Billy has been a target of bullying through her years of schooling. Exams are over but stress leads her to thoughts of suicide. It’s her counselor that suggests she volunteers to assist in an archaeological dig in Scotland.
A secluded hostel. The residents start dropping like flies.
Billy knows who the murderer is.
Shane knows he’s next to die.
Billy was in the kitchen getting the breakfast things out when Shane entered.
“What you doing up so early?” He asked, while yawning and ruffling his hair.
“I couldn’t sleep. I thought I’d make a start on breakfast.”
“Want a hand?” he offered.
“Nah, I’m fine. Go get dressed; I don’t think I can stand looking at you in that horrid dressing gown.”
Shane looked down at his apparel.
“What’s wrong with it?” He asked, and then smiled embarrassingly. “It’s my dad’s, I borrowed it. I’ll come to breakfast in my undies next time, shall I?”
Billy didn’t answer, as she pictured what he’d look like in just his briefs.
Shane left to dress, but when he returned, Billy was still standing by the sink where he left her. Not a slice of bread had been toasted, and the kettle was still cold.
Tony and Ben walked in and sat down at the table ready to tuck into breakfast.
“Hey, it’s getting late. Where’s the breakfast?” Tony called.
“Billy,” Shane called. “What’s going on? What have you been doing?”
She didn’t answer, so Shane prodded her with his finger.
“What!” She snapped back.
“I thought breakfast would be ready by now,” Shane said.
“We gonna eat today or not?” Ben added.
Slamming down the knife she was holding, and with tears in her eyes she shouted, “I’m going as fast as I can. If you want, you can make the bloody breakfast yourself.”
Susan and Sara entered with another two students. Everyone was staring. Billy ran from the kitchen rudely pushing past students that were entering.
“Well excuse me,” one called out sarcastically.
Back in the dormitory, she threw herself on her bed.
What’s wrong with me, she asked? No answer was given.
Still the voices called. Nothing made sense, just words strung together, and yet they were encouraging. Billy couldn’t make out whether the voice was old or young, but it was defiantly female.
Neither instructions, nor advice were ever given. Nevertheless, she felt alert and unusually happy after each occurrence.
I’m going mad, she told herself. The voice is real. I’m not just hearing it; I’m feeling her as well, whoever she is.
Billy stroked the stone absentmindedly.
Author of the OUTLAW series