Out of Sync
by Chynna Laird
Genre: Adult Suspense, Mystery
Cheyenne McCarthy has two fears: Our sensory rich world and the man who killed her husband. Cheyenne's gift helps her catch serial killers. But will it save her when the man comes for her and her unborn child? And will the secret he knows about her past be what finally breaks her?
Accused Double Homicide Suspect to Stand Trial
BY CHONDRA KELLY, EDMONTON JOURNAL.COM
EDMONTON – Yesterday in Alberta Criminal Court, Judge Fernadette Noseworthy ruled that there was enough evidence against double homicide suspect, Marcus Harper, to go ahead with a trial.
Immediately after the Judge’s ruling, Harper lost control and not only threatened his lawyer but also the Prosecution team as well. “This is your fault,” he yelled at them. “I will get out. And you will suffer as I did. All of you will suffer. You will know what it’s like to have everything taken away!”
Harper, who had been brought into the courtroom in shackles and restrained to the defense table with handcuffs, sprang at his lawyer, knocking the table over, in an attempt to choke the man. It took the bailiff and three police officers to remove him from the lawyer, with the assistance of a taser to control him.
Harper was immediately removed from the courtroom and ordered back to the Maximum Security Prison, where he had been held in isolation since his arrest. Back when local TV stations broke the story last month, public outcry for revenge grew intense, due to the brutality of his crime. And his antics in the courtroom only seemed to confirm public concerns.
* * * *
On his way out of the courtroom, the threats he directed to Cheyenne McCarthy, the Chief-of-Police, William McCarthy’s wife, were the most chilling: “I’ll save you for last, Dr. Lady. This isn’t the first time you’ve screwed with my life. You’re gonna get what you deserve. And I’ll enjoy hearing you scream for mercy.”
Cheyenne McCarthy is the Forensic Psychologist who played a key role in bringing Harper down.
Harper is accused of gunning down two people, one, a young adult male currently known as a ‘John Doe,’ and a Hopinachi woman believed to have been in the later stages of pregnancy. Harper’s detached demeanor and lack of remorse during his arrest and pretrial have sent angry ripples through the community, creating an even stronger public outcry for justice for the three lives he’s accused of taking.
When police had arrived at the scene of the shooting, Marcus was found standing by the bodies smoking a cigarette—still holding the gun in his hand—seemingly with no acknowledgment for what he had done or remorse.
“The man is sick,” one woman was quoted to have said outside of the courthouse, shortly after court adjourned. “It’s about time this thing moved forward so that guy is put away for good.”
Not all people are happy about the ruling, however. The leader of the Hopinachi Tribe, Chief Longfellow, along other tribe members who had witnessed the pretrial, felt that Harper would do better if he were returned to his people and punished in their own traditions.
“His family has suffered too much through all of this,” Chief Longfellow said, as he was led to his car by two fellow Hopinachi members. “We all need to be at peace, including Marcus.”
The Prosecution team is currently preparing a statement for later this afternoon.
Harper is without bail until his trial on the 15th of next month.
* * * *
A week had passed since the pretrial. Those involved with Marcus’s trial spent much time looking over their shoulders taking his threats to heart. Even Cheyenne.
As per Judge Noseworthy’s order, Marcus Harper was held in solitary confinement at the maximum security prison just outside of Edmonton until his trial. He was also ordered to attend the Anger and Emotions Management program, as requested by the Prosecuting team.
Even with the upcoming trial, and worries of Marcus’ threats, Cheyenne had more important things on her mind.
The atmosphere was perfect: candles were lit, Michael Bublé crooned from the stereo, baked gnocchi bubbled in the oven and a fruity, non-alcohol wine rested in ice. Everything was ready, except William wasn’t home yet.
She glanced at the time as she switched the plasma television on to catch the news. She didn’t like listening to the news—it always upset her. But she kept it on just in case.
Even though she has a private psychology practice, her expertise in Forensic Psychology and forensic sciences have made her a highly sought-after expert for the District Attorney , especially on high profile cases. So watching the news helps prepare her for any upcoming job she’d be forced to take on.
