Turned upside down by misadventure
Amy Childs is late for a party when she makes an illegal turn and hits a pedestrian–the brother of one of the most corrupt men in town. Now her brush with the law has her running for her life from those who want retribution.
Torn apart by tragedy
Detective Sgt. Dane Philips lost his wife to a serial killer. He's juggled work and parenting his two daughters since but can no longer cope. To save his job he must find a live-in nanny immediately. While he knows he shouldn't hire someone without references, he desperately needs someone. Perhaps Amy is an answer to prayer.
But as events take a sinister turn, only a miracle can save them all from destruction. Is Amy the woman of his dreams or the start of a nightmare?
“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14
Horns blared in the hot, muggy, late September evening. Amy Childs drummed her fingers on the rim of the leather clad steering wheel. The staccato rhythm was almost at odds with the country music blaring full volume from the stereo. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. She gazed at the line of traffic in front of her. What was the hold up this time? Surely the council wasn’t digging up the roads of Filely again? Didn’t they have anything better to do?
One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four…
Having been delayed at work because the till didn’t add up, she now had less than an hour to get home, shower, change and be across town for Rosalie’s baby shower. She and Rosalie had been best friends since school. Amy’d had a couple of boyfriends, none of whom lasted beyond a month, whilst Rosalie had fallen hard and fast for Ray Malone, the assistant pastor of the church they’d attended while at university in Scotland. Rosalie and Ray had married just after Ray had amazingly accepted the call to become pastor of a small church in Filely, on the coast of North-Eastern England. Rosalie’s baby was due in two weeks.
Not having any ties, Amy had moved down there with them. She found a small house on the sea front and a job working in a hardware store and loved it. Well, loved it most of the time. She did a bit of everything; ordering, stock taking, and the till… And it wasn’t her fault the till was wrong either. The twenty had slipped down the back of the register. It was there all the time. She hated being accused of something she hadn’t done.
One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four…
She dragged her thoughts back to the evening ahead, and glanced in the driving mirror. Her long blonde hair was a mess. Brushing her fingers through it, she found sawdust. Great. There was no way she could avoid washing it before going out tonight. She’d bought the most adorable outfit and made a blanket for the baby. She needed to wrap them and box up the cake she’d made. And write the card. The flowers were in the garage in a bucket of water. Hopefully they hadn’t wilted in the heat.
Her fingers kept drumming. One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. She sighed. “Oh, come on. This is ridiculous.”
The car in front of her moved. “Blow this, I don’t have time to sit here and wait.” She checked the lane to her right and pulled out, doing a U-turn. She swung wide, her mind a million miles away. A car horn blared in the queue behind her. “You can just wait a minute, mister.”
She kept going, pulling the wheel hard over, keeping the turning circle tight. Could she do it in one? A pedestrian appeared in front of her. There was a sickening thud, and she slammed on the brakes.
Her heart pounded, and she sat frozen in her seat. I hit him…oh, God, forgive me, I hit him. Her fingers whitened on the steering wheel. Nausea rose and she swallowed hard. Shaking started in her hands and spread throughout her entire body. She’d hit him.
Amy closed her eyes. She could still see his face, stamped indelibly on her memory. His wide, staring eyes, fear and tension in his body. His blue shirt and tie, jacket slung over his arm and briefcase in his hand meant businessman not manual worker. The way he’d been scooped up by her car, tossed onto her bonnet and windscreen, then back onto the road replayed over and over.
The windscreen was cracked. It’d cost a bomb to replace as the insurance wouldn’t cover it. You just hit a man...forget about the windshield.
A crowd gathered in front of her car, but she didn’t move. She just sat, shaking, trying not to cry or throw up.
Sirens echoed and blue lights flickered. She was going to be late. She needed to call Rosalie and let her know. One hand fumbled for her phone. She found Rosalie in the contacts and hit call.
Ray’s calm voice answered. “Pastor Malone.”
“It’s Amy…” she whispered. “Ray…something happened.”
“What’s wrong? Are you OK?”
Someone tapped on the window. Amy gasped, jumped and twisted her head. A uniformed officer stood there. She hit the button on the door, opening the window.
“Would you step out of the car please, miss?”
She didn’t move. This had turned into a nightmare she couldn’t awaken from.
“Put the phone down and step out of the car.” The officer’s tone hardened.
Ray’s voice echoed in her other ear. “Amy, who’s that? What’s going on?”
She dropped the phone. Her fingers fumbled first to unbuckle her seatbelt, then the catch, finally opening the door. She got out of the car. Her legs buckled, not wanting to hold her up. She glanced to her right. The guy in the blue shirt lay on the pavement, surrounded by police and paramedics. A huge crowd of onlookers stood everywhere. “Is…is he dead?”
“No. What’s your name?”
“Amy Childs.” She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the scene.
“Have you had anything to drink in the last hour?”
“No. I don’t drink.”
“Breathe into this until I say stop.”
She frowned. “I told you, I don’t drink.” But she did as the police officer asked. “Can I go now? I have somewhere I have to be.”
“Amy Childs,” the police officer spoke firmly, pulling her hands behind her back. “I’m arresting you on suspicion of dangerous driving.”
“What? It was only a U-turn…”
“You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defense if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.” Metal cuffs snapped around her wrists and firm hands put her into the back of the police car.
“But it was only a U-turn,” she repeated.
“U-turns are illegal,” the cop said sharply. “And you hit a pedestrian.” The door slammed shut.
Amy looked at it. It had no handle on the inside. She swallowed hard against the rising nausea as the car started to move. What had she done? Tears burned her eyes.
The journey was short. The officers led her inside the custody suite to the desk. The place stank of sweat and sick. She gave her name and address and handed over all her belongings. The officer took her down to a cell and removed the cuffs. She had to take off her shoes and leave them in the corridor. The door slammed shut, leaving her alone.
Amy sank onto the hard bench and buried her face in her hands. One small mistake and she was being treated like a common criminal. She hadn’t meant to hit him. It was an accident. It was only a U-turn.