Songs From the Void

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  • Excerpt
About

Deveron Rossy may be able to glimpse moments of his own future, but he never could have guessed he had a twin brother.

In his search for the elusive Dremond Branch, Deveron is mistaken for his twin by everyone who knew the man—and much to his own surprise, Deveron goes along with it. His harmless ruse does have certain benefits after all: being Dremond opens doors that an outsider could never access. As for the risk, his ability to glimpse ahead will alert him to any trouble before it finds him.

But as he continues to follow his brother’s trail, Deveron finds it strewn with mysterious voids—mind-altering shadows that only he can see, and they call to him as if they know him. Could these spectral anomalies have anything to do with his brother’s disappearance?

Worse, someone isn’t happy that “Dremond” is back on the scene, and as he gets ever closer to the truth, Deveron finds himself dodging bullets with his brother’s name on them.

Now Deveron must decide just how far he’s willing to go to maintain his search—and his lie. Because the more he learns about Dremond, the more he’ll find out just how different identical twins can be.

Excerpt

Chapter 9

“You’re not him,” Ronna Branch said, sparing not a second.


Deveron’s disappointment surprised him. He hadn’t intended to present himself as anyone but himself, but how had she known?


“No, ma’am,” he said. He felt for the envelope and pulled it from his pocket, holding it out to her.


“My eyes aren’t what they used to be,” she said, “in case that wasn’t apparent.”


“Sorry,” he said, yanking back his hand. “It’s the letter you sent to my mother, back in 1978. I don’t know if—”


“I remember the letters,” she said, then sighed. “Your voice is as familiar to me as my own, Deveron Rossy, though I’ve never heard it before now. That’s one reason I wanted to get you boys together. I’m sorry you didn’t get to meet Dremond then. Sorry for you and for him.”


“My mother never even told me,” Deveron said.


“I wondered.”


“Well for what it’s worth, I have no idea why she wouldn’t. I can’t make sense of it.”


“People are a tangle,” Ronna said, lifting her eyes for the first time. Deveron didn’t know what he’d been expecting, but they were deep and dark, the pupils dilated. “You can spend your life trying to untangle someone, and get tangled up yourself.”


He nodded, then realized that did her no good. On the other hand, he was probably more in the dark than she was. For all he knew she was waiting for him to ask the obvious question. “So you’re not—”


“Your blood mother?” she finished for him. “No, that I am not.”


Deveron waited a moment for the disappointment, but it didn’t come. Whatever advantages Dremond might have had growing up, being raised by his biological mother apparently wasn’t one of them. Still, Ronna had to be able to fill in some of the blanks. “So how did you find out Dremond had a twin?”


Ronna cleared her throat before taking that one on. “It was my cousin who first introduced me to baby Dremond. She had an adoption agency in Palmer’s Crossing, just outside of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Do you know it?”


“No, ma’am.”


“No, I don’t suppose you would. But over the years Andy and I—he was my husband—we were foster parents to several children who came up through there. We gave them safe harbor, at least till the right parents came along. Some of the children were with us for years. Others found permanent homes more quickly. Anyway, by the time little Dremond came into the picture, his twin brother—that’s you—had already been adopted away from him. I’m sure your momma had her reasons.”


“That was another thing she never told me.”


“Not one for chatter, was she?” Ronna didn’t wait for a response. “But even before we came on the scene there was some kind of family drama. Old superstitions and that.”


“You mean because twins had been separated?” Finally he was getting some insight into his origins, from some stranger whose existence had been kept from him until two weeks ago.


“No, I mean because you were twins.”


“I don’t follow.”


Ronna worked the bony knuckles of her left hand with her right. “Well, this is all second-hand, you understand. But the story was that your family’s community didn’t take too kindly to the idea of twins. My cousin would never say anything more than that, and I never went digging.”


Didn’t take kindly to twins? What kind of community had he come from? Some sort of backwater commune? A cult? Whatever it was, it had to be small—the smaller the group, the more outlandish the stories.

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Published: December 2020

Cover design: Tommy Arnold (site)

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