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Published by RedDoor


© 2021 Kristen Crusoe

The right of Kristen Crusoe to be identified as the author of this Work has been asserted by her in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, copied in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise transmitted without written permission from the author

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Cover design: Patrick Knowles


Typesetting: Jen Parker, Fuzzy Flamingo


To my father, B. Dalton Crusoe, for everything



Part One

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Part Two

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Part Three

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

About the Author

Coming Soon…


The wave began in the Southern Ocean. Steep and intense, it toppled over and over until it escaped, became a swell, and traveled across the world, its fetch long and powerful. Wind and tide carried it north. The Coriolis effect pushed it back down towards the equator until it found its way into a small, quiet cove in the Pacific Northwest.

A young boy, dressed in a red superhero T-shirt and blue shorts, squatted beside a tide pool, his gaze focused on a snail edging towards a sea anemone. The boy watched as the anemone’s tentacles swirled and reached out, as though tempting the snail to come into its embrace. The boy wanted to warn the snail, to reach into the pool of cold, clear water and save it. But his mommy had warned him not to touch the sea creatures because they might sting. He looked down the beach where she was lying on a towel, her head lowered, eyes on the book lying in front of her. He knew she couldn’t see him but he always tried to do what she told him. So, he watched, concentrating on the snail’s progress.

‘Hurry little snail,’ he said out loud. ‘Turn around, come to me, you’re getting too close to the creature.’

He could hear his father’s voice. He sounded happy now, not like earlier this morning with Mommy. He was talking on his phone, walking away towards the caves at the far end of the cove. Seagulls cried out in excitement, skimming the waterline, gathering the feast left by the low tide. The gentle hymn of waves as they rolled onto the beach beyond soothed him. He never saw it coming, that one wave. A sneaker wave it was called. A swell that began in the Southern Ocean, traveled across the continent, landed on a beach in the North Pacific, and drew all it met back out to sea on its retreat.

Part One

Chapter 1


Dr Clair Mercer, after poisoning her husband, overdosed on vodka and sleeping pills, and then stumbled into the Pacific Ocean to drown. A man, fishing off the rocks nearby, saw her and called 911. Soon coast-guard helicopters, emergency ambulances, and police cars occupied the quiet cove. Noise, lights, and hands pressing down on her chest brought stark recognition of her reality.

Oh, God, she inwardly cried, I’m alive. A deep sadness, a longing for before. If only they would leave her the hell alone.

‘Give her another amp of epi,’ a male voice called out.

‘Clear,’ a female voice commanded.

‘What’s the story here?’ A different male voice asked. ‘Paramedics reported a cold-water immersion, near drowning, out at Seal Cove. What happened? Did she fall off the rocks? Swept off?’

Another voice – female, clipped, urgent: ‘Fisherman reported seeing her walk right into the water. Called 911. Tried to reach her but couldn’t. Coast-guard cutter was out doing training runs, so they were quick on the scene. Name’s Clair Mercer according to the driver’s license in her wallet. She left her purse containing ID, an empty bottle of Ambien, and empty vodka bottle on the beach. Looks like she meant to kill herself. She got bashed up against the rocks pretty bad but that kept her from being swept out to sea on the rip tide.’

‘What’s her core temp? Get that warming blanket going.’

Soon all the voices and words merged into one sound. She didn’t want to let go of before, the feel of the ocean, cold at first then warm, welcoming. Where her boy had last been. She wanted to be with him. He had been so close, his energy translucent, hovering in the blue light just beyond reach. The lights above burned her eyes, sticky with salt. Tears formed and ran down her cheeks, spilling into the corners of her mouth, tasting like the ocean she had just been wrenched from. And what about Adam? What had happened to him? Was he alive? What if she really had killed him? A wave of dread so powerful that it made her retch, washed over her.

‘She’s vomiting,’ a voice called out. ‘Get me suction, now.’

Through her distorted vision, she could make out several faces, male, female, dressed in different colored scrubs. Off to the edge of the crowd around her body was a face like an angel. Maybe I am dead, she thought. Hair the color of light, pale and glimmering. Their eyes met for a second, then darkness covered her again. A cold she could not have imagined gripped her. Strong, like a force beyond this world. She was carried down, sight coming back now. Not sight with her eyes, but a primordial way of seeing through the lost eye. Light beamed through the pulsating waves, wrapping her in music. Unlike any music she had ever heard. Not horns, or strings. Percussion and bells. Her ears exploded, the sound rushing in to fill every neuron in her

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