Rita is the brainchild of Lorrie Unites-Struiff. Created for Lorrie's first book, "Gypsy Crystal," Rita combines her inherent magic of her Roma heritage with street smart detective skills. Read about Lorrie's books and stories on her Wordpress site: http://struiff.wordpress.com/
My name is Rita Muldova. Allow me to tell you a bit about my early life.
I come from a long line of Roma people, some call us gypsies. My parents came to the States before I was born. At first we traveled with relatives and other families of migrant workers, setting up our pop-up trailer wherever our group could find work. My mom, Anna, would tell fortunes around the campfire in the evening while dad whittled away carving small toys for the kids. Though it was hard work, it was also a happy, carefree life.
Many in our family tree have psychic gifts, but of course custom forbids we use them for relatives, only for friends and strangers. And my mom has the most powerful gifts of our clan. I swear she has built-in radar.
Keyport, PA. is a nice little town, upriver from Pittsburgh, and nestled along the Monongahela River. We bought a three-bedroom trailer and lived in the rental park.
Then life got a bit tough for me. The kids in school nicknamed me “Gypsy Girl” and I was considered an oddity because of my Roma customs and traditions. A lot of jeers and taunts came my way. But, I coped. I’m damn proud of my Roma blood.
Two years later, Dad was killed in an auto accident while driving mom to market. Mom had this strong premonition, but Dad refused to heed her warning.
Well, life just got tougher after that. Money was scarce. Mom wrote to her older brother, Uncle Dragus, who still lived in Romania and had a small bakery. He traveled across the big pond and moved in with us. He opened another bakery and did fairly well. To supplement our money problems, Mom put out her shingle and did her crystal ball thing. Let me tell you, my mom is right on the nose with her psychic powers and she helped a lot of people. At times, she’s downright spooky.
When I left for college, Mom and Uncle Dragus borrowed money to open a quaint little restaurant in a theme mall near Keyport, sold the trailer, and moved into to the apartment above the restaurant. Mom still reads palms, tea leaves, and Uncle plays the sweetest violin music.
After college, I went to the police academy. Upon graduation, mom gave me a mystical amulet that has been handed down through our maternal bloodline. She said it would protect and help me with my chosen career path. The crystal amulet allows me to see in the eyes of a corpse the last image they saw before death. Well, let me tell you, this amulet propelled my career on the fast track. Of course I kept it a secret, but with more studying, making detective in our homicide division, I had to tell my chief about it. He freaked out, but promised to handle it discreetly.
That brings us to today. A serial killer is on the loose in my town and targeting prostitutes. What has me so confused is, the crystal seems to have lost its power. For some reason, it’s only showing me the person the deceased had seen before the killer struck.
Forensics can’t help on this one. They are as confused as the department. Matt Boulet of the FBI has been sent from Voodoo City, New Orleans, to lead our task force. He knows something we don’t about the perp and is playing it close to the vest. And, I don’t like secrets. My mother is holding back a secret, too. Matt is pushing her to use her powers to help him. When she gives in to his persuasiveness, all hell breaks loose, literally.