Authors: S.E. Myers
S. E. Myers
Dark Revelation – © S. E. Myers
Cover created by Nikki Fortugno
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This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. It may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of this author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
This book is dedicated to my children – Illeana, Gavin, and Kathryn. You are the air that I breathe and an inspiration to my daily life. I love you and thank you for your support.
This book would not have been possible without the loving and unconditional support of my children, family, and friends.
I appreciate all the encouragement of my friends and family. I could have never completed this without you. I love you all!
I would like to thank the following people: Nikki – For creating such an amazing cover. Your creativity and friendship is unending. Cheryl – You are the best friend anyone could ever hope for. Your advice has been invaluable. I love you. My HomEq family – Your support has part of the reason this book is complete. My New Jersey Devils – Need I say more! Brice and Katie – thank you for all of your input and Brice, thank you for your eyes! Mom and Michelle – I love you and miss you every day! Punky and Snoopy – You are my imps!
Table of Contents
A tragedy is how it always starts
Her feet pounding on the pavement kept time with the music streaming through her headphones. While her chest burned with each gulping breath, her legs threatened to stop moving, but Ryleigh Simmons didn’t know the meaning of the word
Sheer determination flowed through her body and continued to propel her forward. Sweat dripped down her forehead threatening to flood her eyes. Brushing back the droplets and an escaped strand of her ebony hair -- she continued to run.
This was her daily routine – to get up and run. It helped release the stress that built beneath her quiet exterior. Outwardly, she looked as undisturbed as a secluded pond; however, one stone’s throw could perpetuate an outward ripple that threatened violence. Her father taught her how to release the caged animal inside her through exercise… and running was the way of it.
Ryleigh had always been a bit of a hot head. From the time she entered social situations with other children, she had a tendency to find trouble. Her overreaction ended up with the other child crying, bleeding, and bruised. Her parents ended up with a concerned phone call. By the time Ryleigh was in third grade, she was made to see a therapist for her outbursts and lack of control or Child Protective Services would have been called. Ryleigh’s father, Tom, knew that the type of therapy offered would do little for his daughter, so, running it was.
As she ran, he would walk. “It’s for your own good,” he would reassure. At first Ryleigh resisted. She hated it and loathed him. At 8-years old, she would rather play with her dolls than run. As time progressed and she became older, it became a part of her everyday life. Something she couldn’t do without. The more she ran, the calmer she felt, the easier it was to function -- normally. By the time Ryleigh was in 5
grade, her outbursts slowed to a bare trickle as long as she expended the energy that grew from the deep well within her.
Ryleigh usually woke at five a.m. to run every day. Except today. Today was her seventeenth birthday and she treated herself to an extra hour of sleep. A six a.m. run. She enjoyed the crisp mornings in the New Mexico desert. As the seasons progressed, she witnessed the sun rise in its splendor, changing the colors of the desert to an O’Keeffe painting.
Prior to living in New Mexico, her family moved around - a lot. Her father’s work moved them often. Promotions, department changes - it didn’t really matter what it was. She also knew that when her mother started baking, it was time to move. Her mother only started to bake when her stress levels peaked. There would be chocolate cakes, cookies, pies for days. Her mother always said that sweets made stress easier. For Ryleigh, running made stress easier. After moving for the umpteenth time in her life to New Mexico, her father promised this would be permanent. It was the last place her family would be moving for a long time.
Before she knew it, time would fly and she would be ready to head off to college. Ryleigh was looking forward to the coming summer before the start of her senior year.
This summer her family would vacation in Yosemite. They were planning a two week camping trip. Just the three of them. Ryleigh was excited and her father had begged the time off work specifically to spend with the family. He was almost always gone and usually it was Ryleigh and her mom alone all the time.
Ryleigh’s mind drifted to what she would do during their two week hiatus. She was definitely looking forward to the campfire S’mores. Rounding the block to her house on Ashford Drive, she saw her father’s car in the driveway.
