Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Jared Southwick would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Marysvale

By Jared Southwick All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Prologue

Great torrents of hot wind roared through the dark woods, whipping up dust and debris. Try as he might, the young boy kept getting dirt in his eyes, while branches ripped at his clothes and scratched at his face. Ten-year-olds don’t get scared—or so he kept telling himself. Tears poured freely down his cheeks, as pangs of fear seized him. The sky swirled and churned with black, ominous clouds. They hung low over the treetops like a heavy blanket, withholding their rain and smothering the forest. Jagged streaks of lightning split the air with deafening cracks and rolling thunder. Everything looked the same. The north looked just as it did to the south, and both equally resembled the east and west. Even though it was noontime, the clouds had grown so thick that it felt well past eventide.

A faint sound touched his ears.

Was that a growl? He worried.

It was hard to tell over the deafening storm. His mind conjured up all kinds of ferocious beasts that surely lurked in the shadows, behind dense foliage and thick tree trunks—monsters he had fought countless times before in the safety of his own home and imagination.

There it is again! His heart stopped and he froze, afraid to move.

What is it? Where is it coming from?

He closed his eyes and strained his ears, listening intently. There, carried faintly on the wind was the sound.

Tepidly, he moved forward and listened again.

That’s no monster.  It sounds like…singing?

Blindly, he fought the wind. With arms up to protect his face from the thrashing branches, he continued to push his way through the woods toward the sound.

It has to be human, he thought. Encouraged, he plowed on.

Finally, the clouds burst. Sheets of rain drenched the ground, making it slippery and treacherous.

The song grew louder.

Almost there.

He wiped the stinging moisture from his face with a sleeve. In doing so, he failed to see the root that snagged his foot. Down he went, falling in the mud with a splat. He half slid, half tumbled down a small hill.

He came to a rest. A lightning bolt split the air overhead. Thunder shook the earth all around. So terrifying was it, he thought that trees would fall to the power of the storm.

It passed and he could tell the song was right there, close by.  

Not a song, he realized. It’s chanting.

He wiped the mud from his face and looked up, finding himself at the edge of a clearing. Before him, black-hooded figures, adorned in robes with silvery runes, swayed in a tight circular pattern as they chanted around a…

He couldn’t believe what he saw. His breath escaped in a small cry, drowned in another boom of thunder.

The figures didn’t hear him; but the monster did.

Its hulking, hairy form towered above the cloaked people; the lower half obscured by the circle of bodies surrounding it.

The boy poised to run; but the monster’s black eyes locked on his, momentarily transfixing him. They were wide, searching eyes—like those of a trapped animal.

Could it be afraid? wondered the boy.

The chanting grew louder, reaching a fevered pitch. The monster’s eyes rolled back in its head, exposing only the whites. The figures stopped their movement. One of them raised a blood-drenched dagger high above his head and shouted something in a strange language.

A dark, unnatural fear gripped the boy—the terror of some unnamed, ancient evil. He scrambled back, flight being his only thought. The monster bellowed a deafening roar, exposing teeth as long as hunting knives.

The boy screamed!

This time, he was heard.

Cloaked heads snapped around, searching for the source of the disturbance. Anger flashed across their faces as the boy stumbled back into the forest, desperate to flee the scene.

The figure holding the dagger pointed it at the retreating child and gave a blood-curdling yell. Instantly, two others gave chase.


Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

: This is a very interesting book - mostly because the heroine is quite charming and well rounded, and has very real issues to manage in her life. Most of all,. I loved the view inside of the life of a South Asian girl/woman, the emotional self-talk, the customs and preferences, the expectations a...

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

MavisMcQueen: "To Live Again" is a well crafted, highly engaging, heart vibrating tale surrounding our favorite Elven King. The author will keep you engrossed until the very end and by that time you will feel so strongly for Clara and the other characters that you will never want it to end...like ever. Thrandu...

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

Maria Appkova: I enjoyed the plot and the idea. and the need to change her awesome idea to save others people in city. and romance in the story involved. just romantic btw her and henri. Good work.

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

More Recommendations

summerstone: Seriously this is one of the best books I've ever read. The plot is intriguing, I love the narrative style. Its very descriptive and unique, with minimal cliches. It makes for a great read and the sequels are amazing. Totally worth reading. ^^ That's me trying to be professional. But in all hones...

Alice Liu: Whoa! I've been wondering how would the Maurauders react to Harry's life and here we go! YOU ARE THE BEST! All the characters are consistent with their personalities shown in the book! I love how you compare Lily with Molly and it's definitely true for her being a mother! I wish Peter comes have ...

MegaRogueLegend666: I love this story so much. It's impossible to describe my excitement with each new chapter in words. The author has such a good writing style, very good descriptions of the fighting and character descriptions/emotions. the plot is also amazing! This fanfic could be a side anime show or novel ......

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
Iosaghar

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."