My name’s Baxley Powell and my family is a little different, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I woke up with a streak of white hair in my forelock recently. But I was alarmed. Being different is one thing, being way different is like having lights and sirens whirling and blaring wherever you go.
Not good for folks who prefer to float under the radar.
The obvious solution was to cover the anomaly up with a hat, but every kind of hat or scarf I tried gave me a splitting headache. Seemed like the universe demanded that I show my oddity to my community.
I went with a ball cap and a headache for as long as it took to buy hair dye. My daughter and best friend helped me with the hair dying project, but the dark brown dye wouldn’t stick to the white hair. Worse, due to our efforts, more forelock hair turned white. Yikes!
This development was startling for a twenty-eight-year-old single mom like me. I’d gone to bed with normal hair and awakened to being a freak show. I downed headache meds and jammed a ball cap on my head. I had dogs to walk and bushes to plant. The universe would have to get its jollies some other way.
The dogs and plants didn’t mind freaky hair, so I had a much-needed break from the hat during the middle of the day, but mid-afternoon I got a call from the sheriff to come in. He needed a consultation from me, the county dreamwalker.
I dreaded going to his office. The bones I’d discovered a few days ago on a landscaping job were a big problem. Word had leaked out immediately, and the Native Americans were protesting the outrage of having their ancestors’ remains disturbed. I knew the bones weren’t Native American, but I couldn’t prove it in a court of law. I knew because I’d seen the colonists as I touched the bones.
The law enforcement center was a three-ring circus when I arrived. Local and imported Native Americans protested with placards and chanting. Film crews from Jacksonville and Savannah were taping the spectacle, and I had to pass through the heart of the melee to get inside.
As I walked, a foul wind sprang up and blew my ball cap off. A collective gasp went through the crowd. Whispers circled me. My parents’ friend Running Bear gave me a big smile of recognition, even though I looked like a freaked-out version of myself.
Time for a brief confession. I hadn’t wanted to take over as county dreamwalker for my father, but he couldn’t do it any longer. It was either me or my young daughter. No way was I letting my daughter commune with the dead, so I’d accepted the title a few days ago, and now, according to Running Bear, the full power had settled upon me.
My hair was the visible and tangible sign. Who knew these things? Not me. I didn’t sign up for a permanent bad hair day, but it seemed that was my lot in life. That and talking to dead people.
You can read more about Baxley in Gone and Done It, the first book in the “Dreamwalker” paranormal mystery, published by Five Star. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.
“Toussaint takes a break from her Cleopatra Jones series for a brisk plunge into the paranormal.” – Kirkus Reviews
Meet the author
Southern author Maggie Toussaint loves to blend murder and romance in her fiction. With eleven published books to her credit, her latest release is Gone and Done It, a paranormal mystery. Coming this summer is Rough Waters, a romantic suspense. Maggie likes yoga, beachcombing, and music.
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