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Authors: J.A. York

Tags: #romance 1960s, #romance and suspense, #romance ebooks free, #romance and music

The Rise of Rachel Stark

BOOK: The Rise of Rachel Stark
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The Rise of Rachel Stark


Copyright 2014 J.A. York

Published by J.A. York at Smashwords




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Chapter 1: The Phone Call


Chapter 2: East Tennessee


Chapter 3: The Best Laid Plans


Chapter 4: Celeste


Chapter 5: Why Rachel?


Chapter 6: Celeste's Bad


Chapter 7: The Bullies


Chapter 8: The Rape


Chapter 9: Rescued


Chapter 10: The Aftermath


Chapter 11: A Hospital Visit


Chapter 12: The Restroom


Chapter 13: 'Public Decency'


Chapter 14: Time for the


Chapter 15: A Tense Fear, a Warm


Chapter 16: A Circle of


Chapter 17: Dreaming about


Chapter 18: The Talk of the


Chapter 19: 'Static


Chapter 20: New Year's Eve


Chapter 21: The Music Man


Chapter 22: The Drummer


Chapter 23: Rachel! Rachel! Rachel!


Chapter 24: Two Weeks Later …


Chapter 25: Insufficient


Chapter 26: The Sting


Chapter 27: Can You |Hear Me, Little


Chapter 28: The First Kiss


Chapter 29: The


Chapter 30: Riding Out the


Chapter 31: Tabitha Blaze




J.A. York Recommends






The Phone Call

"Oh, god ..."

Sheldon Beasley's hand shook as he hung up the
kitchen phone. His mouth fell open, and his breathing spoke of the
panic rising in his chest.

"Uh," he said, grabbing his head. "Uh. Oh,

Rodney Stark had spoken in a whisper on the
phone, a voice low and full of dread, because he said he had to.
Sheldon missed much of what Rodney said, but he got the message
just the same, right before Rodney said he had to hang up, and then

On the night that Christians around the world
celebrated a birth, Rodney said he was afraid his sister, Rachel,
was going to die.

Sheldon leaned into the living room, where
four families had gathered, 10 people in all, his best friends in
the world, talking and laughing, telling stories, nibbling on
cookies and cheese balls, the adults drinking nog, the teenagers
sipping cola, everyone marveling at the sparkling 15-foot Christmas
tree with lights that spiraled into the room's vaulted

"Tabby!" Sheldon called. He tried to sound
calm, normal. "Guys! Come here a second."

The entire party had just come in from the
garage, where Sheldon's dad had parked a brand new, solid red 1965
Ford Galaxie, Sheldon's combination Christmas and high school
graduation present, although graduation was a few months away.
Everyone had gushed over the car, patting Sheldon on the back,
telling him he deserved it, though secretly Bull Evenshot and Jimmy
Blaze, and maybe even Tabby Moore, were jealous. Even the grownups
were a bit put off, feeling vaguely guilty that they had not given
their kid such an outrageous present. And they had to admit to
themselves they were a bit miffed that Charles and Joan Beasley had
made such a show of it all, right in front of everybody. Yet, they
all were longtime friends, as close as canned sardines, and they
really did think Sheldon deserved it. Whatever uneasiness the
unwrapping of Sheldon's gift might have caused was quickly
forgotten. The festive air returned even stronger than before as
soon as they all filed back into the living room.

Then, suddenly, when Sheldon hurried into the
kitchen to answer the phone, everything went wrong.

Tabby knew the second she heard Sheldon call
them into the kitchen that something was amiss. Bull and Jimmy
followed her into the room.

"Man, that is one cool set of wheels," Bull
said, repeating what he had said earlier out in the garage, but
really meaning it this time.

"What's wrong, Sheldon?" Tabby

"Something's wrong?" Jimmy said.

"That was Rodney on the phone," Sheldon said.
"Rachel is going to have an abortion tonight."

Tabby gasped. Jimmy and Bull's mouths fell
open. The news took their breath away, even though it did not quite
seem real to them.

"Abortion?" Jimmy said. "What are you talking

A peal of laughter went up in the living room,
grating on the kids' ears in the kitchen.

After Chante High School's final football game
of the season a month and a half ago, Rachel Stark had been raped
in the town cemetery, not far from where she lived. She was on her
way home when two guys jumped her. A few days later she told Tabby,
Jimmy, Sheldon and Bull what had happened. They urged her to report
it to the police, but she never did.

But abortion? Rachel had not told them she was

Joan Beasley was playing the
piano, and the group in the living room was singing
Oh Holy Night

"That's it. An abortion. Rodney wants us to
come out there. He wants us to … to stop the abortion," Sheldon
said. "He said somebody – he called him an 'abortionist' – was
coming, and Rachel is scared to death. She doesn't want this, but
her parents apparently are forcing her to."

