The Peckerwood Coat of Arms

by Catie Rhodes

Copyright © 2013 Catie Rhodes

All rights reserved

 

 

Many Years Before Forever Road

Peri Jean Mace’s First Fall Semester of College

I scrubbed at my face with a rough paper napkin, hoping to scour away the stench of burned popcorn and frying funnel cakes before it took up permanent residence in my skin. A throng of revelers crushed around me, jostling me, yelling in each other’s faces. I elbowed my way out of their midst and stomped after the assholes who insisted on stopping here. 

I didn’t want to be at a roadside carnival, especially not one mere yards from Houston’s I-45. The freeway exhaled a baking heat and enough exhaust to kill a goat. The noise from the huge strip of highway managed to overpower everything around it. At least the endless roar of traffic muffled the rattle of the shoddy rides and the shouts from the rip-off games. The teeny-weeny benefit seemed like a booby prize. 

“I didn’t drive all the way from Lufkin to Houston to go to a fly-by-night carnival.” I shouted at my roommate Marielle and her boyfriend Jesús, struggling to be heard over the din. “I came to get a tattoo.” 

I could have gotten a tattoo in the Lufkin area. But, no. Jesús insisted his cousin was the best tattoo artist in Houston. Marielle, who claimed she’d seen his work, talked up the idea. Now I suspected Jesús and Marielle just wanted a mini-vacation. One where I paid for the gas. 

“We’re going. This is just a quick detour.” Marielle rolled her eyes.

She liked me less every day. With Jesús in residence at the run-down trailer we shared, she no longer needed my half of the rent money. She wanted my skinny country ass out of her love nest.

Marielle might think she could freeze me out, but she didn’t know who she was dealing with: Peri Jean Mace, the ghost-seeing freak and pariah of Gaslight City, Texas. Eighteen years of being a reviled outcast prepared me for arctic social temperatures. That didn’t make it any less uncomfortable, but it was a discomfort I knew how to endure.

I’d ended up in this part of East Texas after being exiled from Gaslight City for an incident at my senior prom that got me expelled from school and a few months’ probation. My grandmother had arranged me to live in Nacogdoches with a friend of my hers. But Memaw’s friend had many rules and charged steep rent. Both factors convinced me to seek greener pastures.

I met Marielle through my job waiting tables at a greasy spoon diner halfway between Lufkin and Nacogdoches. Her brother, the cook, introduced us. Marielle lived in a mobile home outside Lufkin and needed someone to help her pay rent. I crammed my belongings in my Chevy Nova, thanked Memaw’s friend for her hospitality, and made the move.

Three months into my arrangement with Marielle, I regretted my hasty decision. Marielle was a user. She’d conned me into paying the full utility bills, rather than the half we’d agreed upon, and still hadn’t paid me back. She ate the food I bought but wouldn’t buy groceries herself.

Just that afternoon, she’d told me that she expected me to keep the trailer clean. I kept my bedroom, the bathroom I used, and the kitchen clean. Obviously, she expected more.

I needed a new situation, but Lufkin was unfamiliar territory. I had no friends or family there. Nobody at Angelina Junior College, where I’d registered to take classes, wanted a new roommate midway through the fall semester. My oversized pride wouldn’t allow me to ask Memaw’s friend if I could come back. For the time being, I was stuck in Marielle’s shitty trailer, enduring her underhanded insults and petty attempts to cheat me. Her braying voice cut into my pity party.

“Oooh, let’s get our fortunes told.” Marielle dragged Jesús toward a hand shaped sign with a tarot card painted on it. 

Jesús turned to me at the doorway. “Give us the keys to your Nova. That way if we get split up, we can get in.” 

Oh, please. “Hell no,” I told Jesús. “You ain’t got no business having my car keys.” We exchanged a tense glare, which ended only when Marielle yanked him into the tent. 

I sat down on a rickety bench and checked my wallet. After gas, corn dogs, and overly sweet carnival lemonade—all my treat—I had sixty of the hundred dollars my mother sent me for high school graduation. My emotions knotted at the sight of the money, and I swallowed hard.

Mommy dearest didn’t care enough to know I’d been expelled from high school and never graduated. She had no idea how much the whole incident had hurt or how much I’d have loved someone to talk to about it. So I decided to act out. Rather than spend my mother’s monetary gift wisely, I’d throw it away on a tattoo the same way she threw me away to run off with a man she’d met in a bar.

