I’m forced to watch as they torture and kill my family … and I know I’m next.
I hear their screams.
I watch them die.
It’s the worst kind of torture
Then he comes. He made a promise to my brother. It’s the only thing keeping him bound to me.
A promise to protect me.
I should set him free of the promise … but I don’t. He’s my shield against karma. He’s my protector.
I’ve spent the last three years leaving my footprints wherever I felt my help was needed.
In my own naïve way I thought I could bribe karma. You know … if I do good then good will come my way. It’s worked so far, so why would I have any reason to doubt it.
At the age of twenty six I’m happy, that contented kind of happiness not many people ever find in their lives.
I have parents who love me. I have two brothers who I idolize, especially my oldest brother, Josh. No one can hold a candle to him.
I’m returning from Australia, after taking part in the annual Gouldian finch count. It was an amazing experience, counting all those colorful birds. Before that I traveled Africa for three years, lending a helping hand wherever I could. It made me feel good.
That’s the problem though, isn’t it?
I did it because it made me feel good. I didn’t do any of it for those people I was helping. I didn’t do it for the animals. No, I did it all for me – so karma would have to pay me back in kind.
That’s how it works. Right?
I always keep my slate clean. I’m always polite and hardworking. I always smile. I’m the funny one, the shoulder everyone can lean on.
That has to count for something, right?
Josh started this thing where he calls me his shooting star. Riley-Star. It caught on in the family. They always joke around and pretend to make wishes on me. I shine so bright. I’m the heart of the family … their little girl.
But every star has to burn out some time.
Life has a way of teaching us lessons. Karma, now there’s a peculiar thing. I never knew how selfish I was until my life was ripped away from me.
Me. Me. Me.
International bestselling author of Predator, The Monster Series and many others. She loves writing anything from Young Adult to Suspense Romance.