"Oh my god," Tabby said. "You mean this
abortion character is coming tonight?"

"Rodney said it could be any minute now,"
Sheldon said.

"Any minute? You're kidding!" Bull said. "How
long has he known about this? Why didn't he tell us?"

"Rodney said he didn't know until
a few minutes ago, and that was only because he overheard his
parents talking," Sheldon said. "
didn't even know Rachel was pregnant."

"Wow," Jimmy said. "Look guys, we have to get
out there, like, now!"

"Right," Sheldon said. "Listen, I'm going to
say Rodney wants to see my new car, and so we all are going out

"Perfect," Tabby said. "Let's go."

Sheldon led the way. "Hey, everybody," he said
as they passed through the living room. "These guys can't wait.
They want to have a little ride in my Christmas present. And that
was Rodney Stark on the phone. He wants to see the car, so we're
going to go out to his place for a bit. Back soon."

"You're going out to the Stark place?"
Sheldon's dad asked. It was more like a judgment than a

Sheldon gave Charles Beasley a look that was
just shy of a stare. "Sure," he said. "Why wouldn't we?"

"Well." Charles cleared his throat. "Uh, there
aren't any chains in the car yet. It's snowing out

"Not that bad. We'll be fine," Sheldon

"You kids be careful now," Joan Beasley said.
Several adults echoed her, including Jimmy's grandparents. Jimmy's
father was killed in the Korean War, and his mother died in an
accident. Bull also lived with Jimmy's grandparents, because his
parents died in a house fire.

"We will, Mom," Sheldon said. "Don't

The teens disappeared into the

Sheldon backed his car out and down the
driveway. It was snowing harder now, putting a fresh coat on the
street and adding to the snowbanks along the roads that the plows
had left a few days ago. Chante was getting the white Christmas
that everyone always hopes for and then complains about.

"How far is it out there?" Jimmy asked from
the back seat, where he and Bull sat.

"Four, I don't know, maybe five miles,"
Sheldon said. "I've only driven past the place, never been in

"Sure wish I knew what Rodney meant when he
said it could be 'any minute now,' " Jimmy said.

"What's their place like?" Bull asked. "We
need to talk about that, I think."

"It's the old Davis trailer house," Sheldon
said. "You know, about a mile or so past the cemetery."

"That dump?" Bull said. "God, I don't believe
it. I didn't think that place was even habitable

"You could make a pretty good case that it
isn't," Tabby said. "But the rent's dirt cheap, so that's where
they're living. I was inside once with Rachel."

"My god," Bull said. "Five kids and two adults
in that trailer. How many bedrooms?"

"Two," Tabby said. "The baby sleeps with Mom
and Dad. I think Rodney sleeps on a couch in the living room, and
Rachel sleeps with her two little sisters in the other bedroom. In
one bed."

"What's the layout of the place?" Bull

"Well, like I said, I've been there only once.
But the front door, which is right in the middle of the trailer,
enters into, like, a little breakfast nook or something," Tabby
said. "Except the little table there could seat only two people, so
I don't think they ever eat at it. Stuff was piled on it when I was
there. So it's more like a little entryway than a breakfast nook, I

"I would think that 'breakfast nook' is way
too fancy a term for that place," Sheldon said.

"Well, right," Tabby said. "Anyway, and then
that entryway is part of the kitchen, which is actually just a
hallway that leads to the girls' bedroom if you turn right, and
leads to the living room if you turn left. The parents' bedroom is
just beyond the living room. And there also is a tiny bathroom
there. The only bathroom in the place."

"The kitchen is a hallway?" Jimmy

"Well, yeah," Tabby said. "And a very short
one at that. I mean, there's a refrigerator, sink and an electric
stove and a few cabinets all along the exterior wall of the
trailer. And that's it. That's the kitchen."

"Where's the phone?" Bull asked.

"Oh, yeah. It's, uh, it's on that little table
in the entryway. I forgot about it because there was so much other
junk piled there," Tabby said.

"And is there a back door to the trailer?"
Bull asked.

"Well, there is," Tabby said, "but I don't
think it works. When I was there there was a five-gallon bucket
full of, I don't know, junk. Heavy stuff. Rachel said it kept that
door from blowing open. So they never use that door. Besides, it
leads out onto a little back porch, which is piled high with more
junk. You couldn't even walk through it."

"OK, and so where is that back door?" Bull

"Well, if you turn right just before you go
into the parents' bedroom, that back door is right there," Tabby

"OK. Think about this. If you had to guess,
where do you suppose they would have Rachel tonight?" Bull

BOOK: The Rise of Rachel Stark
13.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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