Hoping Marielle and Jesús would tire of this shit soon, I glanced at my wrist to check the time. That’s when I saw the watch—my grandmother’s watch—was gone. My lips went numb from panic, and I heard my pulse thundering in my ears. No, no, no. How would I face Memaw after losing the watch she wore to college? She’d never forgive me.

* * *

I thought back through the day, trying to remember the last time I saw the watch. Here. At this carnival. I checked the time when we stopped for corn dogs. Springing to my feet, I hurried back to the corn dog stand. 

The elderly woman working claimed she hadn’t seen the watch but never even made eye contact with me. I turned away from her, my panic turning to anger, and stalked toward a makeshift courtesy booth. Intent on my bad feelings, I didn’t look where I was going and plowed into someone. 

“You all right, girl?” 

I brushed my hair out of my face, thinking about cutting the waist length mess short for the millionth time, and craned my neck to look up at the guy. Not bad looking. Young. Black hair, coffee brown eyes, and olive skin like mine. 

“Yeah. Sorry,” I mumbled, so focused on the dread pooling in my stomach, I didn’t even want to flirt with him. I’d have to tell Memaw I lost her watch. She’d lecture me again about the immature actions that ended my high school career and got me exiled from Gaslight City. The worst part? She was right. Beating the shit out of my high school tormenter at prom had been satisfying, but it caused me a world of trouble. I slumped and began to move away from the guy. He stepped into my path.

“This is a happy place. What’s got you so upset?” He smiled. Dimpled chin, five o’clock shadow, and crinkly eyes. I couldn’t smile back.

“Lost something. Don’t want to be here.” I dug in my purse, pulled out my cigarettes, and lit one, scowling at the young man through the smoke. 

“I’m Finn.” He held out his hand. I took it and introduced myself. “So, Peri Jean, is there any chance this is what you lost?” He pulled my grandmother’s watch out of his jeans pocket. 

My mouth fell open, and relief flooded through me. I wouldn’t have to explain how I lost the watch. The dismal evening didn’t seem so awful all of a sudden. Then a lifetime of being the punch line kicked in. Finn probably slipped the watch off my wrist in some pickpocketing maneuver worthy of a movie. He’d probably want a small fortune for it, and I didn’t have it. 

Finn frowned, his eyes set intently on my face. “This is your watch, isn’t it? It belongs to your grandmother, Leticia Gregson Mace who lives in Gaslight City.”

My stomach crunched into a hard little ball. How did he know about me? I rifled through my purse, found my wallet, and made sure I still had my driver’s license. Finn watched my activity, amusement dancing in his eyes. 

“What is this? Some kind of trick?” I whipped my head around, expecting to see Marielle and Jesús laughing at me. People bustled past, barely giving me a second glance. Marielle and Jesús were nowhere in sight.

“No trick.” Finn handed me the watch.

“But how do you know…”

“I was born with a little something extra. Just like you.” He winked. “I know things. And I know you need this watch more than me.”

He put the watch in my hand and walked away. I wanted to be angry. That arrogant turd pick pocketed Memaw’s watch. The idea made me see red, but it faded before it had time to take root.

Curiosity took over. I’d never met anybody else who was…different. Brushing off a lifetime of warnings about talking to strangers and going places with them. I almost bumped into Finn when he stopped in front of a colorful tent. 

The sign on the tent read,“Face painting, Caricatures, and Hair Braiding” in multicolored lettering. 

Finn turned to me, smiling again. “I know you planned to get a tattoo tonight. Still want one?” He watched me read the sign again. I couldn’t keep the frown off my face. I didn’t want a silly picture painted on me. I wanted something permanent, something to show I wasn’t afraid to do my own thing. Finn leaned close and spoke directly into my ear. “We travel all over with these carnivals. Some places let us give tattoos. Houston’s not one of ‘em. But my cousin’s set up in there.”

I stared into the tent, not sure what to say. Nobody was ever nice to me just because. There was always a catch. But it didn’t feel like Finn’s offer had a catch. Something about him felt comfortable, familiar, even though I’d never seen him before. 

“Petey’s won all kinds of awards. Even goes to Sturgis every year to do tattoos.” Finn tugged my arm. “Come on. He’ll do a good job.”

