Tuesday, 27 March 2018

I remember you blog tour

When her child is lost, she ll do anything to find him...
Heike Lerner has a charmed life. A stay-at-home mother married to a prominent psychiatrist, it s a far cry from the damaged child she used to be. But her world is shaken when her four-year-old son befriends a little girl at a nearby lake, who vanishes under the water. And when Heike dives in after her, there s no sign of a body.
Desperate to discover what happened to the child, Heike seeks out Leo Dolan, a television writer exploring the paranormal , but finds herself caught between her controlling husband and the intense Dolan . Then her son disappears, and Heike's husband was the last to see him alive ..


They set out in the afternoon heat, on foot, Heike carrying a pack across her shoulders. For this and that, she said. The pack clanked in a gentle way as she walked, the sound of glass jars knocking against each other in the cradle of the fabric. Maybe a few peaches are in there, she told Daniel. Maybe something else, too.

Daniel had strapped on a lifejacket and rain boots, although she’d explained to him that they couldn’t take the canoe the whole way. First they had to walk in the shade awhile.

— You’d get a sunburn at this time of day. Besides, don’t you want to see some rabbits?

The launch was farther downstream. She pried the rubber boots, heat-damp, off his bare feet and made him wear sandals. Daniel played with the straps of the lifejacket, pulling them tighter over his T-shirt. His swim trunks had blue stripes.

The earth at the edge of the woods had begun to look sandy again, granular. A whole day without rain. Heike picked up her own trail through the trees, boot prints still marking out a path where the ground was shaded from sun, but she wore sandals now, too, and short sleeves, the halter of her own swimsuit teasing at the back of her neck, and they stopped to peer down holes cut into the ground, tunnels hidden under brambles or tree roots. Daniel right down on his hands and knees, Heike behind, holding him by the shoulders.

— What do you call rabbit babies?

— Kits, I think, Heike said. No. Kittens?

— What about bunnies?

— Bunnies is maybe a cute word.

— But not real?

— Not scientific.

— It’s kits, Daniel said, nodding. Then, wiggling out of her grasp and lurching forward: Maybe we could catch one!

— It might not be bunnies in that hole.

— Kits!

— Kits, okay, she repeated. But maybe it’s not. Rabbits or mice. It could be badgers. Or a rat! Heike gave his shoulders a squeeze, and Daniel jumped. So we don’t try to catch things, she said.

Daniel considered this. From above them came the solitary, persistent knock of a woodpecker. He looked up, suddenly distracted from what he might find under the path.

— I’m hungry a little bit.

— Wait till we get to the raft. Then you can have a peach and put your feet in the water, yeah?

— Okay. How about in the canoe?

— To eat in the canoe, or put your feet in the water?

— To eat.

— Okay, Daniel said.

At the launch, Heike threw her pack into the boat, then hauled him up into her arms and swung him over the side.

— Now let’s see if I can make this thing go, she said. She tapped at the gunwale with her paddle.

Daniel unzipped the pack and pulled out two peaches and weighed them back and forth in his hands before placing one back where it came from.

— That one is for you because it’s a Mommy peach, he said, letting her peach roll back into the open pack. This one is mine because it’s a Superman peach.

Heike didn’t question this. She paddled out of the shallows and down to where the stream met the lake, and then followed the shoreline, stroking smoothly but switching sides a little more often, she thought, than you should really need to. The canoe waggled its way along like a duck on land. It was a longer trip than she remembered, and Heike pulled her hat down against the sun. Her brow line was all wet. They moved along through a channel set within the lake, the shore maybe thirty feet to the east of them and a little island clouding the view to the west.

Daniel pointed.

— Who lives here?

— No one does, Heike said. The water is for everyone. Anyone can come.

It was hot, and she searched ahead for a break in the tall grass at the shore. Could they have passed the entrance to the pond without noticing?

— But someone used to live here, Daniel said.

— How do you know that?

— Because you said there’s a house. And the raft. Someone built the raft for kids to jump off. So there was kids, Daniel said. This satisfied him, and he took a bite of peach.

A new stream opened out into the lake, and Heike manoeuvred the canoe around the bend and dipped the paddle deeper to propel it up against the current. She hadn’t crossed any water between the pond and home on her hike through the forest, so surely this had to be right. A little way upstream, the channel widened out into a pool, lax and clogged with river plants, and the current stilled. Daniel leaned against the edge of the canoe, trailing one hand in the water. It was a brief moment of shade, and she let them drift, pulling the paddle up and resting it across the boat and closing her eyes.

— I have a friend, Daniel said. He’s a tadpole. I have a tadpole friend. He’s on me, Mami. See? He’s just little and nice.

Heike peered at him with one eye to make sure he wasn’t leaning too far over the water. From behind her came the quick, repeating splish of the swallows, beaks and wingtips nicking the water’s plain surface again and again. Daniel thumbed at something on the back of his hand.

— Mami?

She shut her eyes again. His voice rose higher:

— It won’t get off ! Mami! My tadpole won’t get off !

Heike jumped forward, upsetting the paddle and grabbing it with one hand just before it slipped off into the water.

— Here, give me your hand. Give, now, she said. Daniel.

She pinched the leech with her thumb and forefinger, tugging it sharply to the left and up, then flicked it back into the water. A little droplet of blood sprang up on Daniel’s hand.

— Put your hand in the water, she said.

— No! What if it gets on me again?

— You have to wash your hand. Heike grabbed his wrist and crawled forward on her knees, careful to keep a hand on her paddle, then swished his hand in the wet two or three times before letting go.

— Now, she said. You see? All done.

Daniel took his hand back and glowered at her.

— Oh, you don’t have to be so sulky, Heike said. You put your hand in his home! Maybe he was trying to be friends.

Daniel touched the sore place on his hand, and the little dot of blood thinned and widened.

— He wasn’t a tadpole friend, he said. Then, putting the trauma behind him: Will we go in the house?

— No, Liebchen. It’s not our house. No one lives there anymore.

She took the paddle in both hands and steered out toward where she could see that the stream opened up wide again. The sun felt all new. Heike squinted into it. There was a younger bank of reeds ahead, the green tips barely breaking the water’s surface, and hidden just beyond that, she saw the raft.

— I found it, Daniel said.

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