A Night Novel

“You remember that game we used to play when I was a kid? The one where you would let me pick out a code word, and if ever anything was wrong, all I had to do was call and say it, or yell it out when you came to pick me up?”

“Well, this morning I woke up to find this.”

Turning the phone my way, she thrust it out at arm’s length before her. Two words, totaling just nine letters.

Mom! Hungry!

Twenty-five years ago, Rand “Bear” Bryant’s worst nightmares came true when his work with the FBI’s Fugitive Task Force followed him home. One of the suspects he and his team were pursuing showed up at his home in the middle of the night. A crew of armed men descended on the Bryant house, intent on snuffing out any interest in them, no matter the cost.

Bear and his family survived the bloody, brutal affair, though not without scars. Wounds his wife and daughter couldn’t overcome sent them fleeing to the Pacific Northwest. A place as far removed from him and the associated trauma as possible, while still remaining in the continental United States.

A distant location Bear spent decades visiting before ultimately relocating for retirement as well. He maintained a constant vigil, a state of overwatch ,to ensure nothing like what took place that night ever happened to his family again.
A self-appointed post he maintained until told not to by his daughter exactly five hundred days ago.
A firm directive rescinded after receiving a text message in the middle of the night from her own teenaged daughter, in dire need of help.

Fearing the worst, Bear’s daughter shows up at his doorstep seeking help in a way only he can provide. The start of a whirlwind stretch that sees the two of them plunge back into a life he had left behind, while at the same time trying to navigate their own rocky history.

Another bloody, brutal affair they can only hope to survive again…

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