Enhanced (Chapter 1, page 1 of 18)


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Chapter 1

"Someone's at the lighthouse already, Jimmy," Debra Sterling said as she led her five teenage friends up the path from their church. This Sunday morning the forest was raucous with birdsong even though the trees were just starting to bud. Violets and other early spring wildflowers still covered the damp ground.

Jimmy Owens didn't ask how Debra knew someone was already there because she could see things nobody else could. He hugged the portable sound system and hurried past her. He rounded the last bend in the trail, past the Great Pecan Tree, and stopped in the clearing behind the old brick lighthouse on the edge of a steep cliff facing the Mississippi River.

"Tyler!" Jimmy's face broke out in a huge smile. "How'd you get up here so quick?"

Tyler Pandav stood there in jogging sweats not Sunday clothes. His walnut brown face and hands glistened with sweat from his run up the steep hill to get here. He greeted Jimmy and then everyone else as they strolled out into the clearing behind the small lighthouse.

"Why didn't you go to church this morning?" Debra asked with a stern look. Tyler's Indian Christian Church was three miles away in the little town of Riverton.

"Got some big news," Tyler said. "Heard it on the radio this morning."

"We better sit down for this," Davy-Jake Diamond said. He and Lydia Machado were holding hands and the couple sat down together at the big log.

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