6:45 p.m. Where was William?
He was one of those anally-prompt people who got ready, then waited for everyone else. Cheyenne and William had made a promise to one another—once the clock hit 6:00 p.m., they’d leave work at work and spend their evenings together—except when those high-profile cases screamed for their attention.
As she checked on the gnocchi—fearing it’d been in the oven too long—something caught her eye on the television. Perry, William’s partner, was being interviewed by a local reporter. His face was white and expressionless as his lips moved. A shot of adrenaline sparked like a wildfire from her stomach out to her extremities. She reached for the remote to turn up the sound.
Perry’s rich Irish accent filled the dining room. “…he didn’t know what hit him.”
A reporter shoved her microphone in Perry’s face. “There’s speculation the shooter was Marcus Harper, a suspect in the double homicide at the convenience store earlier this month. Is that true, Detective?”
Perry rolled his eyes. “Darlin’, it wasn’t ‘speculation.’ It was Marcus.”
Cheyenne felt nauseous. Where was William?
“And where is Marcus now, Detective?” Microphones and tape recorders surrounded Perry’s head. “Is Harper back in custody?”
“Do ya see him around, darlin’?” Perry pushed the microphones out of his way and turned to walk back to a squad car when another question stopped him cold. “And what about Chief McCarthy,? What is his current status? Did he survive the shooting?”
Cheyenne’s blood froze. Perry spoke slowly, his back facing the crowd of reporters. “That information is private until family is contacted. You know how it works, lass. If his wife wants to make a statement after that, it’s up to her. No more questions.”
The scene switched back to the newscaster at the station. Her heart thudding, Cheyenne stared at the television.
Did he survive the shooting?
The words echoed in her head. A knock at the door caused her to drop the remote. She ran to the door and flung it open to see Perry’s grim face. He said nothing—just held out his hand.
Finally he spoke. “Ya gotta come with me, love. Now.”
Cheyenne shook her head, backing away. “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what the hell is going on? Where’s William?”
“Just come with me, Chey,” Perry said. “I’ll tell you everything on the way to the hospital.”
Cheyenne had enough sense to shut the oven off, pull the overcooked gnocchi out and blow out the candles on the table. As she pulled her over-sized sweatshirt on, she turned back to her surprise dinner table. Her eyes welled with tears.
She left the positive pregnancy test in the middle of the table.
He’ll be back home soon…he has to be.
CHYNNA LAIRD – is a psychology/criminology major, freelance writer and author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, Ryan, three daughters [Jaimie (fourteen), Jordhan (twelve), and Sophie (eight)] and baby boy, Xander (ten). Her passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder, mental and emotional disorders and other special needs.
You’ll find her work in many online and in-print parenting, inspirational, Christian and writing publications in Canada, United States, Australia, and Britain. In addition, she’s authored an award-winning children’s book (I’m Not Weird, I Have SPD), two memoirs (the multi award-winning, Not Just Spirited: A Mom’s Sensational Journey With SPD and White Elephants), a Young Adult novella (Blackbird Flies), an adult Suspense/Thriller (Out Of Sync), a Young Adult Suspense/Paranormal (Dark Water) and a contemporary New Adult novel (Just Shut Up and Drive,). She is presently working on a sequel to Not Just Spirited as well as the next book in the Dark Water series. Stayed tuned as Chynna has several Works-In-Progress on the go.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
You know, that’s funny because I use those exact two words to describe myself. lol I’d have to say that I am one of the most anally organized people I know and I get VERY cranky when things are out of order.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I’m not sure if everyone else would find this as interesting or exciting as I did but I met Ringo Starr. Now, I’ve met and interviewed musicians, authors, celebrity chefs and other famous people but I was completely gob-smacked standing in front of Ringo. I think I even cried afterwards. HAHA!
What are some of your pet peeves?
