A Voice in the Silence by D.L. Finn Genre: Paranormal Thriller, Cozy Romance
Drea Burr has experienced more than her share of loss when a stray dog, cat, and rat enter her life. Although the animals start to mend her broken heart, there is something very unusual about them. During a snowstorm, Drea discovers a chilling set of footprints leading to her front window. Both the police and a ghostly messenger warn her about a killer stalking widows. Help comes from her late husband’s best friend, Adam Hale. As the two try to discover answers, more questions arise— about a killer, ghosts, and animals experimented on in a lab.
Can Drea and Adam survive the threats coming from so many directions and save themselves and the animals they’ve grown to love? Or will more tragedy destroy her second chance at happiness? Find out in this thrilling, cozy paranormal adventure.
Green eyes peered up at her. “Are you lost too, kitty? I—” Drea started as a gray rat ran down her garage freezer, climbed on the black cat’s back, and lay down.
She backed up. “Well, I’ll be. Are you together? Or did you bring me a present?”
The cat turned its head and licked the rat.
“Okay, you’re buddies. Um, I still have a cat box and some sand. Plus a bag of food. What does your rat buddy here eat?”
The cat met her gaze without blinking.
Drea pointed at her head. “From what I remember when Robbie had one, rat food and lots of treats, like carrots and bananas. He was a sweet little guy named Rocky and sometimes got into the dog food. But bringing a stray rat in the house, I don’t know. Feels weird to me. You understand, right? But I don’t want to leave you guys outside. So do you want to come in and stay in the laundry room until I can figure this out?”
The cat continued its stare like it wanted to push its thoughts into hers.
“I’ll be right back. Stay here.” Drea hurried into the house and placed the cat box and litter in the laundry room. It was now ready for her new guests, who hadn’t moved.
She pulled on a pair of thick gloves and carefully approached the cat and rat. Each foot was placed flat like she was trying to walk silently, but it was more not to scare them. Encouraged when they didn’t run away, Drea bent down and gently touched the soft fur on the cat’s back. Loud purrs filled the silence.
She touched the rat, who offered his belly to her.
“You’re both friendly. Are you with the dog?”
The cat’s head moved like it was nodding, but that couldn’t be.
“I’m going to pick you both up, okay? I won’t hurt you, so please don’t bite me. Deal?”
The cat meowed, and the rat grabbed onto the cat’s fur.
“I’m picking you up now.”
Drea scooped up the pair and held them to her chest, expecting them to smell, but they didn’t. She felt their bony frames through their fur. Like the dog, they hadn’t eaten in a while. Soon she had them on a towel next to the dryer.
“You have some food and water, guys. Get comfortable, and later we’ll try doing a bath, okay?”
The rat and the cat made all the food disappear in loud gulps and immediately settled on the towel.
She grinned. “I feel like I’m in a kid’s movie. What’s next, birds? Let’s see if you guys know each other.”
The cat looked up and put its head down again.
“Be right back.”
Drea carefully slipped the collar around the dog’s neck. She leashed him up and brought him to the laundry room.
“Be nice, pup,” she warned.
He licked her hand. Drea held tightly to the leash, ready to pull back if she needed to. The dog bent down and sniffed. His tail went into overdrive as he licked both the cat and rat. Neither recoiled.
Drea’s grip on the leash relaxed. “You had me worried there for a second.”
She watched the dog lie down next to the cat and rat. Who discards animals like this? It was unlikely she’d ever know, but it wouldn’t be the first time people had dropped off their pets to go live free in the forest. Idiots.
D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.
A dog, cat, and rat are characters in A Voice in the Silence and are based on my pets. Our family has been blessed with many amazing dogs. Our first pup Butch, a collie-mix, went everywhere with us and loved to play hide and seek with my husband. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Cher was a black-lab shelter rescue who had the sweetest disposition, even after she lost her vision. Bear was our 175-pound lab/rottie mix. I gave up on taking him for walks, because he didn’t like any strange men near me. He was sweet to me but very protective. Beast, a shepard-mix, was a neighbor’s dog but he thought he belonged to us. Eventually, Beast became a part of our household when his owners moved away. Then came our high-energy lab, Hermie who loved to wander but was always a gentleman. Our last dog, and Hermie’s other half, was Sara our shepard-mix. She was great at finding skunks, treeing bears, and became my constant writing companion.
All these pups are now a part of the forest they so loved to explore. These beloved pets ran through my mind when I wrote from Charlie’s POV. Charlie is a loving representation of all the dogs I’ve loved—with a sprinkle of something extra.
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