselves and asked if they could join the group. The women seemed happy, even eager to have them there.
No doubt the whole meeting had been planned in advance by her. The adulterous tramp!
The amiable group chatted about the mundane details of the trail and weather before moving onto other topics.
Kill her so we can go home! I wanna go home.
God he hated that voice. Shut up!
He waited until he was sure the voice would remain silent. Then continued to wait and watch.
Hours more passed as the night darkened to pitch black beneath the canopy of trees. One of the men reached for the kindling pile and began to feed the fire. Sparks flew as the flames fed greedily on the dry twigs and brush. For an instant, the fire flared to life, and in that moment, he saw her.
His breath quickened. He wanted her. Even as his rage burned him, he wanted her. The voice screamed, but he would not answer. He had to be patient.
The fire died back down, casting only red and black shadows. Occasionally, the night was punctured by the group's laughter as the hikers continued to talk, showing no signs of sleeping anytime soon. Angry and tired, he slowly turned and headed back to his own camp. He would follow the women in the morning.
That night, his dreams were filled with fleeting images of her. Flashes of bare, olive-skinned arms and white linen taunted him. He reached up a hand to free her long, thick brown hair from its confining pins, reveling in its glory as it spilled across her shoulders. He looked into her eyes...her laughing, deceitful eyes...laughing at him, even as she reached for another man.
About T. K. Harris:
T.K. Harris, who currently lives in Colorado, is a Solutions Architect, teacher, and full-time mother. She has been a story teller since she could talk and has had several short stories purchased by professional magazines such as Woman's World. She is excited that her first novel - Phantom Dreams - has now been published.
Follow T. K. Harris here:
Synopsis from T. K. Harris:
Synopsis from T. K. Harris:
A scorned serial killer on an old vendetta.
An FBI agent who has been chasing monsters for too long.
A woman whose nightmares start invading her waking life.
FBI Special Agent Jack Matthews finds himself on yet another serial killer case, having barely recovered from the last disastrous hunt. Still stiff from a gun shot wound in his leg, under investigation for a botched job, and having lost his fiancée when she walked out on him, Jack is beginning to wonder if it isn’t time to move on to something new. But, for Jack, these cases are personal and he can’t say no.
Marketing specialist Kathy Gilliam leads a fairly boring life. If she’s not working or caring for her ailing father, then she is doing whatever it takes to avoid going anywhere near crowds of people. Her few distractions include her friend Margo Longfellow, occasional hiking trips, and her increasingly alarming dreams of women dying.
As her nightmares cause her to begin to doubt her sanity, the media releases news of the “Coast-to-Coast Killer” and Kathy discovers her dreams may be related. In a moment of panic, Kathy does something that places her on the FBI’s “persons of interest” list. Suddenly, her life is set on a collision course with Jack who must decide if Kathy is the killer or destined to become a victim.