Sarah stood on the edge of the hillside and stared into the ocean as it rhythmically beat upon the rocks below her. A full moon glistened in the sky above and shimmered upon the dark water, casting shadows upon the earth. Strands of Sarah’s dark hair blew in the gentle breeze. She grabbed the fluttering strands and twirled them into a bun at the back of her head, and then she pulled a long silver pin out of her skirt pocket and slid it through the bun, securing her hair. A quiver of arrows rested upon her back, and her thin bow hung at her side.
A rustle of leaves and branches crunched in the distance. Out of the woods crept a willowy Indian woman. She approached Sarah, her face smooth and serious. The moonlight shined off her black hair as it cascaded freely over her violet sari. “I am glad you are here, alone.” she said in a heavy accent. “I was not certain you would be able to get away.”
“They are asleep,” Sarah said softly. “Netra, why are you here? Things must be dire if you have been summoned.”
“Not everything is written in stone. Faith is your greatest ally.” Netra’s large gold earrings slowly jingled as she moved. “I have come to help you, the ones you love, and the village.” She tilted her head over her shoulder and looked into the valley at the little community that slept during the night. “It is not too late.”
“There is still time,” Sarah said. She reached up and touched her neck, her fingers caressing an ornate charm that hung on an intricate chain. “We will talk to them again. We will take her by force if we must. We will help her understand who she is.”
“That will not help,” Netra said. “The Reapers want a sacrifice. They want blood. They will destroy this village, and then they will hunt you down. They will not be satisfied until they taste Asteri blood.”
“You do not know that,” Sarah said stubbornly. Her hand left the charm and trailed down her burgundy bodice.
“I do. I saw it.” Netra stepped closer to Sarah and wrapped her dark fingers around Sarah’s golden hand. “You know I see things. It is my gift.”
“What am I supposed to do?” Sarah shook her head, her eyebrows drawn together. “Please, tell me. How do I stop them?”
“They want a sacrifice. You must give it to them.” Netra stared into Sarah’s eyes. “Let them taste the blood they desire, and you can save hundreds of lives. The power is in your hands.” Netra pulled a tiny turquois and gold bag out of her petticoat pocket. “I know a spell that can save you all. Do you trust me?” The golden bangles on her dark hands rattled as she shook the tiny bag.
Sarah studied the bag. “What magic do you have?”
“It is not magic. It is life,” Netra whispered.
Sarah reached out and touched the bottom of the bag and squeezed it ever so gently. “You hold life in a bag?”
About the Author
Story time always captivated Karen. As a child, she fell in love with books that transported her to different worlds and introduced her to new creatures. As a teacher, she encouraged her students to explore different times and new worlds through literature. Now, when Karen isn’t living in reality with her husband and daughters, she can be found creating an alternate reality filled with creatures and worlds that she hopes will delight and raise goose bumps on her readers.