She writes stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem. Tired of having to skip over all the four letter words and explicit sex scenes of traditional suspense, she writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance.
Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.
To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net. She has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com Her most recent releases are PURSUED (White Rose Publishing) and DECEPTION (Harbourlight Books).
DARK ALLEYSBeing innocent and proving it are two different things, especially when a powerful politician is involved
Tessa’s life spiraled out of control after the death of her only child, and she finds herself in a dark alley on a cold wintry night where she witnesses a murder, and almost becomes his second victim. Homeless and alone, she knows the authorities won’t believe someone like her, leaving her only one option—to run.
Angry and loud penetrated her alcohol-induced sleep. Cold. Very cold. Shivering, Tessa pressed against the wall for warmth, but not wanting to be seen either.
She didn’t like people. Being alone was better. Not good to trust people. People hurt you, stole from you, did things to you.
A man’s voice filled with rage broke through the fuzziness. “How could you betray me, Willie? You of all people.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. What is it you think I did?” A different voice, confused.
Tessa opened her eyes to nothing but a blur. After blinking several times her vision cleared. Two men stood by a car parked in the alley.
A single light above the pizza restaurant’s door lit up the intruders
She pressed further into the wall, willing herself invisible.
They should go away and find their own place. Something was in her arms. She looked down. Her baby. Had to keep Michaela safe. She couldn’t let her get hurt this time. Clutching the baby to her breast, Tessa wished the men would go away.
Her stomach queasy, she tried not to breathe in the fetid smell of the dumpster
“My wife, Willie” The man in a long overcoat said as he inched closer to the other. The anger and hatred in his voice scared her. “You remember my wife, don’t you?”
“Your w…w….ife?” The man called Willie faced her. Older than her and dressed in nice warm clothes. “What about your wife?”
“I’m not going to play this game, Willie. I know. Did you really think I wouldn’t find out? She told me everything. She told me all about your affair. No wonder you kept coming home on the opposite weekends I did. I trusted you, Willie” Overcoat Man shook his head as if he was sad, but Tessa didn’t believe him. His body told a different story. His clenched fists didn’t look sad—only angry.
She hugged Michaela closer. Keep Michaela safe. Maybe she could crawl to the end of the alley without being seen? It seemed like miles...but if she was quiet...maybe she could do it. Maybe they wouldn’t notice her since they were arguing.
“You, of all people, know I don’t tolerate betrayal or theft. You’ve seen what happens to people who betray me. I can’t believe you did this to me, Willie.”
Willie stepped back but the car blocked his movement. “This is ridiculous. I didn’t have an affair with your wife. That’s just crazy and I’m not listening any more. I’m leaving.”
Overcoat man stepped closer to Willie. “She belongs to me. She’s my property. You shouldn’t have done it.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I swear. I don’t know who told you such a ridiculous thing, but it’s a lie. I…I…wouldn’t do that to you and everyone knows how much she loves you.”
The man threw his head back and laughed as if Willie had told a very funny joke, but she hadn’t thought Willie’s words were funny. Then, the laughing stopped.
Tessa couldn’t control her trembling.
Had to get away. Had to keep Michaela safe. Fumbling in the dark, she found her backpack. Her fingers curled around it and she moved to a crawling position
She hit the baby’s head on the dumpster.
The metal clang reverberated down the alley and to the men.
Oh, no. Not good for a baby to hit their head. She looked down. Her stomach twisted. Not Michaela. Just an old dirty doll. Still, she held its head to keep from hitting it again.
The Overcoat Man looked in her direction.
Tessa froze. Couldn’t breathe. If he saw her, he would hurt them. She cowered, hoping the darkness hid them.
After a moment, he turned back toward Willie. He placed his hand in his pocket. Tessa’s heart pounded like a locomotive, but she was safe. She’d kept Michaela safe—this time.
His hand moved out of his pocket. Something silvery and shiny glistened.