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Blurb:Elisabet wakes with amnesia. The care offered to her by a husband she doesn’t remember descends within weeks into aggression and violence. Lillian lies hogtied in an underground cell. Forget about escape; unless she can manage the necessities of life she’ll be dead within days. Kristen lost her house, her friends, and her confidence when her parents separated. Now her injured stepmother has moved back in. Has she lost her memory, or lost her mind? Will the secrets hidden in Elisabet's locked memory be enough to set them all free?
Elisabet woke for the first time one morning. An odd occurrence given she was an adult woman; but while she knew that, she didn’t know much else. She had no memories. There was a lot of knowledge in her head, untethered, but there were no memories to accompany it except for those she’d formed since waking. They’d been uniformly bad. Her head hurt. Her legs hurt. Her back ached, and she couldn’t rotate her right shoulder at all. She insisted that the pretty blond nurse who was tending to her bring a mirror so she could waylay her first horrified thought, that she was old. She wasn’t, but that was the end of the good news.
He shot her a look and Kristen moved farther down the wall, away from him. Elisabet raised her eyebrows and studied the two of them. Kristen was scared of him, or nervous at any rate. Elisabet wondered if she should be nervous, too. There was no harm in being careful. Kristen pulled her phone out and started playing with it. ‘You can’t use that in here,’ Graeme said. ‘It mucks up the machines.’ ‘That’s a load of rubbish,’ she responded. ‘They only leave those signs up because they want to control their patients. Anyway, she’s not even hooked up to anything,’ she said, the disappointment clear in her voice. ‘She’s the cat’s mother,’ Elisabet chimed in as the old phrase entered her head. They both stared at her. She had nothing more to add. ‘Take it outside if you’re going to use it,’ Graeme continued. ‘We don’t need to get kicked out; we just arrived.’ ‘Whatever,’ Kristen said, but left the room. Elisabet could hear her clomp down the hallway. The linoleum did nothing to disguise any sounds of movement. It was chosen for ease of cleaning, not for sound dilution. ‘So,’ Graeme said as he turned and stretched his legs out on the bed beside Elisabet. ‘Just the two of us.’ She didn’t know why that phrase should send a shiver of fear down her spine, but it did.
Lillian couldn’t see. She tried to move her hands and feel her face; it felt like there was something obstructing it. She couldn’t. Her arms were tied behind her back. When Lillian made the connection she sat bolt upright. Her shoulders had a dull ache from where they were pulled unnaturally backwards. When she tried to lift one then the other the ache intensified. ‘Hello?’ She called out. Loud, but not so loud the neighbours would complain. ‘Hello, is anyone there?’ For a second she thought that maybe Greg had put her in this position. Once, a few years back, they’d talked about role-play and BDSM. They’d even talked about a threesome. When Lillian sobered up she’d put the kibosh on that quickly enough, but maybe her headache was from a hangover and she’d agreed to something a bit weird? ‘Greg?’