Welcome to Rockland County, Georgia
Small towns are patchwork quilts, woven with threads from all residents’ lives. Maggie Kincaid’s Scales of Justice of Café is prime real estate in Turkey Creek, Georgia, right across from the Courthouse and right next to the local grocery store. That's where all the threads entwine, where you go to be in the know – if you live in Rockland County.
Everybody knows everybody else’s business in Turkey Creek. At least, they think they do. The town knows Maggie Kincaid hasn’t spoken to her father in twenty-five years. It knows Billy Brayton was killed in basic training after Big John Kincaid railroaded him out of town and into the army. Nobody was surprised. For sure, Big John wasn’t going to let his daughter keep time with the local bad boy. Not for long. But the town’s missing a few pieces of the puzzle. Billy Brayton’s not dead. He’s back. He’s home. And it’s payback time. Sometimes you can go home again.
The quiet county night disintegrated into a cacophony of squealing wheels and flying gravel. The patrol cruiser careened down the driveway of the old church, Alec Wimberly’s terrified eyes glued to the road in front of him.
He knew if he looked in the rearview mirror he would still see the silhouette of the little girl with banana curls, backlit in windows that should be dark. Echoes of pounding organ music reverberated in his brain.
Brakes screeched as he slowed just enough to negotiate a wide turn onto Highway 96. Backon the asphalt, he could pretend it never happened. His hands, still shaking on the wheel, didn’t believe him. He checked the speedometer and eased off the gas. For a moment his foot, lead on the pedal, wouldn’t obey. He wasn’t in shock, but he wasn’t in good shape either. He reached to his shoulder to hit the send button on his radio phone.
“Rockland 19, back on patrol from property check at Clayton Chapel.”
“Ten-four Rockland 19.” Aileen Sanders, the dispatcher on duty, paused and asked, “You okay, Nineteen? You sound kinda funny.”
“Fine. Nineteen out.” Alec Wimberly felt his heart rate begin to slow. I didn’t see anything. I didn’t see anything, I didn’t hear anything, and I’m never gonna see it again. Because I ain’t goin’ back there alone. Ever.