Monday, December 3, 2012

Good morning to all...

 The weekend is over and Monday showed up without an invite. Five a.m. looks a lot like three a.m., or at least it did this morning. Continuing to write in my newest story and contemplating writing a short story, seven days/seven chapters, for Hubpages as I have done for a year or so. For now, I am posting an excerpt from the second story in the "Witches of the Forest" series. The title of that story is "One More Forever" and it is available for purchase. The Forest Has Ears is also available on Smashwords as well as all of my novels are.

 Please enjoy the excerpt, perhaps enough to want to read the full story.

Chapter Two

Rachel ran through the forest as fast as she could. Imps jumped in front of her to try to slow her advance. Tree branches reached out for her, their tips sharp as a razor, tearing her clothing and leaving claw marks on her back and neck. She tried to stifle her cries but some of the wounds were deep and terribly painful. Each time she screamed, the imps honed in on her sounds and tore at her a little more. She knew she needed to reach the cabin soon but her body needed healing before she could go on.
Rachel saw a tiny bridge hidden almost completely from view by shrubs and trees. The foliage encompassed the bridge as if it were protecting it from peering eyes. She knew this bridge and of its powers. Reaching the moss covered entrance; she quickly slipped underneath of it. A brook ran underneath and her feet were instantly soaked as she stepped into the clear water. Green, the color of grass, covered the underneath of the bridge. The stones on the bottom were invisible beneath the moss that for hundreds of years had kept it from the eyes of imps and demons. The light from the moon shone down in to the water, reflecting off the rocks that covered the bed of the brook. The movements of the water made it appear as if the moon were dancing, changing with each ripple of brook. Rachel was safe as long as she stayed under the bridge.
As she submerged herself in the cool waters, letting the wetness flow over her wounds, she could feel them closing as they healed. She felt her strength returning slowly. Lying on her back, the water fully covering all but her head, she thought about her Mother. Rachel was only six when her mother had taken her to the bridge the first time. She had fallen from a horse and broken her leg. It was a terrible injury and the bone from her leg had pushed through her skin, exposing it. Her mother had carried her through the forest and set her in the brook. She watched as her mother moved her hands back and forth in the water, slightly touching Rachel's knee each time. She heard her mother whispering words but could not truly hear what she was saying. As the bone began to move back under the skin, the pain subsided.
"Watch what I do daughter, for one day, you may need this water. There are things you must know before coming here alone.'
"Mother, I will never come here alone. I will have you with me and father too."
"No!" Her mother's voice was suddenly sharp and she sounded as if she were afraid. "You must never use this water for anyone but yourself. Your father does not have the gifts that you and I do. My gift was passed down by my mother as I pass it on to you."
"Are we witches, Mother? Is that why we have powers?"
"We do not call ourselves witches, though some may say we are. People fear witches and they would kill us if they thought we were witches. We simply say we are gifted."
"Yes mother, but are we witches? I won't tell anyone."
"Many years from now, you will have family that enters into a Coven. They will call themselves witches. One of your daughters will be the leader of the Coven. She will call upon the trees to help her and the cabin I have taken you too will be a safe haven for them."
"How do you know all of this, Mother?"
"I simply do. Remember this bridge because you will come here one day, alone, and it will heal you and give you strength you need to fight the evil that hides in the forest. There is great evil here but some of the trees are your friend. Call on them if you are ever in need. Only the dark forest harbors the evil ones. The cabin will always be protected and you may hide in it when you need to. There is also healing potions and incantations you will learn to use."
"But mother, why don't you just come with me?"
Rachel remembered the sadness in her mother's eyes. She had looked away without answering Rachel but not before Rachel had seen her tears.
A stone splashed in to the water, bringing Rachel back to reality. She jumped a bit when it hit the water. She looked in all directions to see where the stone had come from. She could feel her body was almost healed. The scratches and deep wounds were nearly gone now. Looking above her at the bridges ramp, she saw a man staring down at her. Startled, she grabbed her torn clothing and held them to her body. Her mind raced, searching for answers to so many questions... questions she was asking herself aloud. "How is it possible for him to see me? How is it he is even here?"
The voice was bass and intoxicating. The face, smiling down at her was handsome. Cold black hair, fluffed in the front like the tail feathers of a duck, eyes as blue as the ocean, that seemed to look directly in to her soul. When he spoke, a gentle tone greeted her ears.
"If those questions are for me, then I will gladly answer them. I can see you because I live in the forest, and may I say I was enjoying your beauty before you covered yourself. I am here because your mother sent me to you. I will guide you safely to the cabin, when you are ready to go."
Rachel looked up at him; her eyes squinted as if she were studying him. He reached his hand over the side of the bridge. Why she took his hand, she wasn't sure but his voice was calm and she knew he could be trusted. Standing, her hand clasped in his, she lost her hold on her clothing. As it fell to the water, she heard him gasp. Trying desperately to reach her clothing, she felt him pull her towards him.
"I have seen all of you when you were lying in the water. You, with your auburn hair, like the mane of a beautiful animal and your eyes, green as the emeralds that only rich men have, should be ashamed of nothing. You have the curves of the finest hourglass and the body to rival any Goddess. I am privileged to look on such perfection."
Rachel was entranced by his words. He handed her new clothing and she quickly covered herself with them. "I cannot waste time talking to you. I must reach the cabin soon."
"Then let us not waste any more time. I have a horse that will take us there. Ride with me and we will battle the forest creatures together."
Without a thought, Rachel climbed on the stallion and wrapped her arms around the man’s body. Leaning into him, she felt his warmth cover her body. "And what do they call you, my handsome savior?"
"I am known by my friends and foe as Jacob. As for being your savior, that remains to be seen. I too can be hurt by the evil that dwells with in this forest."
Without another word, he spurred his horse and they raced to beat the sunrise that was growing closer with each passing moment.



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