44: Book Six
been ready to move on, had even gone to New York for an interview, when Nathaniel kidnapped me. But he was dead now. I needed to take care of myself. I would miss her. But it was time for her to get on with her life.
    I was still awake when the weak light of dawn peeked in my window.
     

 
    CHAPTER 23
     
    I still had huge gaping holes regarding what it all meant and what my part in it was supposed to be, but I was finally making progress.
    I knew that someone was going to die in that alley. And I knew now that the ghost and the young woman in the vision were two separate people.
    They were both about the same age and body type. They both had light-colored hair. And they both had the same gruesome slash across their necks. But there were important differences.
    The ghost had thin lips, almost pencil thin, while the dying woman’s were fuller and chapped, leaning more toward an Angelina Jolie look. Their noses were also different. The ghost’s was slightly longer and narrower. Finally, they were dressed differently. The specter always wore a dark track suit. The girl in the snow was wearing black jeans and a dark long-sleeved shirt.
    I was almost certain of the location. And I had a few clues regarding the time. It was night. It was snowing. It was around Christmas. The church bells led me to believe it was somewhere between seven and midnight.
    I was supposed to save her. But I didn’t know how. In the vision she was beyond saving. She had lost too much blood. What was I supposed to do? Call the paramedics? Sew her back up? Pray for a miracle?
    But perhaps most importantly, I didn’t know who I was supposed to save. A young attractive woman in her early 20s with blonde hair. That narrowed it down some but nowhere near enough.
    I decided to confirm what I thought I knew. I headed over to Tin Pan Alley. I parked in front of a jewelry store and crossed the street.
    My salt and pepper world had gone all gray. It was raining again, the clouds pressing down hard and heavy, the drops forming bubbles. I remembered my mom telling me once that that was a sure sign it was going to keep raining.
    It didn’t take long to figure out this was the place. Just like in the vision, the wine shop had Christmas lights over the door. I looked at the window. There it was above the menu. The handwritten sign.
    “All bottles of Syrah half off until 12/24.”
    I had the location. Tin Pan Alley. Someone was going to die here. Someone was going to die here soon. Unless I could stop it.
    I walked down the alley. The row of chairs outside the small theater. A couple of coffee places. An art gallery. Lots of bricks.
    I pulled out my camera and took a few shots.
    I walked down to the spot where the body would be. Where the police would soon draw a chalk outline if I didn’t stop whatever was going to happen. I tried to keep the rain off the lens and shot a few more photos from different perspectives.
    I thought about the bells. There was a Catholic church a few blocks away. That’s where the bells must be coming from. I tried to think. I couldn’t remember ever hearing those bells in real life. Maybe it wasn’t important. Maybe the bells were just there in the vision to give me a vague sense of the time.
    Time. I was running out of it.
     

 
    CHAPTER 24
     
    We walked along the icy path next to the river. He held the familiar worn leather basketball in his hands.
    “Your dad says hi,” I said. “We were hoping you’d show up, but...”
    “Yeah,” Jesse said. “I couldn’t make it. Tell him sorry. I’m there a lot, you know. He can’t hear or see me, but if he really tries, he would understand. Tell him it’s me who wakes him up when he oversleeps on Monday mornings. Tell him too that he’s drinking too much beer. It’s not good for him.”
    I smiled.
    “Gotcha. He liked the CD. And the biscotti,” I said. “I don’t know about the drinking, but he seems better than he used to. He says he’s thinking of selling the business and

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