* * *
Excerpt from Thorn Changer by Christy Reed
She was still traipsing through the forest when night fell. The ground was easier to travel here. Not as much snow had been able to find its way through the tree canopy. She peered into the darkness, wishing she had some tinder to make a torch. Not much moonlight got through either.
An owl hooted in a tree nearby. Mice and tiny woodland creatures scurried through the undergrowth. Her breath was steam in the faint light that did break through. Skey shivered, and pulled her cloak tighter about her. She trudged on.
The low wail of a night thrush hit her ears. She paused in front of a shallow snow bank, and smiled bitterly. Was it exiled like her? Maybe that was why it was so sad and mournful.
She turned, and took a step. A twig snapped behind her. Too big to have been broken by an animal. She whirled about. A dark figure stood a foot away, arms crossed. “We never did finish.”
She took a step back. What was colder, her body or her heart? “Yes we did. I told you I wasn’t interested. Now let me be.”
The cloaked figure laughed. “You’ve much to learn if you think such an answer will stop me.”
Skey turned to flee, but stopped short. More dark figures had come up, blocking off every escape. She turned back to her captor. Was that his teeth glinting in the moonlight? “What do you want with me?”
His smile widened. “Ah, Skey,” the words froze her heart, “much more than you know.”
The shadow figures edged closer. Skey stiffened. How had he known her name?
She drew back from them, reaching for a handful of snow, as her eyes started to glow. “I’ll never come with you,” she flung it in his face.
He grunted, wiping it away. She drew her cloak around her, and slid into the snow bank. An ice crystal cloud engulfed the shadowy forms as she darted through their circle. Hands reached at her, and tore at her cloak. She kicked at someone’s shin. She almost tumbled to the ground as she broke through. She ran on as fast as her feet would carry her, the pin feathers ready to break out along her spine. Behind her heavy footsteps thudded.
Her eyes darted about. Wasn’t there a tree she could slip behind or a bush she could dive into? Anything, as long as it hid her for a second. She sprang, and dove behind a giant boulder. A small thrush flew away as the shadows pounded to the rock.
“Catch that bird,” the cloaked figure shook his fist as he ran after her. Orange glowed around it. “Don’t let her get away.”
Skey flew out of the tree she had rested in, and winged her way west. She cringed as the shouts below followed her. She hadn’t been fast enough to hide, to make them believe she wasn’t the bird. She beat her wings harder, wincing at the burning in her shoulder. The sooner she found a noble’s castle to hide in, the better.
* * *
That's the end of Chapter Three Part Two. I hope you enjoyed it. For right now, Thorn Changer is available exclusively on Amazon. Feel free to share this excerpt, just please include all text between the asterisks (* * *), as well as a link to Thorn Changer's Amazon page. This will give your viewers a link to where they can purchase Thorn Changer if they're interested. Thanks.
Chapter Three Part Three will be available tomorrow.