"LIZZY!" I yelled into the night. My teeth were chattering so hard the words barely escaped. All around me, black night pressed down on the snow-covered ground while the moon struggled to paint the pale mounds blue. If someone had taken my daughter, there would have been tracks in the snow. But there weren't any tracks.
I circled the house in an awkward, freezing lope, finding the snow untouched in every place that I hadn't myself disturbed. At the front door, I paused to look up and down the street one last time. A few of the houses blinked in fits, strings of colored lights carrying on through the night. Next door, Pierson's inflatable Santa Claus had turned into a heap of snowbound red and white plastic. But my daughter wasn't out there. I prayed that she wasn't out there.
I spent a half-hour searching every square foot of the house, calling Lizzy's name, wincing through needles of pain each time my frozen hands threw open a closet door. When I finally collapsed onto the couch, my hands were so numb it was nearly impossible to dial the numbers on my cell phone. I finally managed, and the voice on the other end told me help was coming.
Then I sat, waited. Staring through the colorful decorations on the mantle in front of me. I should have known it was coming. In thirty years, it had taken my life apart one piece at a time. One friend, one relative, one hope. With Lizzy gone, it had taken everything.
I pulled my knees to my chest and tried to feel warmth again. Tears welled, but they felt cold rolling down my cheeks to fall from my chin. By the time the police arrived, I had come to terms with something that I'd been denying for twenty years. I had denied it for her sake, as if somehow ignoring it would protect her. But that night, it showed me that it wouldn't be ignored.
I would never be forgiven for what I'd done twenty years before.
Nolan Ridgeway hates Christmas. His wife is dead. His daughter is missing.
A powerful stranger promises to make things right, but all is not what it seems.
Now, an ancient demon is hunting the children of men and only Nolan can stop it...with a little help from an elder god and his "elves."
To save us all, a man with nothing left...must give up everything.
J. Paul Roe's premier novella on Amazon.com explores the most frightening aspects of growing up human. A dark past full of abusive parents, loneliness, teenage angst and unbridled violence haunt the protagonist as he struggles to defeat the demon that he, himself, empowered.
Touching on true-to-life topics from the pagan origins of Christmas to the dull, selfish commercialism of modern holidays, this story grabs hold and doesn't let go of you until the end!
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