My brain screamed at me to run from this situation. It reminded me of a B horror movie. My instincts told a different story. Something about Finn felt familiar and good. I couldn’t have explained why, but I felt safe. Plus, I still wanted to blow my mother’s guilt money on a tattoo, and this was my chance. I didn’t need a fortune teller to tell me Jesús’s cousin’s tattoo parlor was off the agenda. If there had ever been a cousin and a tattoo parlor. I made my decision. 

“All I’ve got’s sixty bucks.” 

“That’s plenty.” Finn motioned me into the tent.

I followed, skin tingling with heady mix of excitement and fear. If Finn plans to murder me or feed me to flesh eating beetles, why wouldn’t sixty bucks be enough? 

Finn led me past two dark haired girls painting ladybugs on the faces of two giggling teenaged girls. The artists resembled Finn so strongly, I pegged them as siblings. One raised her head and widened her eyes at the sight of us. She elbowed the other face painter who glanced up and stilled. They gave us limp waves. 

A woman about Finn’s age sat a short distance away, braiding flowers into a little girl’s shiny blonde hair. The woman’s reddish brown hair and freckled skin made me doubt she was blood-related. She raised her head from her work, took me in, and smiled at Finn. 

As we went deeper into the tent, crazy thoughts and fears did loop-the-loops in my mind. Who were these people? If they weren’t supposed to be giving tattoos, why did they seem so glad to see me? Before I could formulate any answers, we reached the back of the tent. Tucked away in a corner, I saw an old dentist’s chair, the leather cracked in several places, with a tattoo gun set up next to it. Surrounding it were rows of poster carousels sporting tattoo designs. 

Moment of truth.

* * *

This dingy, partitioned off area of the tent awakened new worries about sanitation. A stray thought fought its way through the din of competing anxieties. This will be okay. Somehow, I believed it and let out the breath I’d been holding. I nodded at Finn.

“Let me go get Petey.” He strolled to the other side of the area and ducked behind a curtain. I heard several voices speaking over my pounding heart. Finn popped back into the room, followed by a thirtyish guy whose olive skin had faded to a pale yellow. Uninterested in me, he went to his implements and began preparing them to tattoo.

“Petey doesn’t talk much,” Finn said. “He’s been battling diabetes. The tattooing takes all his energy. So what’d you have in mind?”

“A butterfly?” I didn’t really know what I wanted. I just wanted a tattoo because it was the most rebellious way I could think of to spend my mother’s money. 

“Nah. All the girls get butterflies or four-leaf clovers. You want something that’s you.” He flipped through a carousel of framed posters and stopped at one depicting all manner of birds. Opening the frame, he reached behind the poster and pulled out a hand-drawn picture. “Like this.” 

It was an image of a raven with exquisitely detailed wings. Not what I had in mind. I’d pictured something pretty and delicate. This bird was anything but. Menacing and dark, it was made of bold black lines and gray shading. But the more I studied it, the better I liked it. 

When I thought about it, my eighteen years hadn’t been pretty or delicate. They’d been full of ghosts, fistfights, and being an outsider. Mine was a dark existence. This sinister, mysterious bird represented me. I nodded at Finn. “Yes. That. But, like I said, sixty dollars is all I’ve got. That’s an elaborate tattoo.” 

“And, like I said, sixty dollars is enough. Let’s turn this night into something you’ll always remember.” He motioned to the dentist’s chair where Petey sat waiting for me. 

I expected him to ask a bunch of questions. He didn’t. We just stared at each other. After a while, his silence unnerved me, made me need to speak. I pointed to my bicep. “I want it right here. Big enough so you can see what it is.”

Petey jerked a nod. Before I had time to worry about how much getting a tattoo really hurt, he slapped the stencil on my arm. The tattoo gun buzzed and bit into my skin, cold with a light sting. I waited for serious discomfort, but it never came. 

Finn talked while Petey worked, telling me about places he visited all over the United States. I barely knew it when Petey finished the outline and switched to shading.

“This part’ll take a while,” Finn said and left the room. A few minutes later, he came back with a man and woman I pegged as his parents. The girls I’d seen painting faces joined us. I looked for the woman who braided hair, but she never came. She must have stayed to man the shop. I took a long, hard look at my audience. Except for Finn’s mother, a freckle-faced redhead, they all had the same dark hair, dark eyes, and olive skin. Like me. 

“You’re right Finn-ster.” The older man’s face split into a wide grin. “She’s one of—I mean, she looks like she could be related.”

He was right. The resemblance was uncanny. But they couldn’t be family. Otherwise, I’d have met them at some time or another. My grandmother would have told me about them. 

