<- This an excerpt taken from ‘In Shengale Forest’, the first book in the ‘Prue Peppiatt’s Dreams’ series. Copyright to Amy Lisa Holmes at Alisah Creative ->
I sit back to rest against an aqua-green tree trunk. That’s when I hear the music.
It’s so sweet, like a lullaby; filling my chest with a happy feeling. It sounds almost like a woman’s voice. A woman, in the forest? Could it be the nurse-angel from earlier? Almost as if I am sleepwalking, my body picks itself up and staggers through the trees. Where is the voice? A golden glow appears up ahead, glittering upon a small pond. My chest burns with excitement as I get closer. The music grows louder. There are tears in my eyes, blinding me. But I don’t need to see. All I need to do is to listen… forever and ever…
Words drift towards me, dancing on the wind.
“Beware the song of the Nightingale.”
I look down in surprise when I feel a cold wetness spreading up my legs. Suddenly, the music is gone and the golden glow is wiped away, leaving the world silent and grey. I am standing in the middle of the pond. And I am not alone.
A ripple moves towards me on the surface of the water. Something is coming and it’s so big and powerful that the ripple is turning into a wave. The water pushes against me and I try to step back, but my legs won’t move. The mud is up to my ankles, cementing me to the bed of the pond. As I struggle, clouds of mud and weed float up and spread across the water, concealing whatever creatures are lurking within.
The waves come closer. It’s almost here. I manage to free one leg and I kick at the water to force the other one free.
The waves grow taller, towering above me, until it is no longer a wall of water, but of teeth.
I scream so loudly I nearly burst my own eardrums. My second leg is freed just as the creature of teeth roars and gnashes its pointy-whites, snapping its jaw shut over where my arm was a second ago. I kick hard, but only sink into the water. Muddy pond water streams through my nose and I choke for air. I can’t get away, the monster is too fast. It roars again and something else roars in response. My heart sinks even further. There are two of them!
The teeth snap at me again and I fall backwards. Water splashes over my head and up my nose. I snort and cough, my nose and throat stinging. This is it. This time, death has caught up with me. There is a trembling movement in the air above my head and the monster lets out a bellow. This time, its scream is one of pain. I look up, my heart thudding against my chest. The teeth are inches from me. In the centre of the fanged mouth, an arrow is lodged, deep in the flesh of the throat. Blood sprays across my face as it howls again.
Time to make an exit. I half swim, half crawl to the edge of the pond. When I pull myself up onto dry land, I look back at the monster. It thrashes around, its great fish-like tail slapping the bloody water in every direction. Slowly, it seems to accept defeat and shudders, going still. As I watch, it begins to sink as the murky depths of the pond make its claim.
There’s no sign of another monster. So what made that second roar? And where did the arrow come from? I peer around, scrunching up my eyes to see in the fast approaching twilight. A movement catches my eye, moving fast through the trees, away from me.
“Wait!” I shout. Who would bother to save my life and then run away? Well I’m blooming going to run after my saviour… so that’s what I do.
But it’s as if the forest has conspired with my mysterious rescuer, doing everything in its power to keep me away…
The tree branches whip me in the face as though they are trying to hold me back…
Roots curl at my feet, sending me staggering all over the place…
Then a huge animal jumps into the path before me and I skid to a halt to avoid what could have been a painful crash.
- By Amy Lisa Holmes at Alisah Creative
<- This an excerpt taken from ‘In Shengale Forest’, the first book in the ‘Prue Peppiatt’s Dreams’ series. Read the first extract here and the third here. Copyright to Amy Lisa Holmes at Alisah Creative ->