SOMETIMES, THERE REALLY ARE
MONSTERS UNDER THE BED
by Will Graham
In 1996, SSA Michael O'Leary of the FBI's Child Abduction and Serial Killer Unit (CASKU) investigated the abduction of Amelia Reardon, the five year old daughter of textile heiress Annabelle Sinclair Reardon. Annabelle was attacked by the kidnapper, brutalized, and left for dead. Michael found Amelia, but what happened after that horrific discovery sent him into a spiraling depression, resulting in his resignation.
Annabelle Reardon survives her attack, coming out of it to learn she possesses a very slight psychic ability, a talent causing more awkwardness and embarrassment than any concrete benefit. Using her considerable personal resources, she founds the National Center Victims Advocacy Group (NCVAG), an organization dedicated to assisting and supporting the victims of violent crimes. One of her first actions is persuading Michael to come into the fold and use his training and skills.
December 23, 1999. When a member of a local boys' choir performing at a shopping mall brushes against her, Annabelle has a vision of an actual vampire; swirling cloak, bloody fangs, emanating an aura of menace that staggers her. The 'vision' induces such terror in her Annabelle is compelled to look into the matter, dragging a reluctant Michael with her.
Using the resources available to them through the NCVAG, Michael and Annabelle begin an investigation on Christmas Eve that takes them from Washington, D.C. to the beauty of the Virginia countryside, a compassionate doctor, a private institute, and a confrontation with genuine evil on the most special of days, Christmas Morning.
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Visit Will at his blog, http://www.wmsimon.blogspot.com/.