Lying, cheating, hurting others on purpose, people who can’t say things to your face, ill treatment towards children, elderly and animals, making messes and not clean up (lol). Really, it’s mostly the negative behaviors that people display without realizing how those behaviors can effect others.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba (don’t tell anyone. lol). I moved to Edmonton, Alberta about 16 years ago and will never go back to Winnipeg. It wasn’t too bad but I associate a lot of bad memories there. I’m happier where I am now.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I’d turn off my cell, keep my computer off, unplug all landlines and be with my kids.
Who is your hero and why?
Very good question. I’d have to say my hero would be my grandfather. If he was still with us, he’d HATE me saying that because he raised me to be a strong, independent girl who doesn’t need to turn to ‘heroes’ to make me who I am. He never raised a hand or his voice to me, but got his point across. He was a kind, gentle man who taught me to settle for nothing less than I’m worth (including relationships). He taught me to work hard and to take time to be quiet. He taught me to embrace everything I go through in life, good and bad, because you learn from everything. I’d say that’s the base of a hero, wouldn’t you?
What kind of world ruler would you be?
OMG! Can you imagine? I wouldn’t try to attain world peace or anything because as long as there are human beings on this planet, that goal is only possible if everyone is on board. And, I’m sorry, but there are folks who think who they are or represent is beyond such a goal as they’d have to work with others in order to come to a compromise.
I’d be fair. I’d listen to all people from all walks of life and try my best to understand enough to help those people make a difference in their lives. I’d use my own experiences to guide folks, rather than to lecture them and change them. You are who you are for a reason. We all need a little tweak on certain things but it’s important to be true to yourself. What are you passionate about these days?
Health and healthy living/choices. For the last year I have been battling different ailments and refuse to let professionals tell me there’s nothing they can do. Eat well, live well, reduce stress, have a relaxing hobby (like writing) to turn to and listen to what your body is trying to tell you.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Write and have one short cat nap a day. lol
How to find time to write as a parent?
It was definitely more difficult when my children were all younger as they needed more hands-on care. They are now 9, 11, 13 and 15 so they are able to make their own meals and entertain themselves when I have a deadline to meet. And if I say I need to put in my book writing time, they are very good. My office is in the basement so they often come down and do stuff down here. It’s like we’re still all together and there for each other, but each doing our own thing. I love it.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
I won’t be told ‘no’.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
You know, it’s funny. I’ve written hundreds of articles, worked on many blog posts (mine and guest posts) and have several books out but I never considered myself a writer. I think it took allowing people to reach out to me, sharing their thoughts about my work and how something I wrote helped them in some way, for me to realize, “I guess I am a writer. Wow!” It was surreal for sure.
Do you have a favorite movie?
OMG. There are so many I enjoy for different reasons. I love old movies whether black and white or not. John Wayne rocked. I’ve seen ‘Gone With the Wind’ and ‘The Sound of Music’ so many times, I can write out the movie scrips. Movies like ‘City of Angels’ get to the heart of me. I enjoy getting my butt scared off too so I like ones like ‘The Ring’ and ‘Sixth Sense’. And, as geeky as it sounds, I do like certain action movies and the Star Trek ones (I love Spock. What can I say? lol).
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Great question. Actually, I’ve had many people say that ‘Just Shut Up and Drive’ would be a good movie. That and ‘Dark Water’.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I don’t go to church right now, but I am an extremely spiritual person. If I need guidance or feel lost, either in life or with my writing, I meditate and bring myself back to where I should be. At least three of my books have come to me in the form of a dream (including Out of Sync) or while I’m meditating so I consider this to be my guiding spirit showing me how to show others. Corny, but true.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
According to the Native American culture, my spirit/Totem animal is the snake. They are closely connected to water and considered to be the healer and spiritual guide for the tribe. However, after meeting a woman who is deeply connected to her tribe, she said that the wolf is more my spirit animal – strong, protective, loyal to those closest and willing to do what it takes to maintain calmness among the ‘tribe’. They also bite hard if you piss them off. lol I thought that was awesome as I have always loved the wolf. In fact, I’ll have one in my next book in my Watcher series (the first was Dark Water).
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