From Visions of the Witch by Tara West and Heather Marie Adkins. Releasing early 2013.
Above me, stars glinted in the black sky like a thousand eyes. There was no moon to light my path through the field, no pale glow to give me the strength and courage to continue, but continue I did.
My very life depended on it.
The stalks were taller than I was, and the ground soft enough to mask the sound of my leather shoes on the ground. I shoved through the corn, not caring whether I tore off leaves or cobs in my haste to find shelter. My long skirts twisted around my legs, hindering my forward movement just enough to frighten me. If I fell…
The running footsteps behind me might catch up.
I veered to the right, wondering if the field would ever end. I had done nothing but run for weeks, and I was so weary of the chase. How long would I have to hide myself for fear of condemnation? How far must I travel before finding peace?
I gasped for breath, the air burning my lungs. I could not run much longer. For the first time, I realized I may have reached the end of my days.
I burst through the edge of the corn patch. The sudden openness gave me pause, and I nearly fell before stumbling to a halt. I whirled around and waited to see if I could hear my pursuer crashing through the maize. The distant howl of coyotes was lonely in the night, accompanied only by the sound of my heavy breathing and the beat of my heart resonating in my ears.
Not a sound from the cornfield.
I backed away, my eyes trained on the benign stalks as they waved in a slight breeze. I was afraid to turn my back for fear he was watching me from inside, waiting for me to be at my most vulnerable.
Taking a deep breath, I sent a quick prayer to the spirits of my ancestors, and then turned away, poised to run for the nearest homestead and beg sanctuary.
I did not even manage a single step before strong hands encircled my throat.
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