Molly Pace

Molly (a derivative of Mary) means “spiritual awareness; blessed one”

Psalm 130:5 (NKJV)—I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.

Molly is Gavin's cousin and sidekick. Like her twin brother, Eric, she is 13 and in the 8th grade. You might think she considers her waist-length nut-brown braid with those pretty curls at end as her crowning glory, but Molly is growing her hair long because she plans to donate it to Locks of Love for cancer victims. You see, not only is Molly self-assured, popular, and super-smart with a big vocabulary (always spouting off "Mollyisms"), but she has passion for causes and justice. She wants to fix everything and everybody.

Using her gift of words as editor of The Dragon's Voice, the Sunken Bridge Middle School paper, she is on a mission to capture the history of the mysterious Burnt Swamp fire in a feature story about the 10th anniversary. She suspects Uncle Warney knows more than he's been willing to tell so far about what's going on in the murky depths and why nobody has been able to put it out. Molly is always on the lookout for story scoops and keeps her spiral notebook handy in her denim backpack.

It may sound like Molly leads a charmed life, but take a closer look. Her parents got divorced when she and Eric were 4. Their alcoholic atheist dad, Ben Everett, managed to keep his job at the bank in spite of running off to a new life with Trixie. As part of the settlement, Ben got to take Eric with him, and Molly stayed with their mom. Molly refuses to call her home-wrecker stepmother by name and refers to her as “my father's wife.”

The twins have different last names because when their mom met and married Frank Pace, Molly begged for this godly man to adopt her so she could distance herself from the Everett side of the family. Ben gladly granted permission so he wouldn't have to pay child support. By the way, Molly's grandmother is Uncle Warney's younger sister and joint heir to the dilapidated Stokes estate, condemned mansion and all.

Molly prides herself on being spiritually savvy but more in a book-learned way than heart knowledge. Ah, yes, take a closer look. Pride. That's something Molly will have to come to grips with. She may have met her match in Gavin's new friend, Dexter, whose humility runs as deep as his ability to discern good and evil.