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Monday, March 28, 2016

NIKKI'S TEST -- Excerpt #12

Willow Avenue turned out to be a dead end, with a cluster of willow trees and three park benches in the empty lot, behind a pretty picket fence instead of the usual metal barrier and an ugly "dead end" sign. Nikki found Sheriff Holmes' house easily enough, since there were only twenty houses on the street. She pulled into the driveway and looked up and down the street for activity from the neighbors before getting out. Just in case there was someone unfriendly watching, to take notes on who came to carry away the sheriff's visitor. All was quiet. Maybe too quiet? It was just past eight on a school day. What were the chances that no one with school-aged children lived on this street?

That reminded her of the little girl she had glimpsed while heading down the mountain. Nikki shivered, feeling as if she had been told something and forgot the exact words, but knew they were important. Back before she messed up her life, choosing Brock over her family and God, she had what she believed were guiding dreams. Answers to prayers over important decisions or steps she needed to take, or just answers to problems facing her. Those dreams stopped after she ran away with Brock, but she had ample evidence that the dreams had returned during that terrifying time when Ringo's men dragged her back to be used as a distraction and shield for Ringo's drug-running activities -- as Brock had testified during the trial. Nikki had disobeyed the clear instructions in the final dream, and was convinced, despite everything Joan and her foster-parents told her otherwise, that it was her fault Kathryn had died and she had lost her baby. She had vowed to always listen to her dreams from then on -- which, of course, meant she hadn't had any.

Until last night, maybe? Yet if she had a guiding dream, wouldn't God have made sure she remembered it? Something about that little girl, or something else she saw, coming down the mountain?

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