This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Many years later Myrtle ran home along the lane, frightened in the dark. All she could hear was the thudding of her heart and the pound of blood, drubbing in her ears. She stopped, trying to catch her breath, trying to listen, to hear anything at all. But the night was still and quiet and Myrtle breathed slowly at last. She had recently become sport for the local boys. The vicar’s son spotted her once, when he could not sleep and Myrtle had been running through the water-meadows, still between the worlds, half-woman and half-hare. And so for the rest of that wretched summer, she pined indoors each evening, smelling the stink of boys from across the fields, still hunting her with their cider-apple mouths, stolen tobacco and the musky civet of young men, listening to their raucous jokes and high-pitched laughs.
Myrtle didn’t roam again until the next summer, carefully down to the brook under the shadow of Alder and Hawthorne, where she could still run as wild as she liked without being afraid. And so the story faded a little every year. But then the vicar’s boy, having married the Landlord’s daughter and grown stout, changed the name of the village pub to The Silver Hare and so the story was brought back to life, retold and embellished, in the way that tales told in the bar will be.
Myrtle was heartbroken. No more could she leave her woman-skin behind, all that flaccid, white flesh left idly on the foot-stool. But still the rumours spread far beyond the village, in thin streams as slippery as eels and so the hunters came seeking Myrtle. The vicar’s boy died and instead his son welcomed the rich strangers, taking them on night-hunts, sometimes finding an old or injured badger and shooting it for fun.
But one fine May evening, all gold and purple, with the songs of the blackbirds and robins ringing under the lilac, Myrtle had stolen out. Her fever was too much to be ignored, her longing for the green way and the dog-fox and all the other small creatures, whom she counted as her friends. Myrtle shrugged off her skin and slipped into the lovely, dewy fields, feeling the quickness of life in the spring earth and dancing with joy to be free. One of the hunters saw the beautiful, silver hare leaping through the high-powered sights of his rifle. The noise of the gun ricocheted through the valley and for a brief moment everything stopped. And then the agony roared in. The bullet had caught Myrtle’s thigh and pain caused her to limp, faster and faster, until finally she crouched, exhausted in the brambles and far from home, lost and afraid.
My Grandmother said that if she hadn’t found her, Myrtle would have died. The young girl had been dawdling to school, going the country way, delighting in the night-magic still lingering in the hollows and knolls, when she found the silver hare. So she went home again, with the injured animal cradled carefully in her arms.
‘Don’t die little one, I’ll look after you.’ My grandmother whispered to the creature, as she carefully fed water to the hare and made her a nest of cushions. And many miles away, the hunters broke into Myrtle’s house and the morning sunlight struck her woman-skin, lying loose on the foot-stool where she always left it. It shimmered a moment, for the briefest of seconds, before falling to the floor in a handful of silver fur.
And that was how Myrtle came to live with our family. She still loves to run wild and likes being brushed with the big, pewter hair-brush that was my Grandmother’s. Myrtle’s here now, a touch of grey around her muzzle, as I pour her some tea into the saucer. My own long-eared daughter lurches around in my stomach, conceived on All Hallow’s Eve when the veil between the worlds is thinnest. Myrtle nestles down against my belly and they kick each other, gently and sweetly, like the oldest of friends. And in dreams, my daughter runs smiling towards me, half-woman and half-hare.
Lizzie Upson: I absolutely LOVED this book. I loved how you took your time to let us get to know the characters and how you showed Matilda slowly falling for Knut. Is there a sequel? I need to find out what happens! Some errors in punctuation and spelling but they would be corrected in editing.
Diyfamilygarden: This is one of the best books I've ever read! The characters, the unique love and everything else in this book is so well written that it feels like you're there! Like you can see it with your own eyes! J.K.Rowling can watch out, this fantasy book is just as good as the Harry Potter books, maybe ...
sarahsweet898123: I loved the story ... its was fascinating. ... cant put it down.... the way it was written....was so beautiful. .. the details. .. especially the characters. ..I loved them so much ... Garrick and mairi... every time there was some kind of attraction. ... just cant help it .... no words to express
Kasei Bulloch: At the beginning I wasn't very into the story but I kept reading and was more hooked than I was with Battle of the Wills. All of a sudden I had devoured chapter after chapter then the book was over. I am dying for The Compact. Please help a girl out!
Oru Manna: Within this tale is a cast of characters with intensely unique voices and personas; each one radiating their own desires so clearly, you would think they were all written by different people. Their behaviors, their speech patterns, even their thoughts are so independent of one another, it really ...
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...
Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...
Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...
cristalyn enriquez: I love the plot of the story and the way how the author describe each character,especialy Elias he's so hot!. I've red this story 4 times and I never get tired of it😊. but I think you must practice your grammar and avoid using the same word over and over. like the word "wonder",because it's an...
catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.
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!"
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."