As a pilot recruited for a government agency, Amber hides a secret. Twenty years ago, she left her small southern town without looking back. To complete her training, she’ll face her worst fear. No one else remembers that night or sees the ghost who calls her name…
Targeted Age Group:: 13+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The Mission was written as part of an anthology. After reading the first book by a fellow author, I wanted to craft a story set in the Bulwark universe. For extra fun, I gave a character from one of my previous books a history in this creepy town packed with paranormal events.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Some of the characters already existed from previous Bulwark books, though you can enjoy this installment without reading the others. The main character developed in a series I wrote, The Fear Chronicles. I never got a chance to tell her story until writing The Mission.
She parked to one side of the road and pulled on a black ball cap with the letters FBI. Her cover story was locked and loaded. She slid her gun into the holster within her suit jacket. With a deep breath, she climbed out of the SUV.
The first thing she noticed was the smell of decaying flesh. The second was the lack of sound. No engine noises, no calls from birds, and no more thunder. Still, the sky seemed ready to blast her at any moment.
Amber walked to the water. The surface was calm as glass with a green hue. A foot deep, maybe two. Depth was hard to tell with so many pits in the road. She inched the toes of her black boots closer. Her reflection stared back. No one could consider this green sludge water, more like sewage.
She’d seen this sludge before. A gloomy night flashed before her eyes. Lightning split the sky like a raging fire. The green goo surrounded her, called to her…
After twenty years of fighting the memories, a warm sensation flooded her. No need to worry about this mission or ever leaving Bulwark again. No one at the agency would care if she didn’t return. She moved closer, sliding the tip of her boot forward until it almost touched—
“I wouldn’t do that.”
Amber snapped out of the trance and stumbled back from the sludge. A man dressed in a uniform stood next to her SUV. A gun hung in the holster at his hip. Even from this distance, Amber knew the man stood almost a foot taller than her. He was built solid with wide shoulders and large hands, one of them close to the gun.
Could this be the sheriff? A truck with Bulwark’s emblem on the driver’s door sat on the road behind the SUV. “Who are you?”
He approached where she stood at the edge of the water, taking his time as he walked. “Sheriff Clay Finnes. I could ask you the same question, but I’ve got an idea of how you’d respond.” The sheriff tipped his wide-brimmed hat and glanced at her badge. “Standing too close to the shores of Lake Bulwark is dangerous. Good thing you’re no tourist.”
“That’s what some of our residents nicknamed this heinous body of water. Comes and goes as it pleases. Was gone for several months and then two nights ago—”
“It reappeared,” she said.
“I assume you’re the agent come to investigate what happened to those girls.”
“Amber Dallas. Agent Dallas.” He didn’t have to know the title wasn’t official yet.
“I hear you might have roots here.”
She glanced behind her and took a few more steps away from the green sludge. “I left this town twenty years ago.” Short, simple. Maybe he wouldn’t push for more details this soon.
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