Catalyst - Casey L. Bond
2015 by Casey L. Bond. All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any way by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior express permission of the author except as provided by USA Law. The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of a ed work is illegal. infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by fines and federal imprisonment.
This book is a work of fiction and does not represent any individual, living or dead. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
All definitions are free for public use from varying dictionaries.
Cover designed by Cassy Roop of Pink Ink Designs.
Cover Photography by Mandy Hollis.
Cover Model: Josh McCann.
Professionally Edited by AGC Services/ Anna Gorman.
Formatting by Inkstain Interior Book Designing.
Published in the United States of America.
THE LORD HAS blessed me in unimaginable ways. I’m thankful for my husband and our baby girls. Watching them grow into beautiful young ladies is one of the best and most profound experiences of my life. I pray that I never take that blessing for granted. Life is much too short, too fragile.
I’m blessed with a loving and supportive family and the most amazing friends a girl could ever find, let alone ask for.
To the readers: Thank you for reading what I spent so long writing. Without you, there would be no point in my dream. You give it wings. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.
a person or thing that precipitates an event. Synonyms: stimulus, stimulation, spark, spur, incitement, impetus
move or act with haste; rush. Synonyms: be quick, hurry up, hurry it up, hasten, speed up, speed it up, press on, push on
great haste. Synonyms: rush, haste, flurry, hustle and bustle, confusion, commotion, hubbub, turmoil
GRIFFIN MOANED FROM the couch where he laid prone, eyes bobbing beneath their lids. The sheen of sweat that had coated his forehead for the last two days—two of the longest of my life and his—was gone, replaced by scorched flesh that burned the back of my fingers.
His youth was more visible when his face was relaxed like this. There were no worry lines, no creases.
If he’d been awake, he would have been staring at the popcorn ceiling that was losing its kernels, at the strips of floral wallpaper peeling from the tops of the walls, stained yellow from the adhesive that had held it firmly in place for so many years.
He would have smelled the familiar scents of mildew and sweat, the residue of the surrounding swamp land and hard work.
“I need to check your leg, Griff.”
Pulling back the covers made his muscles tense. His teeth chattered violently. I thought they’d break.
Last week, I’d taken him hunting with me. He would normally stay home, but he’d insisted he wanted to go, to learn how to hunt the gators and frogs I came home with. He’d puffed out his skinny chest and said he was a man. So I took him with me.
Hunting was hard. He learned that lesson very fast. You had to be constantly on alert, careful of each step and push all of the fear—and there was a lot of it—down beneath the surface. You had to make yourself believe you had the upper hand or you’d get eaten.
I couldn’t let my baby brother get hurt or killed. So my anxiety was doubled. Griffin had climbed a tree to get a better look at the swamp around us. He’d climbed trees since he was old enough to walk to them. But something happened. His footing hadn’t been as sure as he thought, his water-logged boot treads were more worn than he realized. He lost his grip on the tree trunk when he was about twenty feet above the ground and had fallen. The branch he’d chosen to hold his body weight wasn’t the only thing that had snapped.
We weren’t even far from home. It was one of the things he was hoping to see from the canopy. We lived in a higher clearing. If you climbed high enough, you could see the tops of the pines that encircled our property. In the winter, when the limbs were bare, you could see the roof of our old house. The moment I heard him scream, I ran