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Authors: Tyora M. Moody

When Rain Falls

BOOK: When Rain Falls
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When Rain Falls
Tyora Moody
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
Table of Contents
Title Page
When Rain Falls
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-one
Chapter Twenty-two
Chapter Twenty-three
Chapter Twenty-four
Chapter Twenty-five
Chapter Twenty-six
Chapter Twenty-seven
Chapter Twenty-eight
Chapter Twenty-nine
Chapter Thirty
Chapter Thirty-one
Chapter Thirty-two
Chapter Thirty-three
Chapter Thirty-four
Chapter Thirty-five
Chapter Thirty-six
Chapter Thirty-seven
Chapter Thirty-eight
Chapter Thirty-nine
Chapter Forty
Chapter Forty-one
Chapter Forty-two
Chapter Forty-three
Chapter Forty-four
Chapter Forty-five
Chapter Forty-six
Chapter Forty-seven
Chapter Forty-eight
Chapter Forty-nine
Chapter Fifty
Chapter Fifty-one
Chapter Fifty-two
Chapter Fifty-three
Chapter Fifty-four
Chapter Fifty-five
Chapter Fifty-six
Chapter Fifty-seven
Chapter Fifty-eight
Chapter Fifty-nine
Chapter Sixty
A year and a half later.
Discussion Questions
About The Author
What We Believe:
Copyright Page
When Rain Falls
Tyora M. Moody
This book is dedicated to my inner circle—my mom, dad, and sister. Thank you for encouraging me to dream and supporting me as I pursue my dream.
When I started this story in 2006, I had no idea where the little girl in the back of the police car would lead me. I enjoyed watching the story come alive as the characters became a part of my life. I have to say as an avid bookworm, I now have an even deeper admiration for writers. Writing a novel is by no means an easy feat.
Speaking of writers, it's my pleasure to acknowledge some very special people who encouraged me through the evolution of this novel. Thank you to Sherri Lewis for being the first person willing to read my manuscript and the numerous versions. I appreciate your critique and feedback. I also want thank Rhonda McKnight, Wanda B. Campbell, Lisa Buffaloe, and Patti Lacy for taking the time to read and provide feedback for earlier versions.
Thank you to Tiffany L. Warren for including the pitch session during the 2010 Faith and Fiction Retreat. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity. May God continue to bless your endeavors for Christian fiction authors.
Thank you to Robin Caldwell for editing and being a sounding board as I learned to get to know my characters. I appreciate you and your wisdom.
Thank you to Joylynn Jossel for seeing the potential in my manuscript and encouraging me to take the story to the next level. I'm looking forward to learning and growing with you as my editor. Thank you to the Urban Christian family for welcoming me into the folds.
Through this writing journey, I believe God allowed me to work through my own issues and pain. When you are going through a storm, no matter how intense, God will carry you through to the other side.
To the reader, I pray this story and the future stories in the Victory Gospel series will bless and remind you there is, indeed, victory in the gospel of Jesus of Christ.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
Isaiah 43:2 NIV
Bronx, New York, 1981
Twisting her torso around, the girl strained against the seat belt to peek through the police car's back window. Lights burned from several nearby houses, creating an eerie glow against the damp night sky. A number of sleepy-eyed neighbors lined the street, their attention focused toward a small white house, now decorated with yellow tape around the yard.
The front door opened, spilling bright lights onto the tiny porch. Two police officers walked out with a man between them. The cops were tall, but not nearly as tall as the handcuffed man, whose arms were muscular and huge. The girl tensed, her eyes drawn toward the man's white tank top, which revealed more than his furry chest. Bright and dark reds merged into a strange starburst pattern around his middle.
He turned his head in her direction, his narrowed eyes hunting for her. The flashing blue lights danced across his face, highlighting his light brown eyes. His lips parted, showing off perfect white teeth. He'd found her. Like always, his smile stopped at the curves of his mouth, never reaching his eyes. She never knew if he liked or hated her. Sucking back air, she ducked below the window. A whimper escaped between her ragged breaths. She didn't want him near her. Not ever again.
A wave of warmth, then cold, rippled through her body, causing her to tremble. She rubbed her hands up and down her arms, feeling tiny bumps on her skin through the thin pajama top. The cheeseburger and fries she'd eaten hours before gurgled in her stomach, threatening to be released. Without warning, one of the back doors opened. She screeched and pressed into the corner of the seat, believing her worst nightmare had broken free.
Instead, a cop leaned into the car and asked, “Hey. Are you all right in here?”
No, I'm not all right. Can't you see I'm freaking out?
But her mouth wouldn't cooperate with her brain.
The cop poked his head back out of the car. “Hey, where's the social worker?”
A man with a rough voice yelled back something, but she couldn't understand what he said. Staring at the cop, she pulled her legs up to her chest, resting her chin on her bony knees. Wait, something didn't feel right on her face. Lifting her right hand, she touched the side of her face. The skin felt ragged and sore. When she pulled her hand away, she saw dark stains on her fingers. Was that her blood or ... ? She dug her nails into her palm, hiding her hand behind her back.
Outside the police car, someone walked up behind the cop and handed him a plastic grocery bag. He didn't pull out food. Instead, he pulled something gray and furry from the bag and extended it to her. The cop frowned. “Looks like you have an injury there. We'll get someone to take a look at it. Right now, I think you could use a little buddy. I have a daughter. Got a room full of these things.”
