Olivia’s Ghost





              “Show me how and I will set her free.”





Jackson and Olivia Porter’s daughter Ava is thrown overboard during a squall on Puget Sound. In a flash of lightning Livy sees someone on a nearby boat pull something from the water. No one comes forward with their child, nor do they recover a body, yet Livy clings to the belief their daughter was rescued.

Jackson believes his wife is mentally unstable and falls into dysfunctions of his own. Their marriage is torn apart and Livy flees to the Oregon Coast, where she encounters a legendary ghost-child in the lighthouse manned by her father.

Olivia begins to wonder if Jackson is right about her mental instability as she bonds with the ghost, who has a message about Ava. It is as if the squall from nowhere came to reside within each of them, as life unfolds into nightmares of their own making.



Neither of them spoke while drinking coffee at the table. Livy studied the shoreline below the cliff where a host of tiny fish had washed in with the morning tide. They flopped around on the sand like slivers of a fallen star until a flock of gulls swooped in and claimed their breakfast. Finally Jack picked up his bag from the floor beside him and opened the door to leave.

“I’m going now. And you’re staying. Where does that leave us, Olivia? Because I’m confused.” Livy observed her husband of almost fifteen years as he stood by the open door, his overnight bag in his hand. Specs of light danced in his blue eyes from the morning sun. He looked vulnerable and possibly defeated. His expression was quite solemn. Livy wanted to hold his face in her hands and kiss away the telltale frown lines by his lower lip – the same lower lip as Ava. “It leaves us very much in love and not able to be together… yet.”


“In other words, it leaves us right where we were before I came.”

“I love you, Jackson.”

“Well, apparently love isn’t enough, is it Olivia?”

She looked out the window so he wouldn’t see her tears, and then she heard the door shut, and he was gone. She sat at the table and cried harder than she had since the day of the memorial service, when the little girl in blue was not Ava. Livy watched clouds form shadows on the water, and thought about an uncertain future looming before her.


“It was as if angry waves of the vengeful squall

had deposited them on opposite shores.”

Cover art for Olivia’s Ghost is by Ladd Woodland



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