If you called Carol a hero, she’d laugh. One of her friends calls her a survivor, and she’s not even sure how to take that. Sure, she’s taken a lot of pain and she’s still standing, but for how much longer?
Carol’s a single mom, starting over in Toronto after some anonymous creep threatened her son, Paul. She didn’t tell Paul that’s why they left Calgary—why she dyed her dark hair honey ash and cut it short, why she started wearing glasses with non-corrective lenses. Why she’s so “controlling,” to use his word for it.
Paul is sixteen and pushing the limits she sets. He’s a good kid, does well enough in school, but she can’t stop worrying that he’ll end up like his father: a loser musician who loved the spotlight—and the female fans—more than he loved his wife and sons.
I say “sons” because Carol and Skip had two, after she miscarried a daughter as a teen. Carol would tell you life got easier once Skip died in a car wreck, but losing her other son nearly killed her. Keith was only twelve when he died of a drug overdose. If she hadn’t still had Paul to care for, and Keith’s dog, she’d never have kept her sanity.
No wonder a threat on Paul’s life sent her fleeing half-way across the country.
Why would someone threaten an innocent teen? Technically, the guy threatened them both, but he did suggest that her son was an easier target. As for why? Carol has a brother who’s a dangerous offender: Harry Silver. You may have read about him in Heaven’s Prey. Harry’s enemies can’t touch him directly, but his family are walking around unprotected.
That’s what the note said, and that’s why Carol and Paul relocated with no forwarding address.
These days Carol works at the Sticky Fingers Café, baking desserts and waiting tables. She’s trying to keep anonymous in this new city, and outside of work she hasn’t met many people. Is it sad that speed dial #1 on her phone is the late-night deejay on the local oldies station? And #2 is a friend in Calgary?
Carol loves to bake, especially with chocolate. When the nightmares wake her, she’ll often whip up a pan of brownies or a batch of cookies. She’ll make herself a cup of tea—peppermint is her favourite—and ask for a Billy Joel song on the all-request oldies show. The deejay, Joey, is easy to talk to. And he doesn’t know who—or where—she is, so she’s safe.
What else do I need to tell you about Carol? She’s not as safe as she thinks she is. What’s coming is more than she can handle on her own. And she’s determined not to pray for help, not after what happened the last time she tried prayer.
You can meet Carol, Paul, Joey and a few others this November in Secrets and Lies, Redemption’s Edge Book 2.
Today’s introduction is part of Ruth Snyder‘s biweekly writers’ blog hop series, the assignment being “a character sketch of your hero.” To see the other posts in this thread, click on the blog hop image.