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The Bloodmoon Curse
By Karen Wiesner
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.Copyright © 2007 Karen Wiesner
All right reserved.
Chapter OneFebruary 18
Two weeks ago, I couldn't have imagined myself where I am now. I couldn't have imagined I'd ever leave you. Even now, I know it was only the thought of escaping my pain and helping these orphaned children that made me leave. I couldn't even say goodbye to you. I wasn't strong enough to explain why I couldn't live the way we'd been living ... not since I lost the baby. I couldn't take the implication that you blame me for the accident, just like your parents do. I didn't want to hear that your love for me is over. Or maybe I didn't want to face that I blame myself for everything that's happened, too.
Only now am I realizing what a great mistake it was to leave without a word. You know how hard it is for me to reach out for help, even when I need it desperately. I think about you constantly here, where there's no light, no hope. I'm a prisoner, along with these frightened children who only turned to me because they have no one else. In some ways, though, I think I was meant to come here. That the Lord led me here to help them. They've lost everything, just as I have. Here I'm not a burden or a failure. I've helped them. Simon would have died; Jack and Lydia would have been pale and lifeless eventually, just like Hannah, the strange maid who seems afraid of her own shadow.
These children have eased my losses in ways that I don't want to dwell on right now. What if I can't get them out of this place? What if-
Shuffling footsteps outside the nursery door caught Amberlyn's attention. She lifted her head from the letter she wrote by lantern light. In the cradle beside her, the baby stirred in his sleep. Amberlyn soothingly touched him, and he quieted. She turned toward the door once more. The uneasy sensation remained. She wasn't alone. Someone was just beyond, waiting. Watching her.
Unwilling to put stock in Katerina's ridiculous claims about a ghost who haunted Bloodmoon Manor, Amberlyn rose to her feet. Grabbing the lantern, she walked toward the door.
"Katerina?" she called, disliking the tremor in her voice.
As she expected, no reply came. Still, she couldn't convince herself she was alone. Katerina's words, filled with cruelty and relish, from earlier that day came back to her: "He wants you, my lovely. He's haunting you. Have you felt him? He watches you. Do you sense his excitement in the dark? He'll come for you. You'll be his precious to do with as he wishes ... until he destroys you. The first time he touches you, your skin will crawl. You'll never be clean again. He is evil. He puts evil inside you."
A scream rose in Amberlyn's throat as the shuffling footsteps in the hall came again, and the doorknob began to turn. The ghost! He was coming for her.
Excerpted from The Bloodmoon Curse by Karen Wiesner Copyright © 2007 by Karen Wiesner. Excerpted by permission.
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