New Ickford Manor

New Ickford Manor

by Anthony Stevens



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780981714493
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc
Publication date: 04/23/2008
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

The lone wolf below was aged, too feeble to run with the pack, but a deadly threat nonetheless. She was dressed poorly and her perch in the small tree offered little defense. She would surely become the wolf's next meal when she grew too tired to cling. Age and injury made the animal patient. He growled softly as her screams echoed and became lost in the dense forest.

She knew nothing of the range of the hunter's bow. He merely watched and waited for a good, clear shot as the wolf paced about the base of the tree.

She saw her pale hands glistening in the soft autumn sun as she rubbed tears from her cheeks. An iron-tinged tang of blood trickled across her tongue as she gnawed at her lip and she fought to suppress a further involuntary scream.

The hungry beast continued to pace beneath her leather-clad feet, low guttural growls rumbling from its throat. She clung to the tree, her slender frame pressed tightly against the reassuring strength of the trunk, unaware of the pain as fingers desperately gripped the rough bark.

A small silver knife, crafted in the image of a crescent moon, symbol of her faith, hung from the waist belt. It had been used merely for the cutting of herbs, and was no defense at all against the feral creature below. Despair washed over her in nauseating waves as she realized she would soon collapse and be eaten.

Then despair gave way to sudden panic as a new horror gripped her thoughts. She pressed her forehead against the bark, screwed her eyes tight and battled to keep from releasing the sobs building deep within as she asked herself, "Who would notice I was gone?"

Both parents were dead from consumption, and the church had driven herfrom the village to live alone on the edge of the woods. It could be days or moons, even, before anyone noticed she was missing.

A soft whimper escaped trembling lips as the realization struck home.

Again, she asked herself, "Even when they did notice, who would care?"

She heard father's soft, soothing voice in her mind and fought to control the rapid breathing. It came now in shallow, gasping half sobs. He had taught her as a young child, to never to let an animal sense her fear.

But that was then, when she'd had him by her side, his bow slung over his strong shoulders. Now she was alone, and frightened--

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