Lie to a soul seeker, live to regret it.
Twenty-two-year-old Honor Melanie (Mel) Sullivan has an affliction. Due to childhood trauma and inappropriate social behavior, she is diagnosed with Aspergers, a form of autism. But, Mel and her mother, Sandra, know Aspergers is not her true affliction. Mel prefers not to gaze into a person's eyes because she is a soul reader, and what she sees in a soul can be frightening. It can also get Mel into trouble. Her ability to read souls develops after the death of her twin sister, Hope, at age six.
After a brush with the law, Mel leaves her family home in Southern California and travels to Bend, Oregon where she meets the Harley-Davidson-riding William McCarty (Billy the Kid) and stumbles upon a human trafficking/baby-selling scheme involving foreign girls from Kazakhstan.
The baby's soul is spotless. Unlike her mother's. That's why I have to save her. If I don't, her soul will soon be stained with fear and pain like her three older siblings. I have a plan. Yes, it's half-assed, but a half-assed plan is better than nothing... right?
I'm at the end of my shift as a nurse's aide. Visiting hours are over. I check the nursery window for proud daddies and grandparents. Nobody. Still in my scrubs, I slip into the nursery and call to the overworked nurse on duty, "This one is needed in the lab."
She nods. I tuck the tiny baby girl in my right arm and hold her close to my body, similar to a running back clutching a football. Head down, I step out into the hall and walk to the door leading to the stairs.
"Hey, you!" Male voice.
My heart leaps in my chest. I stop and turn. Stan, from the janitorial staff, pushes his mop down the hall in pursuit of a cute, young LPN who gives him a coy finger wave. I take a shaky breath and slip through the door.
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Tell us about your introduction into the world of soul seekers in Marilee Brothers' Affliction...