Man, I'm not a baby.
She'd always been too small or too short, and the cop must have thought she was a lot younger than her twelve years. She took the stuffed animal, anyway, not really sure what to do with it. The cop shut the back door and then jumped in the front seat. As the car engine cranked to life, she examined the fuzzy stuffed animal. With its round ears, it could've been a bear or a mouse. She didn't really care.
Slowly, she opened her fist, almost expecting the stains to be gone. They weren't. Her face grew warmer as she wondered what would happen now. Turning to risk another look at the house, she sniffled. Two men walked inside, rolling a stretcher between them. Tears clouded her vision.
The cop said something from the front seat, but she wasn't listening. Using the back of her sleeve, she wiped away the wetness crawling down her cheeks. She wanted to scream. Again. Bringing the stuffed bear or mouse closer to her face, she squeezed with both arms and hid her face in the soft fur. As the car pulled away from the house, her head throbbed. She could still hear the screaming and shouting.
I'm sorry, Mama. I'm so sorry.
Chapter One
Charlotte, North Carolina, 2008
“What's going on?” Candace Johnson sat up in the bed and waited. Either the cellular company had dropped the call or her friend was on the line, probably twirling a lock of hair, her mind elsewhere. She fired off, “Pamela, are you still there?”
“I'm here,” Pamela shot back. Her friend let out a deep sigh. “There's a lot I'm trying to process right now. It's late. Let's talk tomorrow.”
“You're kidding me, right?” Nothing rattled Pamela Coleman, but only a few minutes ago Pamela had called with a shaky voice, saying, “We have to talk.” There was no way Pamela could leave the conversation hanging until the morning.
“I'm tired, Candace. To be quite honest, I may not be thinking straight.”
Candace pulled the covers up closer to her body. It wasn't unusual for them to talk until the wee hours of the morning, but she knew not to push her friend. “Where are you, anyway? Are you still at the art gallery reception this late?”
“No, I'm on my way home.”
“All right, girlfriend. I hope you get a good night's sleep. There will be no excuses tomorrow. I expect you to spill everything.”
“I hope I can. You get some sleep, too.”
The dial tone buzzed in her ear for a few seconds before she hung up the cordless phone.
Sleep. That's a joke
Out of habit, Candace slipped out of the bed and walked over to the window. She lifted one of the blind slats to peer out onto the street. It had been over a year and a half since the police department had provided protection for her family during the night. Now it seemed the police no longer cared. Other cases took priority, she guessed. Maybe it was all her imagination, overcome by grief and loss.
Rain pelted the roof and windows. The kind of rain that could coax a person into a deep, restful sleep. Candace wished. A full night's sleep had become a lost luxury, but she would try to close her eyes. As she climbed under her favorite quilt, uneasiness settled over her mind. Again. Another long night awaited her.
She could blame her sleeplessness on the late-night pizza session with the kids, but she knew better. Even Pamela's ominous call didn't help matters. It was the past that kept her staring at the ceiling, walking beside her like a maddening visitor, just hanging around, with no signs of departure.
Stealing her sleep, her peace.
She gripped the quilt, hugging it close to her body. Her aunt always said, “Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.” Candace didn't care about being strong. She wanted answers.
She stared into the darkness, beyond the clock, to where the glow illuminated a man's features. The photo was barely visible, but Candace had it memorized. In her mind, she could see Detective Frank Johnson dressed in his uniform. Though his smile was serious, his deep dimples still made an appearance.
Almost seventeen years of marriage. Her protector.
Seemed like everyone these days told her the same thing. “Frank would've wanted you to move on.” How could she? Her Frank believed in justice. In the end, her husband received none. That haunted her.
She did need to get herself together. Her children had been through enough. She didn't need Rachel and Daniel worrying about their mother. More than anything she wanted them to enjoy their youth. She didn't want them to experience the pain she struggled through at their age from losing a parent.
So Candace meditated on the rain, willing her eyes to grow heavy.
Her eyes flew open, and then she smacked the pillow. Even as she resolved to put the familiar memory out of her mind, questions lingered.
Why now?
Almost thirty years had passed since that night. It seemed like every now and then Mama decided to visit her in a dream. Images of the beautiful, troubled woman who birthed her often were like a bittersweet reunion. But sometimes
would show up, too.
Candace was no longer afraid of him. She'd made sure to track down his whereabouts after Frank's death just to be sure her childhood bogeyman had not returned. She knew he wasn't a threat to her anymore.
Still, she knew sleep would not come tonight. She refused to close her eyes. Like that night long ago, it felt like God had stopped by to shake her around like one of those snow globes. Where would the pieces of her life fall like those flakes? Candace wasn't sure she wanted to know.
Candace focused her thoughts on the earlier phone call.
Pamela, what do you have to tell me tomorrow?
I will never leave you or forsake you.
He made sure to park the car a distance away. Then he walked, being careful to avoid the streetlights, closer to the house. He was in a crime-watch zone. No need to make neighbors suspicious. The night's events had put him on edge. All he wanted to do was bury the past and move on. But no,
had dug it all back up again, practically accusing him. He would deal with the situation soon enough.
For now, it was time to visit an old friend.
With the stealth that he'd used many times to break into homes, he crept forward until he reached the oak tree located parallel to the house. He peered around the trunk and looked up toward the window.
The house was dark, but he knew.
She's awake. Thinking about me.
He smiled.
BOOK: When Rain Falls
8.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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