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Table of Content

Title Page



Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty



Copyright Elizabeth Griffin

All rights reserved

Published 2017



Copy Right 2017

Gore Publications

P. O. Box 43561

Philadelphia, PA 19106-3561

Cover Design

Derrick H. Gore

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission from author.

Printed In The United States of America


I won't let them treat me like poor white trash,” I yell the declaration into the roaring, crashing waves as an icy ocean knocks me back and forth.

Its immense power threatens to topple me.

I feel myself being pulled downward. It is as though the angry body of water wants to drag me to its bottom and use me to sweep the floor clean of settled debris.

I do not panic. I know this ocean. I have been its playmate since I was a child.

The dark waters blanket me with hypo thermal temperatures that seem to shock my nervous system into action.

I fiercely stroke the waters in a rotating right/left action as I plow through its strong currents.

I love swimming in frigid waters.

It clears the mind, cleanses the heart and restores the soul. I cannot think of a better way to purge the human body of the earthly demons that plague its conscience.

And, I should know.

My mother tried to kill me when I was five. The memories haunt me. They cannot be erased by time. She was clinically diagnosed as a schizophrenic which means nothing to a little girl watching the police take her mother away in a patrol car.

I've been dealing with the tortured memories of that incident as well as my family's very destructive history since I was old enough to talk and understand the English language— put more bluntly—

I belong to the Clarkson clan who are a bunch of troubled souls.

I think of them as a chaotic-screwed-up mess of folks who claim me and my siblings as their own.

Some luck I got, huh? I hit the damn lottery when I got born into this family.

It is, now, sometime pass midnight and I refuse to go home. The thought of walking into a house full of relatives mixed in with random people bothers me. I can only imagine what will greet me when I open that front door.

A-friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend will need a place to crash. Or a cousin member who recently got released from jail will expect to be put up for the night which will eventually turn into a week, and then a month. Or somebody will be having unprotected sex in the upstairs closet...

For once, I'd like to enter that living room without encountering a party. Country music is always the first thing that greets me at the door.

It is usually followed by an argument of some kind which is coming from the kitchen.

Of course, nobody cooked dinner. They never do. I get most of my nutrition from stolen granola bars, and protein drinks.

There is also another reason why I won't go home just yet. I got into a fight at school yesterday. It was for defending my baby sister, Brynn.

Most of the girls at her school hate her guts. They are mean and just plain jealous beyond belief.

Brynn is a wild-child, an immature kid in a woman's body. Most boys want to sleep with her despite her age and plenty of girls wish her dead because of it.

The bathroom brawl is instantly pushed from my head as I catch sight of a perfect wave.

The images of me physically assaulting three teenage girls with my fist and feet flee my head as I forget about how they lured my younger sister into an empty stall and beat the living crap out of her.

Life lesson one.

They will never do that again. I am stronger and more physically fit than any stupid 8th grader.

I hit those girls with everything that I had each time I heard them call Brynn white beach trash, but that was hours ago.

School is out, Brynn is safe and I am trying to rid my body of any extra aggression, because I'm still fighting mad.

A person better not mess with me or my family unless he's willing to take a serious beating.

I am lying flat on the deck of a surfboard while a heavy chilling mist surrounds me and conceals my presence.

My name is Trinity Clarkson. I am seventeen, and I am the best damn surfer in White Gold County. I may be poor. I am definitely white— wouldn't change it for nothing, but I am not trash. Neither is my baby sister, I acknowledge defiantly while I paddle toward the next set of incoming waves.

One day I am going to be a professional surfer, make lots of money and have huge endorsements. That will take care of being labeled poor. And, nobody is going to stop me from escaping this hateful place.

My gloved hands cup the frigid water in a left/ right sequence as I rapidly slice through its liquid depths and move away from a deserted coastline.

I love surfing the winter waters. The ocean is isolating. It restricts the weak and allows only the strong to tread its surfaces. At this time of the year, I do not have to share the surf with a single soul.

