the awaited conclusion of the Wind Whispers War series
Tomorrow they would be together forever... Tomorrow came, binding two hearts, sharing one love... forever. The endearing cast of characters triumph through a series of obstacles ranging from ghosts out of the past, to events no one saw coming. Facing life head on, united through happiness and hardship, the Madison's know that the past can not be changed, however the future is being built together, one precious day at a time. This is the final book in the series about the lives of fictional characters Jeff Madison, and the love of his life, Beth. They met long ago in Florida. In the final chapter, they return to the place they fell in love to find all they hoped for in life was truly Well Worth the Wait. The story ends with a heartfelt message to all that served in Vietnam.
Marianne pulled her car into the perfectly manicured grounds at her mom and Tom’s home, and parked in her space in the garage. She was surprised that the house was still locked up since it was early afternoon. She dug to the bottom of her purse where she had just tossed the keys a moment ago.
“Mom… I’m home!” Marianne yelled as she came in the door. Funny, she thought. She didn’t hear her mom’s cheerful hello. She went to the refrigerator and poured some iced tea. After she rinsed and placed her glass in the dishwasher, she rechecked the garage to see if her mother’s car was there. Marianne went up the back stairway that was closest to her mother’s room and knocked on her door. She thought she heard something, but wasn’t sure. Knowing that Tom was gone, and she wouldn’t be interrupting anything personal, she opened the door, and entered the room. “Mom? Mom, are you in here?” Rianne thought she heard a noise, turned and opened the bathroom door. Nothing in her life prepared her for the sight of her dear mother battered nearly beyond recognition, lying in a fresh pool of blood. Instinctively she placed her hand on Beth’s neck checking for a pulse. Her mother was breathing, but would not awaken. On her feet immediately, Marianne called 911 for medical assistance. She needed to think fast, should she call Tom, or should she stay with her mother? She put the phone down, and stayed with Beth until medics arrived with the police. After assessing the situation, the police determined that it was a crime scene. The medical team attended to Beth’s needs amid officers taking photos, and asking questions. Once an IV was in her arm, and Beth was stabilized, Marianne went back to the telephone.
“Good afternoon. Mr. Ericsen’s office. This is Marci speaking. How may I help you?”
“Hello Marci. This is Marianne, Tom Ericsen’s stepdaughter. Could I speak with him please?”
“Yes Marianne. Please hold while I buzz him.” Marci gazed at the gorgeous gold bangle bracelet her long time boss had given her recently. She knew it would pay very well to tell him that she’d seen his wife leaving the parking lot with a biker months ago. Marci had been keeping a close eye on Mrs. Ericsen over the years.
“Marianne, what can I do for you, honey? It’s not like you to call me at work. Is everything okay?”
“No! Dad nothing is okay! It’s Mom! It looks like the house was broken into, and Mom has been beaten half to death! The police and paramedics are here. Come home. Please!”
“Oh, dear God! No! I’ll be right home, honey. Tell them I’m on my way.” Gazing at his watch, Tom wondered if they knew.
Tom raced into the house just as the medics were carrying Beth out on a gurney. Beth was well aware that Tom had arrived home, but she feigned incoherency, just as he feigned being the concerned spouse.
Marianne had been trying to get ahold of Jason, but all Jodi could tell her was that he had left with Heather to go to City Hall. Rianne left in the ambulance with her mother while Tom stayed behind to answer questions.
“Mr. Ericsen, it appears that someone entered your home, and assaulted your wife. When your stepdaughter arrived, the house was empty except for your wife who was lying in a pool of blood on the master bathroom floor. One of our officers discovered a broken window in the back, the glass was shattered to the inside, which indicates forced entry. Her pajama’s were ripped and tattered, yet there doesn’t appear to be any sexual assault. Further examination will take place at the hospital to make a final determination. I’m assuming all was normal when you left home this morning?”
“Yes, sir. That is correct.”
“Was anyone else in the house today that you are aware of?”
“Yes, a young woman that’s been staying with us named Heather Leigh Rains, my stepson’s fiancée.”
“I see. Does she and your wife get along?”
“Yes, Officer. Heather is a fine young woman.”
“Heather Leigh Rains. That name sounds very familiar…” The policeman tapped his chin with his pen.
“Sir, Heather was abducted a few months ago from the supermarket parking lot where she used to work. She was beaten very violently.”
“Yes, I remember the case. No sexual assault on Miss Rains either as I recall. It’s possible that the incidents could be related. Hmmm... Mr. Ericsen, could you look around the house to see if anything is missing? Robbery may have been the motive. You certainly have a lot of beautiful things for people to be envious of here.”
(for another excerpt see "Stories from the Nam" in my list of short stories)