The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Author: Heather Gudenkauf
- Language: English
- Formats: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Available For Free Download
- Series: None
- Price: Free
- File Size: 1 MB
On August 12, 2000, Abby Morris, out of breath with sweat trickling down
her temple, was hurrying down the gray ribbon of gravel road for her nightly
walk. Despite her long-sleeved shirt, pants, and the thick layer of bug spray,
mosquitoes formed a halo around her head in search of exposed flesh. She
was grateful for the light the moon provided and the company of Pepper, her
black Lab. Jay, her husband, thought she was unwise to walk this time of
night, but between working all day, picking up the baby at day care and then
dealing with all the chores at home, 9:30 to 10:30 was the one hour of the day
that was truly her own.
Not that she was scared. Abby grew up walking roads like these. County
roads covered in dusty gravel or dirt and lined with cornfields. In the three
months they’d lived here, she never once encountered anyone on her evening
walks, which suited her just fine.
“Roscoe, Roscoe!” came a female voice from far off in the distance.
Someone calling for their dog to come home for the night, Abby thought.
“Ro-sss-co,” the word was drawn out in a singsongy cadence but edged with
Pepper was panting heavily, her pink tongue thick and nearly dragging on
Abby picked up her pace. She was almost to the halfway spot in her threemile loop. Where the gravel met a dirt road nearly swallowed up by the
cornfields. She turned right and stopped short. Sitting on the side of the road,
about forty yards away, was a pickup truck. A prickle of unease crept up her
back and the dog looked up at Abby expectantly. Probably someone with a
flat tire or engine trouble left the truck there for the time being, Abby
She started walking again, and a feathery gauze of clouds slid across the
face of the moon, plunging the sky into darkness, making it impossible to see
if someone was sitting inside the truck. Abby cocked her head to listen for the
purr of an engine idling, but all she could hear was the electric buzz saw
serenade of thousands of cicadas and Pepper’s wet breathing.
“Come, Pepper,” Abby said in a low voice as she took a few steps
backward. Pepper kept going, her nose close to the ground, following a
zigzagging path right up to the truck’s tires. “Pepper!” Abby said sharply.
At the intensity in Abby’s voice, Pepper’s head snapped up and she
reluctantly gave up the scent and returned to Abby’s side.
Was there movement behind the darkened windshield? Abby couldn’t be
sure, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching. The
clouds cleared and Abby saw a figure hunched behind the steering wheel. A
man. He was wearing a cap, and in the moonlight, Abby caught a glimpse of
pale skin, a slightly off-center nose, and a sharp chin. He was just sitting
A warm breeze sent a murmur through the fields and lifted the hair off her
neck. A scratchy rustling sound came from off to her right. The hair on
Pepper’s scruff stood at attention and she gave a low growl.
“Let’s go,” she said, walking backward before turning and rushing toward
Sheriff John Butler stood on the rotting back deck, looking out over his
backyard, the wood shifting and creaking beneath his bare feet. The adjacent
houses were all dark, the neighbors and their families fast asleep. Why would
they be awake? They had a sheriff living right next door. They had nothing to
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