Author & Book Coach, wife, mother, adventure-seeker.
BA in English from Colorado College & MFA from the University of Melbourne
Writing here is Fiction & Non-Fiction
Find me on Twitter & IG @mclancyauthor
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 32
It has been two weeks and still nothing. There are too many questions that I can’t answer. Too many things are building up in me that I have to get out. I need clarity. I need some peace. My own investigation is just piling on the questions rather than the answers. I feel like I’m balancing on a very sharp edge, about to fall one way or the other and the tension is ripping me apart. My body is beginning to feel better and I figure I can’t do any real harm with just a short run. I need to run.
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 31
Even though Detective Singh has given me her word that I am a top priority for her, I know, in all reality, I am just another case to the police. Mine is not the only child to ever go missing for them and they are treating it as they would any other missing child case. This is, however, my only child to go missing. On top of which, the feeling that I’m being watched continues to grow. And now there is the added mystery of Tucker’s empty email, a possible affair, and our bank account. What the hell is Tucker doing?
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 30
Through the fog of growing sobriety, a thought keeps poking at me. Something Beth had said when she was telling her story about Tucker. Beth, or whatever her name was. Even though her story was bullshit, there may have been an underlying truth there. Was there another woman? Is that why Tucker had left? Was this trip meant to be some sort of sick good-bye gift from Tucker?
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 29
It’s been over a week since the last time I saw Millie. And she is the only one I want to see. As if to commemorate this passage of time, a blizzard sets in. For three days, it snows without stopping. With each layer of snow that falls over Canmore, I worry that another trail, another clue, another possibility of hope, is being covered, lost forever to the frozen land. I have received several worried texts from Sasha, wanting to know how I’m holding up and if there’s been any news. I don’t respond. I also have a reply to the email I sent to Jack, in which he demands that I call him. I don’t.
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 28
I pull up to the address and look out my window at what is decidedly not a luxury apartment complex. The entire block is covered in the concrete blocks of a mega storage facility. This can’t be the right place. Did Beth get the address wrong? Did I read her writing correctly? I change a few of the more illegible letters of the street name on my phone but come up with nothing in the area. This has to be the right street. And there is nothing else on it but industrial buildings. But I’m not willing to let go of this possible lead. Tucker could still have come here. Someone might know something. I park the car just outside the front gate and head towards the small shopfront with the word ‘Sales Office’ stenciled in large block letters above the window.
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 27
I need coffee, and not the stuff offered in the small kitchen nook by reception. I’m pretty sure the instant packets there haven’t been replenished in years and I’m certain Duke does not go out of his way to clean the pot marked ‘Hot Water’. And it’s really just lukewarm. I decide to drag myself into town to get a decent fix at the coffee shop before heading to the police department for my ritual check-in.
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 26
It’s three in the morning and I am awake. But this is my new normal. These hours that used to be spent calming a crying child are now vacant spaces for a childless mother. Here, I am always awake. I try to sleep, hoping to escape this nightmare, knowing that nothing that my unconscious mind could think up would ever be worse than what I am living. But my body and conscious mind won’t cooperate.
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 25
At some point, I do fall asleep, because when I wake suddenly, from a nightmare that I find myself instantly forgetting, left only with a lingering uneasy feeling, it is getting dark outside. I get out of bed and walk to the window. Snow. It’s falling fast. Large flakes blowing at a sharp angle through the sky, covering everything thickly and quickly. Each one that hits the window feels like a crash, a large explosion that rings in my ears.
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 24
When I was little, I loved New Year’s Eve. We would always go to my aunt’s house to celebrate. She lived in a cabin next to a lake in Minnesota and I loved going there. On New Year’s, it was always freezing, but the adults would sit outside on the deck and watch the massive fireworks show that the town put on. It was the one day of the year I was allowed to stay up so late and I loved it. I would take a big blanket from the living room, a quilt my grandmother had made that smelled of mothballs and the chili that my aunt had cooked for dinner that night, another tradition, and go sit on the end of the small dock at the bottom of the yard. I would wrap myself up in the blanket and watch the fireworks.
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 23
When I return to The Scarlett House, the sky is dark and Ruth is waiting in the parlor. As I close the door behind me, she jumps from her chair and hurries over to wrap me in a hug. I am still not quite use to this overly familiar style of a person who was a complete stranger just days ago.
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 22
I drive out of Banff and back into the national park. If the circumstances were any different, I would love this drive. The road is empty and the surroundings are beautiful. Stretches of forest, covered in snow, surrounded by frosted mountain peaks. But, I can’t think about any of that. All that I can think about is that somewhere, possibly in this snow-covered scenery, is my baby.
Just Let Me Die Here (A Serialized Novel) 21
It’s another day and nothing. No Millie. No Tucker. No reports of anyone seeing them or knowing anything about where they might be. How can someone just disappear like that? I have already called the police station twice. Both times I reach Officer Michaels. Both times, he tells me the same thing. “We’re working on it.”