Med school drop-out Mandy Murrin has returned home to care for her mentally handicapped, teenage sister. But despite having multiple college degrees under her belt, Mandy finds
jobs aren't easy to come by in small town Alabama. Now instead of a stethoscope, she's forced to sport a tool belt as a technician for the local cable company, Flicks Vision.
But things go from bad to worse when, while on assignment at the Mayor's house, Mandy finds herself in the attic amongst cobwebs, Christmas decorations, and...a corpse? Suddenly Mandy's life is turned upside down with one missing
body, a high school nemesis turned police detective, a mysterious stranger, and a town full of long buried secrets. If Mandy's not careful, this could be one dead end job where she may not make it out alive!
Two hours, three sneezes,
and a half a box of Tic Tacs later, I was crouched in the oppressive heat of the attic. After two phone calls back to the office to ask my boss questions, I'd finally deduced that there must be a faulty coaxial cable somewhere in the house's wiring. Finding
it was going to take time and patience. And I was low on both.
My stomach grumbled with hunger, and the dispatcher had radioed twice to ask when I might be able to take the
next service call. But I was stuck here in the mayor's dreadful attic until I could find the source of the problem.
I inched along the perimeter in the near dark. When it
came to blood and anatomy, I could stomach almost anything. But when it came to bugs and creepy crawlies, I was as girly as they came.
Holding my Maglite XL at arm's length
to warn me of potential eight-legged predators, I scooted my knee forward another notch and winced as a splinter made its way through my pants leg and speared my tender flesh.
I eased back onto my bottom and surveyed the damage. A shard of laminated wood about three inches in length protruded from my pants leg. I yanked it free and tossed it behind me. I'd
have to tend to my wound later. A brief daydream image of sitting on a sunny beach—margarita in one hand, and a hefty worker's compensation check in the other—made me grin. Not a likely outcome for a splinter-induced injury, though.
Boxes of holiday decorations, an old baby crib, stacks of books, and a deep freezer cluttered the area. Standard stuff. Nothing special about His Honor's attic.
Who had a deep freezer in their attic? My head snapped back to the opposite corner where
a standard eight-cubic-foot, chest-style freezer sat in the shadows. I stood up, brushing off the back of my pants. Deep freezers were heavy suckers. I knew this because I'd once had the corner of one dropped on my toe in my aunt's cellar basement.
As if in response to the memory, my toe ached deep inside my boot.
I'd never seen anyone lug a
heavy deep-freeze up to an attic. It didn't make much sense, but at the same time—wouldn't it feel great to open that lid and feel the mist of ice-cold frost caress my face? Memories of homemade ice cream and preparing containers of summer vegetables
for the fall trickled through my memory. Summers had been good once. A long time ago.
Back and knees stiff from the attic crawl, I limped toward the freezer. I doubted it
was even running. Who would be stupid enough to run it up here? What if it defrosted and leaked down through the floorboards? Imagining worst-case scenarios was kind of like a superpower to me.
But as I reached out to touch the dusty lid, I heard the humming thrum of the motor inside.
Probably shouldn't mess with it.
I looked around the attic as if someone were going to pop out and shake their finger at me for snooping. But when no one appeared, I lifted the lid.
The blessed frost hit my face, and I inhaled the frigid glory. But when the mist cleared—my breath caught in my throat. Lungs frozen in an ice block of silent shock.
There, among the Tupperware containers, curled into a fetal position was…one dead body.