Finn beamed and showed his father the tattoo I’d chosen. The older man nodded in approval. Finn’s mother drew close, her red hair shining underneath the light, and took a close look at me. 

I tried to piece it all together, looking for the hidden fine print. Finn’s insistence on being nice to me. Introducing me to his parents. It reminded me of every wrong turn horror movie I’d ever seen. Fear prickled at the back of my neck as sweat broke out. The hum of the tattoo gun suddenly seemed too loud. 

“There’s no need to fear us,” Finn’s mother said. Could she read my mind? 

“No, no.” Finn’s father sat down on a stool and scooted toward me. “It’s just not often we meet someone…like you.”

Somehow I knew he meant me seeing ghosts, although I didn’t know how I knew this. Nausea and paranoia warred for control of my body. Long experience taught me my ability to see ghosts never led to anything good. At best, these people would humiliate me over it. At worst…I didn’t want to think about it. 

If they had me here to participate in some weird seánce, they were going to be disappointed. My ability to see ghosts worked about as well as a fireman’s hose hooked to a kitchen sink. If they planned to make me feel like shit, they wouldn’t be the first. And I’d bust their noses for their effort. 

I recalled years of schoolyard scuffles as adrenaline raced through my body, heart thumping. My breath came in harsh gasps. I closed my eyes as I tried to think what to do. Through all this, Petey never stopped working. His artwork stung from his needle passing over the same areas of skin multiple times.

Finn appeared beside me, his hand on my shoulder. “Nobody here will hurt you. It’s just, after I found your watch and realized what you were, I knew Mom and Dad and my sisters would want to meet you.” 

But why? The carnivals in my imagination were full of freaks, psychics, all kinds of magical people. I glanced back the way I came in, wondering if they’d stop me if I ran. 

“Why do you care what I am?” I tried to sound tough, but I sounded like a mouse in a trap. 

Finn glanced at his parents. Something passed between them. His father spoke. 

“My mother died recently, and I miss her a great deal. You remind us of her.” He smiled and, for a second, looked so terribly familiar a wave of deja vu made me miss his next words.

“Pardon?” I shook my head, pushing away the crazy thoughts. 

Finn’s father smiled. “I said, ‘She didn’t share your gift, but having you here makes me feel as though she’s very near.’” 

Petey sprayed some sort of liquid on my tender skin. Its coolness felt like a pardon from Heaven. The momentary relief combined with the Finn’s father’s calm, kind words allowed me to relax. Again that inner voice spoke up, assuring me everything was okay. I tried not to think about what might happen and just focused on the present. Finn’s parents asked me questions about my college courses and about my grandmother. They made me feel special, wanted.

Petey finished his work. Still without speaking, he wrapped my tattoo in plastic, the kind used to cover food. I tried to hand him the sixty dollars, but he turned away. Finn appeared next to me and helped me rise.

“This one’s on the house.” 

I started to argue, but, really, I wondered how I’d get back to Lufkin with no money. It was a good hundred miles, and I knew Marielle and Jesús wouldn’t offer me a cent on gas or road snacks. 

“Thanks, Petey,” I called back over my shoulder. For the first time, Petey met my eyes. A shiver rolled through me even though he smiled and waved. I shook off the creepy feeling. It was just the accumulation of a long evening and meeting these odd, but nice, people. I waved back and let Finn lead me out of the tent, now empty and dark, closed down for the night. We walked into the chilly fall evening.

* * *

Only a few stragglers wandered the narrow pathways of the makeshift carnival. The automotive thunder on the freeway had died down to a tolerable hum. Around us, workers tore down the rides and the toss-til-you-win booths. 

“Thanks,” I told Finn. “I thought tonight was a bust, but you and your family made it fun.”

“Hope we didn’t creep you out,” he said. “Granny died last month. Cancer. It’s not the same without her.”

“I’m so sorry,” I said. 

“Dying’s part of living, I guess.” Finn waved to other workers as we walked through the dying festivities. “My great-uncle, her brother, usually travels with us. But he decided to take the rest of the year off. Too bad. He’d have loved meeting you.” He stopped and faced me. “He’s like you. He sees those who’ve passed from the plane of the living.” 

