Bethy was all Trevor could wish for in a girlfriend and more. Although relatively uneducated, she was very intelligent and willing to learn. In fact, when Trevor met her she was using a big chunk of her meager wages as a chain-restaurant hostess to take college classes. She was also a talented writer with a handful of published works who appeared to be just on the verge of being discovered. Bethy was very pretty, some would say gorgeous, the sexiest woman Trevor had ever met, a curvy blond with piercing blue eyes. She had an “It Factor” that drew the attention of everyone in every room she entered.
Most importantly, she saw past Trevor’s social awkwardness and accepted him for who he was.
Trevor and Bethy had been together for more than six years and had never had a serious argument. Well, Trevor vaguely remembered something, but it was always just beyond his grasp, so he could only assumed there were few arguments. There was that time, but it was foggy, and.. well, if he didn’t remember, it must fine. Their relationship was a trusting, each spending time with their own friends. Yet they were good together and often escaped the city for romantic weekends away.
Bethany Murphy, AKA Bethy, spent most of her life prior to meeting Trevor in Dorchester and Mattapan, neither considered the best neighborhoods in the Boston area. Her family wasn’t poor, and some members had achieved a high level of success, such as an uncle who was a lawyer, yet there seemed to be an instability around family members. Chaos was their constant companion. Self-sabotage, making bad choices, doing bad things or falling in with the wrong people, was almost a family curse. Bethy, however, was determined to follow her uncle’s lead and become a success. She was smart and driven. She was very self-assured and believed deeply in her own strength. She enjoyed her life with Trevor, a life of museums and hiking in the mountains. Culture wasn’t just face paint she wore to show that she had made it, she really enjoyed it. In fact, as far as appearances went, she was not embarrassed to still hang out with her old friends from the old neighborhood. She was very down to earth.
Trevor had fallen hard for the diamond in the rough known as Bethy. She was “the one”.
And yet he could not get rid of the niggling feeling that something wasn’t’ quite right. It had nothing to do with Dorchester or Mattapan, nothing to do with Bethy’s friends. There was something else, something that Trevor just couldn’t put his finger on.
His only clue was that it seemed to be centered around his family. Not just the immediate family from the Bradford side, but the extended family. There were problems with the Hawkins, the black side of the family that they saw several times a year on the special family days. And even the dead Halley Branch seemed to be casting a shadow over their relationship.
Or was it just Trevor’s imagination?
An evil 300 years in the making. A trap set 150 years in the past.
The day should have been a normal “family day” at the Hawkins’ Mausoleum, but a premonition followed Trevor into the crypt. To make matters worse, he couldn’t shake his morning vision of a dead woman draped in a funeral-shroud.
After rescuing a girl trapped in the tomb, repressed memories forced him to reevaluate everything. Was his extended family a cult with roots going back to America’s colonial past? Was the evil Benjamin Halley still stalking his tomb after 150 years? Was there any truth to the Power described by the family’s patriarch, Miles Hawkins?
Trevor realized that he was being manipulated and drawn into a trap set in the 19th century, and feared that everyone around him had already been ensnared. Who could he trust? The members of his own family’s Branch, The Bradford’s, like his cousins Bill or Stan? Perhaps members of the Hawkins Branch, such as the beautiful but jaded Amelie? The one Branch he knew not to trust was the extinct Halley Branch.
But the Halley’s were the ones who were welcoming him with open, if dead, arms.
This is the second character sketch taken from my upcoming book, The Halley Branch. The first was about the main character himself. You can read about Trevor here.