Hi, everyone! Lily Gayle Lambert here. I’m excited about the opportunity to be here today.
I live in Mercy, Mississippi. It’s the town where I grew up. I left when I got out of high school. I couldn’t wait to shake the dust of a small town from my heels. I left so fast, I nearly set the carpet on fire on my way out the door. Ole Miss was my destination that day.
But, as I got older, I came to value all the things about Mercy that drove me crazy when I was growing up. There’s a benefit to living in a place where your family has lived for generations. Those roots run deep. I didn’t know just how deep until I came back home for good to live in the house my grandparents left to me.
Now I stay busy helping my cousin, Ben, solve crimes. He’s the county sheriff. I’m sure he wouldn’t see it that way. But, it’s the truth. Really. It is.
You’d think everything in a small town would be out in the open. Like knowing families for generations. And, someone always seeing you somewhere you’d rather not be seen. But, even small towns can hide some big secrets.
Right now, I’m keeping a big, big secret for an old friend. Vlad Templeton left Mercy when he was ten. He came back a few months ago with state money to run a sleep study. He’d become a doctor in the years he was gone. And, when he needed a small town with several generations of families living in it to run his tests, he came back to Mercy.
The hard part, the big secret, is known only to my cousin, Ben and me. We found out that Vlad was running a secret DNA test on his sleep study participants. He was looking for a gene relating to sleep apnea. Just like he told everyone. But he’s also looking for a different gene. One that relates to genetic anomalies. And he’s keeping that particular test secret from the participants.
And, now, I’m worried that word of that secret testing is going to get out. And cause a lot of heartache and trouble for a lot of innocent people.
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