This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The forest with its darkness hides what little we truly know of it, and under its canopy death awaits. . . .
It is a cold, unfeeling place where nightmares do exist and monsters read from fairy tales live.
I was there, in the middle of such a place, alone and lost, not knowing how or why, but soon those reasons would show their face.
I awoke to find myself starring up into a blacken abyss, shrouded under leaves that soon would die, fall and decay . . . like death. Droplets of water splattered my face blurring, sending chills throughout and rendering my clothes damp and heavy.
As I became more alert, I sat up and adjusted to the darkness that surrounded me. This wasn’t home where I previously had been and I tried to recall what had happened to make me wind up here outside.
The dank smell of dead leaves, earth and ground permeated the air and made still the creatures there in . . . except one.
I felt its presence, it gnawed at my fear, forcing it forward, but I held back. This thing was feeding itself off my emotions and so I closed my mind to all things visible and invisible, he would not win out.
Pressing harder and harder, its mind, its feral presence tried to break through to the bonds that held shut what was me, my thoughts, fears and emotions. It was a battle unto its own and fought it I did, but barely.
In one solitary moment of sheer madness, where I could no longer be silent, I bellowed my constraints, my voice as it were and let it be known that I would not fall prey to some repugnant creature that hid in the shadows like a coward. Where be this monster, this foul stench that it was? That played me as a fool . . . “Come out! Show yourself!”
Then silence, like a powerful sword pierced the solitude of the night and all living souls whose songs carried the night, were quieted too. And so there I was, in the middle of what would deem nothingness. My heart beat so, that it was the only song I heard . . . beating, beating its life source loudly. My throat caught as I heard a crackle before me.
In the blackness, eyes, blood red loomed there in front. Whose coveted death starred back at me. Muscles rigid out of fear as it slowly came from the depths. It was hideous, the color of decay, a grayish matter, with pustules oozing stench that would make the strongest man weak. It smiled as it felt my fear grow stronger. Its teeth, brown, broken and in different heights of instability wiggled as a low guttural laugh came up from its belly.
“What delights have we here?” Drool fell from its mouth, as a groveled voice resounded forth.
Bravery answered back, “I am not this delights you speak of!”
“Bold I see, but stupid. If you knew what I could do, you’d hold your tongue. As it were, I like this spiciness. It’ll make the kill all that more enjoyable.” Again, a laugh from deep within gurgled, its tone, rich and dark.
I had no weapon to speak of, it was I and I alone who had to deal with what fate had dealt me. It was most cruel, for I already felt defeated, but I still stood there, nevertheless, defying my death.
It moved closer, dragging its heavy feet along the dirt clad ground. Bits of small, dead branches, crunched under its heaviness, which sent chills crawling down my spine. Inches from my face it breathed in, savoring every scent that was I. It’s hot, repulsive breath stuck to my skin, thickly as its feral habits reminded me of a troll, slobbering as it walked around sizing me up, like I was a prize to be won, a prize to be eaten. I kept watch, planning a course of action that I could take when given the chance.
“Small boned I see not much meat either, but it’s the small creatures that have the most flavor. You will do, yes, you will do nicely.” The mere thought of being eaten, alive set my nerves on edge. “Nervous are we?” He noted happily.
Mad that I had let my fears to be known, my eyes caught sight of a bush. A bush that I had not seen in a long time and thought that they no longer existed, I was wrong and as it t’were, grateful for the find. The only trouble now is that it was several feet in front of me. I hid my joy not only from my face, but from inside and placed myself back into a stupor of graveness that would befit my situation, until I could figure out a plan.
Snippily, he snorted, and turned his back on me. This was it, my one and only chance. Grabbing a stone on the ground I threw it to the creatures left side. It rattled branches as it soared through the thicken growth before landing.
“Who goes there?” Calling loudly as it turned toward the noise.
As I had planned, the creature went in to investigate. The bush, in full view now enticed me to run forth and take hold of the red berries that hung heavily upon its branches. With a deep breath I took off, but not fast enough, for the creature, unbeknownst to me, was quite fast and grabbed my ankle. I fell, just barely out of reach of one its branches.
“You are foolish. Did you think you could outwit me? Did you?” His skin, whose pallor, changed, from gray to blood red and eyes that now enlarged to twice their size, was in fumed.
I said nothing as I inched myself backward, reaching, nearing the fruit that would aid me.
His grip on my ankle soon became tighter as he raised my leg toward his gaping mouth. No longer were its teeth broken ones, for they now took on the appearance of fangs, long and sharp. Breath hot, coated my skin as saliva dribbled out from its mouth, touching my skin. It was like acid, which burned, and bubbled to a consistency like that of pudding. Flesh fell to the ground, in masses of red and black matter. I had not felt pain such as this and screamed loudly.
Then its teeth, sharper than any knife, bit down and broke through muscles, tendons and bones. It gnawed like a saw, back and forth till it had my foot in its mouth complete. I could not bear it any longer. It chewed happily, still holding onto my leg. Bits of flesh and bone fell as I clung on, trying not to faint, but it was the only salvation I had, it beckoned me to come, to find my release in it.
“No!” And shoved backwards, hard, releasing my leg from it grasp and grabbed a handful of berries.
“Hungry are we?” Again, a laugh from his belly came out in fits of craftiness that it was enough to empower what was left of me, to take back my life.
“No, but you are!”
As it came down for another bite, I shoved the berries into his mouth and down his filthy throat. It startled him, then gasping for breath, coughed and coughed, but the berries were unforgiving, they did what berries do best . . . grow.
It took a step back, holding its throat. Paralyzed with fright, its eyes bugged out as the very breath, the very life was being taken out, slowly . . . painfully and with that life, new life emerged from out of its mouth. Green, spindly vines that slithered out, searching for light and reaching higher as vines, larger than the first came out from its ears and soon its head. It was a death like no other and I relished it.
When the creature was no more a viable thing of life, I took the same berries and rubbed them on my wound and within minutes it healed itself clean. Although I had no foot, I would not die. You see, the berries from the Giving Bush does what one wishes, nothing more, nothing less.
CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...
maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...
ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...
Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...
Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...
ArgyrisMetaxas: Thrilling story which builds layer ontop of layer. A few mis spellings every few chapters. What I found special was that it took a modern day problem and took it to its logical conclusion and plays this realism with gritting precision. I'm always on edge ready to shout from adrenaline. This is gr...
kwilliams: I am an avid reader, and I do mean AVID and few indie authors capture my attention the way you have. I absolutely fell in love with these characters and their story. I'm usually not a fan of the cliff hanger endings (be it a series or not), but this one made me download the Kindle app just so I c...
makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...
Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...
Satabda Chatterjee: Each and every charecter develops during the whole course of the journey and keeps secretly love for the princess . However the way that writter expressed each situatuons that the princess faced quite relevant and keeps the suspense always at the end of the chapter. . . .which makes the reader m...
Jhiane Rabang: The story was so interesting. I loved how the story has plot twists that I can't expect. IT IS VERY HARD TO FIND A BOOK LIKE THIS so I suggest you read this book and I will tell you that it is worth every single second while you read this book. I can't wait to read the rest of the story.
genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...