Read Freedom's Child Online

Authors: Jax Miller

Tags: #Fiction, #Thrillers, #Suspense, #Crime

Freedom's Child

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2015 by Jax Miller Limited

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.
www.crownpublishing.com

CROWN is a registered trademark and the Crown colophon is a trademark of Penguin Random House LLC.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Miller, Jax, author.
Freedom’s child : a novel / Jax Miller. —First edition.
pages cm
I. Title.
PS3613.I5374F74 2015
813’.6—dc23
2014036455

ISBN 9780804186803

eBook ISBN 9780804186810

eBook design adapted from printed book design by Elina Nudelman

Cover design by Anna Kochman

Cover photography by Marilyn Nieves/Getty Images

v4.1_r1

a

FOR BABCHI AND THE BOSS OF THE CITY.
AND TO PAT RAIA, THE ROBIN TO MY GOTHAM.

Contents

My name is Freedom Oliver and I killed my daughter. It’s surreal, honestly, and I’m not sure what feels more like a dream, her death or her existence. I’m guilty of both.

It wasn’t long ago that this field would ripple and rustle with a warm breeze, gold dancing under the blazes of a high noon sun. The Thoroughbreds, a staple of Goshen, would canter along the edges of Whistler’s Field. If you listen close enough, you can almost hear the laughter of farmers’ children still lace through the grain, a harvest full of innocent secrets of the youthful who needed an escape but didn’t have anywhere else to go. Like my Rebekah, my daughter. My God, she must have been beautiful.

But a couple weeks is a long time when you’re on a journey like mine. It could almost constitute something magnificent. Almost.

I catch my breath when I remember. Somewhere in this field, my daughter is scattered in pieces.

Goshen, named after the Land of Goshen from the Book of Genesis, somewhere between Kentucky’s famous bourbon trails in America’s Bible Belt. The gallops of Thoroughbreds that haunt this dead pasture are replaced with the hammering in my rib cage. The mud cracks below me as I cross the frostbitten field, steps ripping
the earth with each fleeting memory. The skies are that certain shade of silver you see right before a snowstorm; now, the color of my filthy fucking soul.

I’m reminded of the sheriff behind me with an itchy finger and a Remington aimed between my shoulder blades. I’m reminded of my own white-knuckled grip on my pistol.

Call me what you will: a murderer, a cop killer, a fugitive, a drunk. You think that means anything to me now? In this moment? The frost pangs my lungs in such a way that I think I might vomit. I don’t. Still out of breath, I use the dirty robe to wipe blood from my face. I don’t even know if it’s mine. There’s enough adrenaline surging through my veins that I can’t feel pain if it is.

“This is it, Freedom,” the sheriff calls out in his familiar southern drawl. The tears make warm streaks over my cold skin. The cries numb my face, my lips made of pins and needles. There’s a lump in my throat I can’t breathe past.
What have I done? How the hell did I end up here? What did I do so wrong in life that God deemed me so fucking unworthy of anything good?
I’m not sure. I’ve always been the one with the questions, never the answers.

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