The currents are too dangerous for the inexperienced. The amount of seconds between each wave can pass quickly and cause the water to tower high above a surfer's head.

I am not intimidated by the height of a wave. I have been playing in this ocean since I was five.

Now, I am an extremist and dare to challenge these waves during the winter season.

There are times when the beach is covered by layers of snow. Those are the moments when I hesitate, when I question my sanity; but then I remember how it feels to be out there in that water.

I forget about my lips turning a purple/blue because of the cold. I ignore my numbed fingers and toes. I don't consider how brittle the skin on my face will feel, because I cannot resist the harsh allure of the ocean. I can't stay away from its waters.

I'm addicted to the thrill of riding out a wave until it breaks. I love zigzagging up and down a mountain of water and moving through a liquid tunnel at topnotch speed. It is an arctic heaven.

I am a surfer girl!

The credo rushes through my veins along with the adrenaline pumping through my body. I am a surf or die kind of girl.

The December rains pelt the turbulent waters surrounding me and streak my numb face which is hidden behind the hooded mask of a dry suit.

My tears mingle with the rain and disguise my crying. I hate being born poor. I despise the label it places on a person. There is nothing worst in White Gold County than being born without money.

As I see a huge wall of water approaching, I grip the sides of my surfboard, take a deep breath and dive beneath the rough ocean surface.

I quickly extend my arms, duck roll and then flip the fiberboard on top of me in order to avoid the full impact of the crushing waves and white waters.

As soon at the wave passes, I flip back to the surface, resume my flat position on the board and paddle frantically for the next set of incoming waves.

I spot the one that I want and skillfully turn around in the water. I am now facing the shoreline and traveling in the same direction as the wave. I get ready for the moving mountain of water to sweep me into the air.

Once I feel the ocean rising beneath my board, I jump into a sideways stance and position my left foot in front and my right foot toward the back near the tail of the board.

I am facing the top of the wave and swiftly adjust my body's weight in order to glide up and down the tumbling, fast moving body of water.

I am a conqueror, screams the voice in my head. This is my world. This is my dominion.

My adrenaline rush peaks as I jet into the air and grip the sides of my board while spinning completely around.

I land smoothly and speed up and down the wave in a figure eight type fashion. My body is on automatic. I am enjoying the power of the ride.

I dart in and out of the ocean like a flying fish. Ice cold water trails down the sides of my face and sneaks into my rubber suit.

I shudder momentarily, but I am on a high. The frosty shock to my system is fleeting and quickly forgotten as I take to the air again and flip head over board before landing on a wave and continuing to ride it hard.

I forget the reality of my poor existence as I race toward land. I am gliding across liquid glass. I am in sync with the ocean and I am loving it.

There is no better high. No purer drug. This natural stimulant is uncut. It guarantees a head-rushing dose of raw excitement every time.

It takes me a second to realize that I am not skiing across this vast ocean of water by myself.

A dark figure outlined in a fluorescent neon blue glides on top of the shimmering liquid surface. His surfboard is also glowing in the dark.

It is a fantastic, hypnotic blue. The sight of both man and board excites me.

I've seen cars with the neon lights affixed to their bottoms. The added feature gives the vehicle the appearance of floating on air.

When I observe this surfer, I get the same impression that he is an Olympian god flying through the air and christening every wave with his majestic surfboard.

I am not alone out here in this wide open space. I'm sharing these harsh winter waves with a fellow surfer.

And, he's damn good.

I hate to admit it, but my attention has become slightly divided. I want to stop and stare.

I know the other person splitting the brutal arctic waves is a man.

The silver slit of a moon illuminates his strong powerful body. I am quickly able to access his level of skills.

He has to be pro. Nobody else in these parts can surf like that? Where did he come from? Why haven't I seen him before?

He is cutting the waters like a professional. My heart leaps at the mere thought of sharing these oceans with this athlete. I've only witnessed such perfection in the movies or on television.

Is he a stunt man? Why is he out here in such extreme temperatures?

