The Voodoo That You Do


It was Christmas Eve in Eden.  Twelve months to the hour from the time Baz Outlaw had rejected Hallie’s plea to give her a baby; twelve months to the day from the moment she decided to leave L.A. and change her life.

Hallie gazed out at the pews from her seat in the small choir loft behind the pulpit. Over the past year she’d come to see the familiar faces with a sense of security. Eden had begun to feel like the home she’d always wanted.

Jolene Thompson, owner of the Pink Poodle Beauty Salon sat next to Hallie in the choir stall. Jo was one of Hallie’s two close friends. She spoke under cover of the rambling sermon. “Why’s the Prodigal Hunk here?”

“Beats me,” Hallie whispered back.

“He can’t stop looking at you.”

 She knew. His intense stare was having its usual effect on her even in church. She was so short of breath she’d had to mouth the words to O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

Her friend frowned. “I’ll bet you a blimpy burger he’s here to get you back.”

Most of the bets in Rockfield County involved mouth-watering blimpy burgers from Little Joe’s CafĂ© on High Street.

“I wish he’d just crawl back to where he came from.”

“He came from here,” Jo reminded her.

Hallie made a face.

“It took a year but maybe he finally realized he missed you.”

Hallie dismissed that possibility. “He never called or wrote. Why would he just turn up on Christmas Eve? That doesn’t make sense.”

Jo shrugged. “Who can understand men?”

“Not me. That’s why I work with animals.”