Shadows that Lurk in the Light: Chapter Thirty

Michelle Renee Kidwell
5 min readNov 26, 2023
Photo by Carolina Heza on Unsplash

Chapter Thirty:

When I picked up the phone, I was both eager to know the answers and dreading them at the same time. Whatever news this call brought, it would have been hard, whether the bones were found on his land or not, they were gone, but at least this call might provide us with answers, the DNA would provide clues.

As I reached for the phone, Deliah sat silently next to me, knowing that she wasn’t in a position to handle the news on her own. We were going to get through this together, so she didn’t have to do that.

It was a strange mix of gruff and gentle to hear his voice, but the kindness in his words told me the answer before he even spoke.

“The DNA was positive, we found your parents on his land, unfortunately they were only two of many.”

As I held the phone in my hand, unable to speak, I knew it was the news we were expecting, but I still felt shocked or grieved, perhaps both.

“Trace.” Deliah said, picking up the phone after I had dropped it. “They were there weren’t they, there bones were on that property, weren’t they?”

We sat on the sofa and cried, no longer in limbo, we knew what had happened to our parents. The pain and grief were still hard to deal with.

Throughout the evening, it felt as if I was going on autopilot, the grief so heavy that I felt it was weighing me down. It was probably because we had denied ourselves that grief for so long, thinking they had left us deliberately, but there was nothing they could have done that justified their bones being on his property.

“That could have been you. It is horrifying to think about the possibility, but it could have been you.”

The reality was difficult for Deliah to face, but as I lay bleeding from a gunshot wound on the parking lot that early May day. In spite of that, I had survived, and I was grateful because Deliah had lost too much.

“But God was watching me that day, just as he does every day.” My voice was gentle, even now that I feel heavy with grief. It was obvious that I had a lot to be thankful for, but at the moment I was angry at the man who destroyed our lives six and a half years ago, and again just a few months…



Michelle Renee Kidwell

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge in the light: Helen Keller