I'm almost finished the next book in our Watcher series and very excited about it (and I'm sure my publisher is as well. lol). So in celebration of this, I am going to share a snippet from the next book in the series.
I hope you all enjoy it.
She is out on her nightly walk, tapping her cane in front of her every few steps so she isn’t surprised by a protruding tree root or, even worse, animal droppings. The woods surrounding West Hawk Lake smell delicious this time of year as the spring thaw breathes life back into the vegetation.
As she hits her cane on the fallen pine tree marking the halfway point on the path, she turns to go back. Suddenly, she hears heavy footsteps somewhere in the distance in front of her.
She stops. Listens.
The footsteps stop too.
She taps her cane around in front of her, then moves forward. After only a few steps, she hears the stomping again. They are closer now, and to her left.
She stops again, listening.
With each step, there’s a faint squeaking from the motion of rubber-soled shoes sliding against the wet vegetation.
They stop again.
Her heart thumps against her ribs. Trying to keep her other senses about her, she focuses on the water sloshing on her right and the crickets chirping ahead of her. She scrapes her cane slowly from one side of her all around in front of her feet, then over to her other side.
A branch snaps to her left, then the brush rustles.
“Hello? Is someone out there?”
She’s answered by the crickets’ conversation.
She swallows hard and takes a deep breath, trying to calm her nerves. As she taps her cane on the path and steps forward, it’s ripped from her hands. Adrenaline explodes in her stomach as panic overtakes her. Without her only form of eyes, she is lost.
“Please. I need my cane. Who is there?”
She puts her arms out in front of her, moving her hands around to find some familiarity. She turns her body to the left, feeling around for…anything. She starts to cry as panic turns into fear with not knowing where she is, or who else is out there.
As she turns around a bit more, she feels intense pain in her forearms. The creaking noise from the force of the object hitting her arms told her it was her cane. Before she had a chance to beg for mercy, another blow struck the back of her knees, and she crumbles onto the forest floor.
A scream freezes in her throat as blow after blow falls on her—back, ribs, face and head. She hears one crack after another strike her back, then feels two objects dropping on either side of her head.
She can’t move. Every part of her feels limp. She whimpers, trying to drag her body away, but is helpless.
The footsteps move away from her body to somewhere beyond her feet. She hears the sound of rocks banging together, then the footsteps getting closer to her again. Still unable to move, tears flood her eyes and slip over the bridge of her nose, dripping onto the ground.
After a minute of hoarse breathing, she senses something on either side of her head. She smells a mix of rubber and dirt. Terror explodes throughout her battered body as she realizes her assailant is standing over her. She tries with all the strength left in her to cry out, but one last heavy strike on her head silenced her.
She feels nothing.
She sees a deeper darkness.
She feels darkness.
The last thing she hears is the heavy footsteps stumbling deeper into the woods until they are too far away to detect.
Her silent cries are finally heard from the only ears able to detect them.
The Watcher is high above the trees on his singing cliff. His eyes are closed, tears trailing down his mahogany, wrinkled cheeks as he sings his water song to the lake.
Two voices call to him this time. One is faint, as her spirit has been waiting many years, finally awakened by another’s death. The other is much clearer, as her voice is new.
We are here.
He opens his eyes, reaching up to the night sky.
Hear our voices, Wise One.
He opens his eyes, reaching out to the water.
“It begins again.”