Here we go. The bad shit that always happens when people know about me will happen. I braced myself to run. Then, something new hit me. I’d always been afraid of the part of me that was different, the part that made me see ghosts. I thought myself an oddity, maybe a monster. I had transferred those feelings onto Finn, who’d been nothing but nice. Maybe the problem isn’t me but the company I keep. Finn smiled. 

“Don’t fear what you are, Peri Jean. Find that special place and those special people who love and appreciate you for who you are.” He hugged me. I should have been freaked out, a stranger hugging me, but I wasn’t. Not really. It felt right coming from Finn. I hugged him back, feeling good about myself for the first time since prom night in Gaslight City. 

“There she is,” Jesús yelled from somewhere behind me. 

I broke the hug and turned. My good feelings swirled away. My travel companions straggled toward me, their faces pinched in anger. I turned back to say something to Finn, but he’d already walked away. As though sensing my eyes on his back, he raised a hand in farewell. 

“Bye,” I whispered. 

“Where did you go?” Marielle leaned into my face. “We’ve been ready to leave for hours.” 

I wanted to knock her silly but knew I had to live with her a couple more months. Maybe I wouldn’t shove her head in the toilet between now and then.

“Yeah,” Jesús said. “If you’d just given us your car keys—”

“You could have left me here, right?” I dug out my car keys, knowing full well they’d have abandoned me at the carnival. “Understand this: it will be a cold fucking day in hell before I trust you with my daddy’s car.”

Jesús mumbled a retort. I bit back an insult. I did have to sleep under the same roof with them. 

We passed through the entrance gates. A familiar face caught my eye. I stopped to stare at a flyer taped to the front of a booth containing a roulette wheel and a bunch of stuffed monkeys. 

The flyer, which showed a picture of the same Petey who tattooed me not an hour earlier, read, “Please help the family of Peter Goya. Peter lost his battle with diabetes on the same night his grandmother died of cancer. The cost of two funerals has put the Goya in financial dire straits. All proceeds from this game of chance will go to help them recover.”

* * *

The man who tattooed me was a dead man. A ghost. A block of ice formed in my stomach and spread through my body, and I staggered several steps. Finn and his family sat there and talked to me while the ghost tattooed me. They acted like I was a special guest at a party. I felt the beginnings of shame. I’d let myself be tricked again. 

I glanced back into the carnival, fury taking hold, just hoping I could catch a glimpse of Finn. Then, I remembered his hug, how good he and his family made me feel. I let it go. After all, a tattoo from a ghost was probably fitting for an oddball like me. 

I poked the tattoo to make sure it was real. My tender skin sent up a shout of pain, and I winced. It’s real, all right.

Marielle saw what I’d done and finally noticed my tattoo. “You got a tattoo here? I didn’t see where they were giving tattoos.” She grabbed my arm and dragged me under a lamp. “Oh, it’s awful. Looks like a peckerwood coat of arms. Typical redneck tattoo.” 

She and Jesús locked eyes. Something passed between them, and they cracked up. Face heating, I stared down at the tattoo. Did it look like a peckerwood coat of arms? If it did, now I was stuck with it. And it hadn’t even been what I wanted in the first place. Cringing with embarrassment and trying to ignore their laughter, I approached the man behind the roulette wheel. 

Barely glancing at me, he said, “Closed.”

“Can I just make a donation?” 

The man glanced up from disassembling the roulette wheel and said, “Of course.”

I dug ten dollars out of my wallet and handed it to him. Smiling, he thanked me and handed me a polka-dotted monkey. Though Finn allowed me to be tattooed by a ghost, he’d been nicer to me than Marielle or Jesús, who lived with me. His family had treated me better than people I’d known all my life. They were good people. Maybe a little weird, but good. 

“If you two want a ride back to Lufkin, you best come on.” I said to Marielle and Jesús.

As we passed into the parking lot, I leaned close to Marielle and said, “You call me or my tattoo peckerwood or redneck again, and I’ll wait until you’re sleeping and beat you with a baseball bat.”

Not surprisingly, the ride back to Lufkin was silent. I spent the whole two hours thinking about the way I’d always perceived myself. Finn told me to find the right people. What if they aren’t out there? They must be if Finn found me. I just needed to look harder.

* * *

The next day, I took a picture of my peckerwood coat of arms tattoo and mailed it to my grandmother. I knew she wouldn’t like it. She grew up thinking only outlaws, military men, and whores got tattooed. But I never expected the response I got. 

A few days after I mailed the picture, Marielle’s house phone rang. I answered.

