I'm not going to lie, Agent Melinda May from Agents of SHIELD and the actress who plays her, Ming-Na Wen is the inspiration for Casey, along with an old detective character I had in another book that will never see the light of day. I have my own Theo in my head and hope you have yours after MIND: The Reckoning because you're in for a treat, they are magic together.
Meet Casey Wu:
The vibrant nightlife of New York pulsed around Casey as she followed the crowd onto the street. She stood at the corner of 33rd Street and 7th Ave debating a stop at the Blarney Club for a drink or two, then decided to head straight home, and have a milkshake instead.
Two quick subway stops later, Casey climbed the stairs and froze on the landing. From here, she had a direct view to her fourth-floor hole in the wall’s window. There was a light on inside. Her heart rate doubled.
Casey pulled her ring off, shoved it in her purse, zipped it shut, and secured the strap across her chest. She darted toward her building, noting her surroundings, and cursing the people on the sidewalks and in doorways, making it impossible for her to do anything yet.
After turning down an alley and finding it empty, Casey spun around and stared up at her fire escape. She didn’t know if she could make the ‘jump’ from here, but she’d been practicing and knew it was possible. All her focus settled on the action, what she wanted to do, and when she blinked, she was standing in front of her bedroom window, safe on top of the fire escape.
Casey didn’t see anyone inside the studio apartment, only the mess they left behind. She sighed as she opened the window and climbed in. Everything she owned was scattered around the room. Not that it was much since she had sold most of her belongings recently so she had extra cash for the down times during her career change.
She tossed her purse onto the bed, frowned at the sight, and picked up her softball bat before heading to the bathroom to make sure it was clear. On her way out, she noticed the front door untouched and locked, so whoever broke in may have used the fire escape, too, and she probably just smudged any viable fingerprints.
Casey shook her head.
After taking off her coat and picking up an overturned kitchen chair, Casey surveyed the room, checking for missing items. Her tiny NetSmartTV wasn’t much of a prize so she wasn’t surprised to see it left behind unharmed. When she noticed her digital mixing tablet, laptop, and antique turntables were all present, along with her thousand plus dollars’ worth of music, Casey knew something was wrong. If the thief wasn’t after items for money, they wanted information.
A shiver ran up her spine. She dashed over to her work desk and pulled open the top drawer. Casey let out a huge sigh seeing all four client flash drives safe and sound. She crinkled her brow, confused.
As she walked back to her bed, she felt a tingling sensation at the back of her head. There was only one person who knew about her gifts. Casey shut her eyes and focused. Mom, can you hear me?
Shen Wu’s scream filled Casey’s mind, making her pulse rocket. She had to get to her mother. Now.
When she opened her eyes, she was standing in the middle of her parent’s living room a hundred miles away in South Jersey. Her head spun and her stomach twisted. Casey stumbled to the kitchen sink and vomited. She quickly rinsed her mouth and got steady on her feet trying not to think how she jumped so far away.
“Mom?” The house, much like hers, appeared ransacked. She didn’t touch anything else as she tiptoed through the dimly lit hallway leading to the rest of the house. Casey balled her hands to stop her fingers from shaking and called again. “Mom?”
More than aware that she should have called the police, Casey held her breath as she peered into the bathroom, the spare room across from it, and sighed when she found them empty. As she approached the last room, her parent’s bedroom, her steps slowed and the dread rose. The moment she saw her mother’s feet, Casey jumped to her side, knelt down, and took her hand to check her pulse. She was alive, but hardly breathing.
“Mom.” Casey squeezed her hand, afraid to do much of anything else. Shen’s eyelids fluttered. Casey fought the tears welling and pulled her cellphone out of her bag. She pressed the nine and felt the tingle in the back of her mind again. Casey glanced down. Mom?
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MIND: The Message on Sale March 4th 2017!