Martha C. Lawrence

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Contents © 1996 - 2015 by Martha C. Lawrence except where noted. All rights reserved. No part of the contents herein may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

From Murder In Scorpio


Fantastic as they may sound, the events in the following narrative are true.

My name is Elizabeth Chase. I saw my first ghost when I was an undergraduate studying premed at Stanford. With her smart blond bob and swaying hips, I assumed she was another student walking a few feet ahead of me along the cement path near Hoover Tower. Suddenly she turned and stared at me, her eyes as wide and black as a cat's in the dark. Then she simply faded, like the dying glow you sometimes see when you turn off an old television.

I was twenty then, old enough to worry seriously about my sanity. In an attempt to understand and resolve my sighting, I shifted all my attention to the field of psychology. I joined up with the Stanford Research Institute and spent the next ten years experimenting on paranormal subjects: precognition, near-death experiences, apparitions, telepathy. Along the way I earned two doctorates and discovered two things: 1) that paranormal phenomena are maddeningly hard to quantify, qualify, and explain; and 2) that my own psychic sight continued to sharpen, however much it refused to conform to laboratory schedules.

After research funds dried up in the mid-eighties I moved to Escondido, an inland suburb north of San Diego, and opened a psychotherapy practice. For a time I enjoyed assisting others in uncovering the mystery of their own psyches. But soon I began to feel bored and uneasy, as if my therapist's chair had somehow become a raft and each day in it sent me floating farther and farther from my true purpose in life.

That all changed one morning over coffee and a newspaper. I spotted a picture of a freckled eight-year-old and the corresponding headline, "Search Continues for Missing Boy." Instantly an image appeared before me, a holograph superimposed above the paper: 929 IDLEWILD STREET. Ten years of research had taught me that such flashes, unprompted by the conscious mind, usually correspond in some inexplicable way to reality. I contacted the Escondido Police Department and reported my experience to the detective in charge of the case. He sounded less than enthusiastic, so I sat down at my computer to write a follow-up letter.

To my amazement two police officers appeared on my doorstep within the hour. With expressionless faces they informed me that a boy named Kevin Woods had been found, shot in the abdomen but alive, in an abandoned house at 929 Idlewild. They wanted an explanation.

Thus began yet another career. I now devote myself entirely to the use of my gift in solving crimes.