“Where’d you get that tattoo?” Memaw’s scratchy old voice boiled out of the speaker, hot and angry. 

My heart picked up speed. I expected annoyance. Her tone went beyond that. 

“A-At a roadside carnival in H-Houston.” I couldn’t help stuttering. Memaw rarely sounded this angry, especially not since I’d moved two hours away from her.

“But who suggested you get that design?” 

Up to that point, I’d sort of blocked out the part about my tattoo coming from a ghost. My connection with the spirit world made Memaw intensely uncomfortable. No way I’d tell her. I gave her an edited version of the story. 

She listened without interrupting, only drawing in her breath when I mentioned Finn’s dead grandmother. When I finished, she was silent so long, my mouth started spewing nervous words.

“I shouldn’t have gotten a tattoo at a carnival. It was probably a hundred different kinds of unsanitary.” I paused, wanting her to absolve me. She didn’t, and I babbled some more. “I’m sorry I made you worry, sending the picture.” 

Still, she said nothing. I racked my brain, trying to figure out how to make this right. She was all I had. 

“Memaw? You still there?”

“I am, honey. I’m sorry I got so upset with you.” She heaved a sigh and launched into her lecture. “It’s just you hear about people getting diseases from those tattoo places. That one doesn’t sound like it was too clean.”

I apologized again. My mind went back over her response. She’d been more upset about the design than the tattoo itself. I recalled that sharp intake of breath when I told her about Finn’s grandmother. I would have kept on rolling it over in my mind, looking for an answer, but Memaw said something that threw me for a loop. 

“Chase and Felicia got married last weekend. She’s pregnant, I think.” I heard her light a cigarette. “Figured you ought to know before you came home for Christmas.” 

The subject of the tattoo forgotten, I asked her a million questions about the first guy who broke my heart and the woman he used to do it. I wished I could go back to prom night and beat her up again.

* * *

Leticia Gregson Mace hung up the phone, her hand shaking so hard she dropped it on the floor. She scrambled it to grab it and stubbed her toe on the heavy, antique pie safe next to the kitchen table. She thumped down on the floor, holding her foot and rocking. Tears squeezed out of her eyes and rolled down her cheeks.

So Ruth, her twin sister, was dead of cancer. Her heart ached. She and Ruth hadn’t spoken for decades. And now Ruth was dead. Gone forever. Leticia put her face in her hands and sobbed. 

Finished, she thought about the people Peri Jean met. Obviously her twin sister, Ruth’s, children and grandchildren. Now they knew about Peri Jean. Would they take her away? They’d branded her so others would know who she belonged to. 

She stared at the phone. She ought to call Peri Jean back, talk her into coming home to Gaslight City. It wouldn’t be hard. She heard the uncertainty in her granddaughter’s voice every time they talked. She could keep an eye on her here, keep those people away from her. 

Leticia feared nothing as much as her family, even after all these years. Con artists like them eventually ended up in hot water. Sometimes they ended up dead or got innocent people killed. 

She lifted the phone from its cradle and started dialing. Before the phone on the other end even rang, she hung up. Manipulating Peri Jean into coming home would be a mistake. She had to let her go, so her beloved granddaughter could learn to take care of herself. 

I have to call her. I need to warn her. They’ve marked her. Now they’ll always know her. She picked up the phone then hung it up again. But, once she knows about them, she’ll be curious about them. Maybe seek them out. She turned away from the phone and took deep breaths to slow her racing heart.

“I’ll bide my time,” she said to the empty room. “Only tell her when I’ve got to.”

She peered out her window at the blustery fall day. As she mused about Peri Jean’s future, a raven swooped down and landed on her mimosa tree. Leticia drew in a sharp breath and took a quick step backward. Then her stubborn nature took over. She rapped on the window until the bird cocked its head in her direction.

“You can’t have her,” she growled through the glass. “Now get outta here.” 

The bird flew off. But for how long?

 

THE END


Note from Catie:

I love tattoos, but getting tattooed by a ghost? No way. Gives me shivers just to think about it.

Part of me wonders how long Peri Jean stayed roommates with Marielle after that night…and what their final showdown looked like.

And Memaw has a secret! Want to know what it is? There’s one easy way to find out…

Read Rocks & Gravel, Book 3 of the Peri Jean Mace Ghost Thriller series. If you own the box set, you’ve already got it on your e-reader.

Other than a good night’s sleep, what have you got to lose?