I should be afraid to be completely alone in these waters with a total stranger, but I'm not.

It is obvious that this man is all about the sport of surfing. He isn't thinking about me or anyone else.

He appears to be on an adrenaline high as he skis up and down the enormous waves. I recognize his addiction as he treads the waters.

As I watch him, I am tempted to show off. Maybe it's my competitive nature— a childish need to be seen and admired; but suddenly I can't resist the urge. I want to show him what I can do— what I'm made of.

I lay flat on my board and paddle toward the next swell of incoming waves. They are moving fast because of the offshore winds.

The weather condition is perfect. There were reports of a serious storm brewing off the mainland. The powerful waves are proving the predictions right.

The fin attached to the rear bottom of my board helps me to maneuver quickly through the water. I am freezing— almost to the point of shivering— but I turn around in the water and begin to surf.

I am carried high into the air. I let out a childish squeal. It sounds like a cross between the sound that a mouse would make and a dog's howl. I usually make this noise when I am extremely excited.

I am close enough to hear the other surfer return my howl. It is loud and indescribable.

This is the only form of verbal communicating that is exchanged between us. It is short, brief.

Then we resume focusing on the one reason why two strangers are willing to bare the arctic temperatures of the water.

The moonlight reflecting off the ocean waters give us both enough visibility to surf freely.

This liquid paradise once again takes my breath away as I ride my final wave.

The water is too cold for me to continue. I should have gotten out a long time ago, but I wanted just one more wave.

Now I might have to pay the consequences for such a reckless attitude.

But what the hell, it is so bitchin' worth it! I'm young. I'll recover quickly! And, I'd do it all over again...

Chapter One

I didn't catch pneumonia from my all-night arctic surfing, but I did miss a week of school which prevented me from returning to the beach and looking for the lone surfer.

Chapter Two

Blood ain’t always thicker than water. Not in my case. Not with my family.

I come from a line of folks, who can't seem to determine whether it's a good thing or a bad thing to love one another; yet we continue trying—

Sometimes we get it right. Sometimes we don’t.

I believe that keeping your distance from others is the best way to stay safe. That’s how I avoid getting hurt.

I will not let anyone get too close to me. I can't afford to. I have too many family secrets—

I know where a lot of the Clarkson skeletons are buried. The graves are shallow and the bones seem to be everywhere.

I've witnessed things too horrible to repeat— Stuff that keeps me tossing and turning at night.

At times, I wrestle with my conscience for hours until I am able to bury my fears so deep that they are hidden in the marrow of my bones.

I learned early about the consequences of talking too much.

Someone always gets in trouble. And, usually that person is me...

Sharing family business is never a good idea. Telling what goes on behind closed doors is definitely a big mistake. Drawing attention to our family ills is a huge no, no.

Revealing too much is just like getting caught up in a round of friendly fire. The victims are people that you know and the causalities often vary.

I can't explain it; but somehow that deadly ammunition always seems to find its way back to me and explode in my face.

The fallout has a tendency to hurt me and everyone in the immediate vicinity.

Yeah, space is my only armor. It’s my one remedy to protect against family drama.

The more distance, the better. It shields me. It allows me to see the faults in others.

And, my family seems to have a-whole-lot-of-them. I’ve been observing the members of my family for most of my life.

For instance, just last week Uncle Robbie got arrested for shooting up a street carnival during the Memorial Day celebration. He was arguing with a neighbor who accused him of being unpatriotic.

First, they exchanged words and then my Uncle took out his pistol and bullets were fired. He shot the man where he stood. Argument settled.

Before that…

My baby sister, Brynn, got into trouble for driving a pickup truck without a license, but that wasn't the worst of it.

The fact that she had friends in the vehicle who were underage drinkers did not help her case. Empty beer bottles were everywhere. My kid sister was barely thirteen at the time.

And before that…

Cousin Rafe was hauled down to the county jail for domestic violence. He couldn't control his urge to slap his new girlfriend around so a few of the neighbors decided to help him out.

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