Hoke Mathews is fifteen,

orphaned, and now he's running scared

after having killed a man.


It will take him twenty years to return to the town that holds his darkest memories.

But now a light has appeared on the horizon beyond Independence, and it's pulling him back. Hoke can't make out the origins of the light, but he feels its pull as strongly as he felt the pull of a light on the night he fled--a light that offered him hope in his darkest hour.

Readers of Leanne W. Smith's Amazon best-selling historical novel, Leaving Independence, will enjoy this short story that takes a closer look at what made Hoke Mathews flee the town of Independence, Missouri as a boy. And they'll thrill to see him finally return and meet Abigail Baldwyn, the woman who holds the key to his heart and the promise of a more hope-filled future.