Thanks to my twitter friend, Madison Woods (@Madison_Woods), I have now joined in the Teaser Tuesday fun! For those that don't know, Madison created a hashtag thread on twitter (#teasertuesday) where writers can post a teaser about anything from published works to works in progress. I'm so excited about the idea for many reasons. First, I have so many extended scenes from Asteria that never made it in the book and I'd love to share. Second, I'd love some feedback with works in progress. And third, I've always wanted to write snippets from the other characters' perspective (mainly Gavin, Edna, and Elias). Now that's a lofty goal and I'm not sure I'll have the time, but hey, a girl can always dream!
At any rate, I thought I'd start with something from The Light of Asteria.
"Sophie?" I hollered as I headed into the darkness. "Is that you?"
The air became heavy. I glanced back, surprised by the distant flicker of colored bulbs. I was farther from the festival than I thought. Adrenaline rushed, and my heart found its way to my throat as my senses heightened. I had never been scared of the dark, but I now had a deeper understanding of the world, and there was definitely something unnatural about this night. I stepped into the forest wall, straining to look through the tangle of underbrush. The stench of rancid dirt clung to the stagnant air; a shiver ran down my spine. Leaves shuffled to the left, and white noise moved in stereo back to the right. Gray clouds smothered the moonlight, and the distant sounds of the calliope suddenly muffled as slid out of pitch as if the batteries were running low. A black figure darted through the trees. Panicked, I backed away from the forest and sprinted towards the zoo.
The lights flickered and then went off. Assurances rang out among the squeals of surprise as the carnival froze in the darkness. I couldn't see an inch in front of my face. My heart hammered in my chest as I blindly ran forward. The toe of my sneaker found a root, and I tumbled. Pain shot through my elbow as the sharp edge of a rock pierced just below the bone. I grimaced, feeling warm blood trickle down my arm. Physical pain broke the icy terror that gripped my heart, and determination flamed through me. This new instinct screamed that Sophie was out there and she needed me. As the moonlight once again washed over the field, I marched back toward the west. A large hand wrapped around my injured elbow, stopping my progress. Heat radiated through my arm. Familiar warmth nudged my heart.
He pulled my back to his chest and wrapped his other arm around my waist. The determination that a moment ago recklessly ruled the center of my being was immediately replaced with a calm assurance.
"Wait," he quietly commanded, his voice close to my ear.
"Please ... if Sophie's out there, she's lost and all alone ... and I think I saw a black panther or something ... I know that sounds crazy; it's only a myth ... but there was definitely something out there." I started toward the trees once more, but his gentle grip stayed firm.
The lights flickered in the distance, and the hum of the generators echoed off the forest wall. The calliope ramped back up, and Judge Alan's voice echoed over the loudspeaker that they had fixed the breaker.
"I believe I see something," Gavin pointed to the right, a small bright pink shirt stumbled out from the underbrush.
"Sophie, honey is that you?"
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