She waved to her dad as he erupted into a large smile, “There’s my girl.” Tom Simmons blue eyes shone with excitement. He was proud of the woman his daughter was becoming. Father and daughter looked alike. Raven hair, fair complexion – the only difference between them was their eye color. While his were a bright blue, hers were sea foam green. Ryleigh stopped short of him jogging in place and breathing heavily, “I didn’t…expect you…home so early!” Ryleigh said in between breaths.
“Yeah, I got an early flight out today. Gotta get ready for our trip tomorrow!” her father said enveloping her sweaty body in a tight hug.
“Ugh! Dad!” Ryleigh exclaimed pushing him back and smoothing down her clothes. “I am so disgusting right now.” Tom laughed. His laugh was a musical belly laugh that shook his slender body. Ryleigh laughed with him and they walked into their house.
“Honey! I’m home!” Tom announced. Adrianne, Ryleigh’s mother, came out from the kitchen. She was already up trying to figure out the menu for the camping trip.
“Tom! I am so glad you are home!” Ryleigh’s parents embraced warmly. Ryleigh rolled her eyes and walked upstairs, “I am getting in the shower while you two lovebirds become reacquainted. Yuck.” She could hear soft laughter behind her as she went up the stairs to her room to change.
In the shower, Ryleigh used the time to think. She didn’t have a lot of friends that she kept in touch with from the places that she lived in before. She didn’t have much of any social life to be honest. She spent most of her time immersed in books, movies, and video games. That was her lifestyle.
She did have one friend. One friend that she made once she moved New Mexico. Cyrus Davidson. Tall, blonde, lanky, mildly good looking. He was her neighbor and he was her
friend. During the time that they lived next door to each other, which was the last six months, their friendship blossomed into a lifetime bond. She knew that he had romantic intentions toward her, but she didn’t want to ruin the friendship she had with him. Besides, she never had a boyfriend. Ever. Never kissed anyone. She’d never even had a best friend. Not that she could remember. Not for her whole life.
The streaming hot water was comforting to Ryleigh. Never once had she ever taken anything other than a hot shower. She wasn’t sure why the warmth comforted her so much. She knew that she never wanted to live in a cold climate. The time they lived in Canada was the worst experience of her life. It was so cold she couldn’t move. Her father transferred after only a few months of living there. That’s when they moved to New Mexico and resigned to only living in warm states.
Done with the shower, Ryleigh threw on her favorite pair of well-worn jeans, black t-shirt, and purple flannel. She quickly ran downstairs to go hang out with Cyrus. He’d just bought a new game and wanted to play co-op. She stopped short when she saw her mom and dad in deep conversation. A funny feeling traveled her spine and she had an inkling they were talking about her. Her mom spotted her and sat up from the couch. “Ryleigh honey, what are you plans for the day?” her mother asked.
“I’m just going over to Cy’s to hang out. We’re going to play this new game that he picked up at midnight last night that we’ve been waiting for
.” Her mom nodded, “Okay, just don’t melt your brain!” A familiar phrase Ryleigh heard time and time again while playing video games. Her mother consistently played the concerned parent when Ryleigh became too involved with technology. Of any form. Ryleigh nodded and ran out the back door cutting around the side of the house.
Cyrus’s house was a refuge away from home. She enjoyed being over there as much as she possibly could. His house was the mirror floor plan of hers including his room. Coming around the front of the house and hopping over the short fence that divided their front yard she noticed him sitting on his front porch.
“Thought you weren’t going to make it today, Ry,” Cyrus harassed Ryleigh often. “And miss kicking your butt? Yeah, right!” Cyrus called Ryleigh ‘Ry’ and Ryleigh called him ‘Cy’. They found it funny that their nicknames rhymed. The Ry and Cy show. Ryleigh and Cyrus headed into the house. She waved at his mom, Shirley, as they headed up to his room. “Keep that door open!” she called up to them knowing that nothing would ever happen between the two. “I will mom!” Cyrus called down.