by Cathi Shaw
After successfully escaping Séreméla, Thia, Kiara and Mina agree to meet in the newly created safe haven of The Refuge. As a precaution they take different paths to their destination, only to find that those paths force them even farther away from one another. As one pitfalls and dangers after another emerges, they are once again left to wonder if there is anyone they can trust and if they will ever uncover the secrets of the Prophecy.
“Teague!” she called into the cold howling wind but her words were caught and swirled around before being blown away. “Teague!” she called again feeling hopeless but yet at the same time sensing that this dreamscape wasn’t as empty as it had been the last time she been here. It was almost as if there was a sinister presence lurking behind the bare tree trunks.
Suddenly, just ahead of her, a dark shadow moved through the trees. “Teague?” she called moving in the direction that the shadow was standing. The shadow ignored her and moved deeper into the forest. Thia could hear it muttering as she followed it. It was making strange guttural noises that didn’t sound quite human and yet were eerily similar to Teague’s voice. She picked up her pace, ignoring the bare branches that were grabbing at her arms as if to hold her back.
And then the shadow was gone, vanished into thin air. Thia blinked unable to believe her eyes. She scanned the skeletal forest in front of her but saw nothing. She wondered if it had been Teague and if he had shifted out of this dreamscape. After a moment’s hesitation, Thia decided that she would shift to the riverbank and see if she could find him there. She stopped, turned around and the shadow swooped at her out of nowhere, grabbing her by her neck and slamming her painfully against a tree trunk.
Why are you following me? It was Teague but not the Teague she knew. This Teague had wild crazed eyes, their silver color glinting with an emotion Thia couldn’t name. He pulled back his lips and hissed at her as his fingers closed more tightly over her throat.
Thia tried to speak but her throat was being crushed and only gasps were escaping her lips. Her hands went to Teague’s arms trying to break the grip but his arms were like steel. She began to panic and then remembered she didn’t need to speak with words.
Teague let me go! His face tightened in fear and confusion as his fingers increased the pressure and Thia saw dark spots begin to fill her field of vision. Teague, its me, Thia.
His eyes rolled in his head crazily as he kept the grip on her neck tight. Stop trying to get into my head. He snarled the words and shook her slightly.
The black dots began to join and completely cloud her vision. In terror, she suddenly realized that Teague was not going to let her go. In fact he seemed determined to choke the life out of her. And if she died in a dreamscape she didn’t know if she died in the waking world as well.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Cathi Shaw lives in Summerland, BC with her husband and three children. She is often found wandering around her home, muttering in a seemingly incoherent manner, particularly when her characters have embarked on new adventure. In addition to writing fiction, she has taught rhetoric and professional writing Okanagan College, The University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. Cathi is the co-author of the textbook Writing Today. Finding Refuge is the second book in her Marked Ones series. You can read more about Cathi on her website (http://cathishaw.com). You can also find her on Twitter (@cathishaw) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheMarkedOnesSeries).