by Kimberley Troutte
published by Astraea Press
10% of author royalties donated to the American Society for Deaf Children
A frightened mother on the run…
LONNIE HOGAN has lived and breathed fear for the eight years that she and her son have been on the run. She cut ties with the past and is hiding out in a small offbeat Danish community in California. Will the killers find them? She’s ready to run again, or fight for her son’s precious life, but she won’t let anyone take David.
A desperate man searching for his family…
Few people on St. John, Virgin Islands, know that their favorite doctor, MARK NORTON, is a desperate man searching for the life that was stolen from him. After hours, he surfs the internet for leads and retraces paths gone stone-cold to find his missing family. He’ll do anything to find them and get his son back.
Will sacrifice everything to protect the boy who hears God…
DAVID HOGAN is a regular kid, if you don’t count the one-ear thing. He didn’t mind being deaf in one ear, but it hurts his mom, way down deep, as if she caused it. Why won’t she see that bad things can happen for good reasons? Like the surgery that allows him to hear God. Talking to God is one of the greatest things that’s ever happened to him, even if Mom doesn’t believe it. But the killers could find them now. Can one little kid save them all?
Lonnie sat down next to him and lifted the plastic ear covering. “All right, time to let that ear breathe.”
David flinched. “How’s it look?”
Big tears dripped off her cheeks.
“Um, Mom. Is it that gross?”
“Oh, baby.” She kissed him on the forehead. “It’s amazing.”
She didn’t lie. The outside edge of the ear was still wrapped in a bandage, but my goodness, it was no longer a little nub. He had a new ear complete with an ear canal. It was plugged with tan-colored goo, but there it was—an actual hole.
“Amazing is good, right?” David asked.
Pulling him into her arms, she gave him a gentle hug. “So good.” She kissed his cheek. “A wonderful miracle.” She kissed his forehead.
“Mom, I can’t breathe.”
She released him. “Sorry.”
He looked her in the eyes. “You believe in miracles?”
Lonnie was taken aback. She believed in them a long time ago, but now? Tucking her feet under her, she sighed. “I used to.”
“Why’d you stop? Was it when Dad died?”
“It’s a long story.”
How could she tell him about the horrors she’d been through? David was eight years old and still believed in Santa. Why wouldn’t he believe in God, angels, and the tooth fairy? She didn’t want to take any of it from him. Not yet. He was growing up so fast.
She chose the simplest explanation. “If there is a God, I don’t understand how He could let bad stuff happen. War, hunger, sickness. Why allow those things? Especially babies born with—” she did not, nor would she ever say the word deformed, “—with problems? If there is a God, I’m really mad at Him.”
He stared at his knees for a moment as if mulling over her answer. Turning a hopeful face towards her he said, “Maybe God has a plan. Like, um, bad stuff happens for good reasons?”
She ran her fingers through her hair. “I don’t know, kiddo. That’s kind of hard for me to swallow.”
David was silent for a moment and then said, “You’ve swallowed worse haven’t you?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I have no idea.” He massaged his neck, like his dad used to do. It took her breath away.
“David.” She put a hand on his shoulder. “Why would you say that?”
A strange look passed over his face. It reminded her of the time when he was three and snuck a gallon of ice cream out of the freezer, hid in his closet, and ate it until he was sick.
“No clue.” He tapped his forehead. “Since the surgery, thoughts pop into my head like someone else is in there.”
“What?” Worry flickered up her spine.
She lifted his chin until they were eye-to-eye and studied him. His pupils were normal, his coloring fine. Except for the giant bandage wrapped around his ear, he looked like a healthy kid.
“You’re tired.” She put the protective covering back on his ear. “Rest, now. Maybe the medicines are making your brain fuzzy.”
“Yeah, that’s probably it,” he said.
But his expression said something else. It was the ice-cream-sneaking-guilt-face all over again. He was hiding something from her.