The Sacred Glade

The Sacred Glade

Diane Charles Linford

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Moving body and soul into Diane Graham's family life and love life--caring for the other woman's children and making love to her husband, Dianne Tanner finds the life she didn't realize she craved in an alternate reality. Imagine an alternate you following a different branch on the road of life. Imagine finding that other side of yourself and trading places--a temporary trade just to see what might have been had you taken a different path along one of life's many forks in the road. The Sacred Glade is a fascinating look at "what might have been" had a different path been taken. Tightly written with compelling characters and an overlying sense of horror that all is not what it seems, Dianne Charles Linford has taken one of life's paths and given it a startling, eerie, yet strangely believable twist. This one is definitely a page turner. Kate Douglas Kensington Aphrodisia: Wolf Tales Sexy Beast--Wolf Tales II
 
PUBLISHED BY: Aspen Mountain Press
ISBN: 978-1-60168-000-6
PUBLICATION DATE: 2006
WORD COUNT: 57140
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 4 4 4 4
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Interracial, African-American, Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal, Science Fiction
KEYWORDS: Interracial romance, science fiction, alternate reality, erotic romance,
 

EBOOKS BY Aspen Mountain Press

EBOOKS BY Diane Charles Linford

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Diane Charles Linford/2006
The fire department told me they had a device for breaking up the heavy odor smoke left after a fire and a representative from the department waited for me with details on how to arrange for the contracted fire clean up crew when I pulled onto my street.

Except, of course, we had no electricity. The power company truck's cherry picker hoisted a crewman into place, and he yelled something unintelligibly technical to a co-worker down below.

In my mind I heard him shout something about a security gate. I suspect I felt particularly paranoid, but I realized this might be just the excuse my husband needed to take the extra step necessary to lock us away from the world outside.

Still, even a gate wouldn't have protected the house from lightning.

My afternoon turned into unadulterated chaos. Insurance adjusters, glass window repairers, various clean-up crews came and went all afternoon. In fact, I even had a visit from my friendly neighborhood fire inspector toward the end of the day, and he did another thorough walkthrough for safety's sake.

"I wouldn't stay here without power, Mrs. Tanner, but I suspect you should be able to move back in tomorrow sometime."

Thank God, I'd taken lunch time to memorize my lines for the show.

Although we had no power, I checked the phones anyway. I don't really know why, but I suspect it was mostly out of habit. I knew my cell phone had been tucked away in my purse, but what the heck; I'd pick up a phone here or there, wipe the soot off with a disposable towel, and listen to dead silence smothering the expected dial tone.

One particular beige colored phone near the family room closest to the southwest wall even showed signs of its plastic shell having been melted right where the cord touched the cradle. For some reason, the sight of the melted plastic further upset and aggravated me. I picked up the receiver, turned the phone on, and put it to my ear.

There was a crackling noise, a distant high pitched whine, and an intermittent hum.

"What the...?"

I went over to the dining room wall and flipped a light switch to check the power. Nothing. No change. I placed the small melted eyesore to my ear once again and was rewarded with the same curious sounds. I ran to the nearest telephone plugged into a jack in the kitchen--silence--just like before.

I stared at the little beige phone in my hands. Did I dare turn it on again?

"Mrs. Tanner?"

I jumped. The head of the contracted cleaning crew had come up behind me.

"Didn't mean to startle you." He held up both hands in an appeasing gesture. "But that's basically all we can do until we get the power back. Although I called my company, and they told me your husband's corporation phoned and authorized renting a generator until your power is restored. We'll get it hooked up first thing in the morning."

I nodded. "Right, thanks..."

"Are you planning on sleeping here?"

I shook my head. "No, I'll probably spend another night at the hotel."

"I suggest you let your husband's security people know so they can keep an eye on this place overnight."

"Yeah, good idea." Go away now.

"All right, we'll be back tomorrow." He hefted a large case of tools. "You have a good evening."

"You, too. Thanks for all your help."

As the last of the cleaning crew loaded various items into the van, I turned on the melted telephone. I'd gotten it into my head to try and give Linda Griffin a call on this strange phone. Quickly, I punched in Linda's phone number and waited to see if it would ring.

An odd jangling resounded on the other end. Was that a ring? The same curious noise repeated. Okay, let's see where this takes us. It clattered again. And again. I let it ring longer than usual mostly out of stubbornness, I suppose.

Suddenly, I heard a click, some static, and then a familiar woman's voice barked: "Is this some kind of joke?"

Startled, I asked the first thing that came into my mind. "Linda?"

"No, this isn't Linda! Who the hell's this?"

I don't know what prompted me to answer such a rude question truthfully. "This is Diane."

"Diane?" There was a crackly pause. "Which Diane?"

"Diane Tanner." There was another pause. "Hello, are you still there?"

"D-Diane T-Tanner? Is this some kind of cruel joke? Is Bryan behind this?"

I gulped. There was something ominous in the way she said Bryan's name. "Well, actually it's Diane Sanders Tanner. But, I'm not--"

"Omigod! Back up. What do you mean Diane Sanders Tann-?"

"Why does my name upset you?"

"Look, are you trying to tell me you married Bryan Tanner? My--I mean--your high school steady!"

I snickered uneasily. "Almost, I married his cousin, Lee. Hey, wait a second! Who is this, anyway?"

"We shouldn't be talking." She sounded upset.

"What?" Now I was pissed. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Who are you really? How did you make this phone ring?"

What a disturbing response! "What?"

"I mean th-this phone..." There was a moment of awkward static. "This phone shouldn't work."

"Shouldn't work..." I choked back a shudder. What was going on here? I said the first thing that jumped into my head. "D-did your phone get ... st-struck by lightning?"

I heard her gasp on the other end. "H-how d-did you know?"

 
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