The men slapping Father on the shoulder one by one signaled time to leave. That night I heard a side of Father I’d never known. My respect for him rose even greater. He was well known by his former townspeople. He protected them, served them, and cared about them. The men spoke to Father with reverence, at least the older ones with whom he had a kinship. None of them would have been there late into the night if they hadn’t sought his advice. But the beasts—they were real whether the men believed or not. I believed because Father said they were, and I’d heard their cries for months. The monsters’ wails had first invaded my mind the day I turned sixteen. How many heard their cries at night like me and never told a soul, afraid to be cast out of their village or burned for a heretic? A silent, deadly chill took hold of every bone and muscle. Small wonder he had not liked my monster tale the previous night. When father flung the barn door open, I had no time to think but run back home. Who knew what kind of scolding I would receive if I were caught? I had seen no women at the meeting, let alone children. Water descended in gleaming silver drops from the night sky, a gentle kiss on my face. I tightened my coverlet and ran against the frigid wind as fast as my legs would carry me. Boots pounded against the wet dirt as the rain poured heavier and thicker on the spongy Earth. My face went numb, and then my body, not just from the savage cold, but from my thoughts. They are real … real. Taller than life … claws like a beast … teeth as sharp as knives. I reached home with speed I never knew I had. Panting and desperate for air, I slipped inside quietly and walked with careful steps so as not to disturb Mother. Then I threw my coverlet across the bed and scooted under the damp blanket. My hammering heart slowed to a steadier beat but refused to calm. I had discovered much through the crack in the wall. Having early chores in the morning, I closed my eyes for sleep, shivering, but sleep would not come. Thoughts of monsters took hold of my mind. They are real.
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Author Mary Ting
International Bestselling/Award Winning Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. She also toured with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed. Website * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 9/27/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway