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Message in the Box (Messages of Murder 5) by Dawn Merriman

Read Online Message in the Box (Messages of Murder 5) by Dawn Merriman Thriller Book

Overview: A mysterious box and a haunted museum
It wasn’t my psychic abilities that led me to the box. It was the dog. But it was my special talent that told me there was a man in the box on the side of the road. A murder victim.
The visions I get from the man make no sense. In fact, all my visions on this case seem to lead nowhere. Have I lost my gift?
When the killer targets someone close to me, I must trust my visions and trust myself to save her. Will it be enough?


Read Online Message in the Box (Messages of Murder 5) by Dawn Merriman Book Chapter One Free. Find Hear Best Thriller Books And Novel For Reading And Download.
Message in the Box (Messages of Murder 5) by Dawn Merriman

Read Online Message in the Box (Messages of Murder 5) by Dawn Merriman Book Chapter One

GABBY

The large black dog stands in the middle of the road, staring me down, daring me to pass. I'd been in the middle of a drum solo on my steering wheel. Blue Oyster Cult was telling me to Don't Fear the Reaper and my gloved hands pounded hard and fast to the beat. I was deep in the middle of a daydream about performing as a rock star drummer when the dog forced me to hit the brakes.

The animal stops staring and paces from one weedy side of the road to the other. I slow, hoping it will move out of the way. When my car stops, it stops and stares again. Its brown eyes peer through my windshield, begging.

The cross tattoo on my left forearm begins to tingle.

My bright and easy day vanishes.

I turn the radio down, my dreams of drum solos long gone, and pull my car to a stop in front of the dog. It begins pacing again, to the ATV parked at the end of a driveway then to the mailbox at the other side of the road. The pacing grows frantic.

Hoping no other cars will come at that moment, I pull over and put the Charger in park. Looking both ways down the deserted country road, I slowly open the door. The blast of spring air warms my air-conditioned skin, but goosebumps rise all over my body just the same. I love dogs, but I know better than to approach a large Labrador that is so agitated. The dog seems uninterested in hurting me. It whines and goes to the mailbox again.

The tingle in the delicate cross tattoo on my arm increases as I make my way around the front of my car.

Then I hear the moan and the faint cry for help.

The spring weeds reach tall around the mailbox, but on close inspection, I see some of them have been crushed. I hurry to the spot. A slight ditch falls away from the roadside, choked with weeds. Something flesh-colored is barely visible through the weeds.

An arm.

I step down the slight ditch to the arm and the moaning man, preparing for a bloody scene. The man looks up at me with relief. I recognize him as a customer of Grandma Dot’s. He has his hair cut there once a month, even though he has very few hairs left to worry about.

“Mr. Sickmiller, what happened?” I crouch beside him, careful not to slide down the hill. “Are you hurt?” Mr. Sickmiller has suffered from Multiple Sclerosis for years and it has racked his body into a painfully stiff, faded version of the man I remember from my childhood.

“Gabby, thank God it’s you. I’ve been down here for a long time. I heard Herbie up there pacing and whining, trying to get someone to stop, but cars kept passing by.”

I place my arm under his shoulders, thin and bony, and help him into a sitting position. “What happened?” I ask again.

"I was getting my mail when I thought I saw something." He points to a spot further down in the ditch. “I tried to investigate but lost my balance. I don’t walk so good anymore, you know.”

“I know,” I say gently. “Are you hurt?” I search his body for injuries, but besides a large grass stain on his white t-shirt and a streak of dirt on his arm, he seems okay.

“Just my pride. Sucks being so old and sick that you can’t pick yourself up off the ground.”

He attempts to get his legs under him and up onto his feet. His oversized red Crocs slide out from under him and he falls again into the brush. With my help and two more attempts, he climbs on hand and knees up the ditch bank. Using the mailbox and my arm for support, he gets one shaky leg under him, then loses his balance. He lands in the road with a humph of pain.

“I don’t think I can get up,” he mutters apologetically. “Might have hurt myself that time.” He lifts his head, and a thin trickle of blood drips from his nose.

I crouch next to him, Herbie crowds against his master. A faint sound of an approaching engine grows louder.

“There’s a car coming. You can’t lay here.”

He puts a hand on the asphalt and pushes, but his body doesn’t lift. “I can’t,” he says miserably.

The engine sound increases.

I jump into the middle of the road and flap my arms to get the car’s attention. A police cruiser slows to a stop, a familiar patrol officer at the wheel. Officer Patterson has helped me on several occasions and doesn’t look at me with horror like some of the other officers on the River Bend police force.

Patterson rolls down the window. “Everything alright, Gabby? I was just on my way home and saw the dog and your car and then you.” I point to Mr. Sickmiller trying once again to stand. “Oh, man,” Patterson exclaims, grasping the situation.

With Officer Patterson on one side and me on the other, we pull Mr. Sickmiller to his feet. He wobbles and shuffles in his red shoes, but manages the few steps to the ATV.

“I always drive down for the mail. The walk is too much for me,” he explains after sinking into the ATV seat with a grunt.  

Herbie dances around us, excited to finally have help for his master.

I rub the dog’s head. “You saved him, Herbie, good boy.”

Mr. Sickmiller’s eyes are watery when he looks at the dog. “I don’t know how long I would have been down there if he hadn’t stopped you.”

Patterson is checking out Sickmiller’s pulse and giving him a cursory first aid look over. “Do you need me to call the paramedics, have someone come check you out? Looks like you bumped your nose.”

Sickmiller brushes off the attention and wipes at the blood.  His face has turned an alarming shade of red. “I’m fine, don’t bother with me.” He rubs a hand across his sparse hair. “Maybe I need a haircut today, though.” The few hairs on his pink scalp stand on end. I happen to know Mr. Sickmiller is sweet on Grandma Dot. If anyone can make him feel better, it will be her.

Patterson looks at me and then at the old man. “If you both are sure, then.”

Sickmiller attempts to snap his gnarled fingers. No sound is made, but the intention is obvious. “I almost forgot what I was looking for in the first place. Gabby, there’s a box, a big box down the ditch.”

I sense Patterson tense and realize that my tattoo is still tingling even though Sickmiller is safe now. I don’t have a good feeling about the box and I’m glad to have backup here already just in case.

“We’ll check it out,” Patterson says.

We wait for a passing car that has slowed to a crawl and rubbernecks at our little scene. Patterson and I cross the road. From the vantage point of standing at the mailbox, the corner of a large box or trunk can be seen.

“It wasn’t there yesterday,” Sickmiller calls from his seat. “That’s why it had me so interested. An old box like that, or a trunk, could have treasure in it.” He laughs weekly at his small joke.

The way my arm is tingling, I don’t think treasure is what we’ll find.

Patterson goes down the ditch in long strides. I follow as gracefully as I can, managing to not fall on my rear.

The crushed weeds show the path the box took down the hill. It has landed bottom side up. On closer look, it does appear to be an old trunk, maybe an antique.

Patterson looks at the box and up the weedy bank to the road. “Think it fell off a truck or was thrown down here?”

I think I wish I was anywhere other than in a weedy ditch with a mysterious box and my tattoo stinging.

“Let’s turn this over and see what it is.” I’m happy to let Patterson take the lead. The box is indeed a trunk, with a handle on each end. He pulls one of the handles and attempts to turn the box right side up. He grunts in exertion. “Heavier than it looks. Can you give me a hand?”

With slow steps, I approach the trunk, thankful I’m wearing my gloves, even if they are just thin ones. I hesitate before I touch the handle, my arm sizzling, and my mind knowing already that whatever is making the box so heavy is going to be bad.

Patterson holds the other side and is looking at me expectantly.

I close my eyes and wrap my fingers around the metal handle.

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