Dedicated to: those who have been abducted, trafficked, abused, and murdered; the families who have lost someone; and the sheepdogs who fight to save them. May your souls find peace.………………………………………….There is a sinister evil hidden in the shadows. Some do not know of its existence yet others are haunted by it every waking moment and every sleepless night.
The legends say that it arrives quiet like the wind, lurking in the shadows as the darkness sets upon the earth each night. It leaches into towns through the smallest of cracks and festers, growing like a fungus that makes everything rot in its path.
A sudden opportunity to flee presents itself to Paisley. Something within her commands her to run. As if guided by the hand of God, she finds shelter in the town of Biernhard and through a man named Grayson.
As Paisley begins to come to grips with her past and embrace a new life for herself, the shadows creep back into her life and the town she calls home. Will this darkness conquer Biernhard and claim Paisley once again, or does the town have its own fortitude against the darkness that it is rumored to have battled and defeated many generations before?
“It’s so pretty!” a child squeals, rushing past Paisley, almost colliding with her.
She watches the children, wondering what they’re on about.
“Ooh,” several people chime in unison, stopping and glancing at the sky.
Paisley’s gaze follows theirs, and the second she sees the deep red splashed in the clouds, her mouth gapes and a sinking feeling pulls at her gut.
“What’s wrong?” Ida asks, coming up alongside her friend.
“Huh?” she hums, not bothering to look at the woman.
“What’s wrong, Paisley?” she repeats. “Is everything okay? It’s as if you’ve seen a ghost.”
Her hand extends up to the sky, shaking as it rises. “Blood moon.”
A few women shout, calling some names, but Paisley barely notices.
“I ain’t ever seen the sky like that,” Ida says. “It’s…eerily beautiful.”
“It’s an omen,” Eloise states, coming up alongside them.
Paisley’s head bobs as she gawks at the sky.
The rest of the women who are outside join them, standing all in a row, staring at the clouds and moon. Several whisper comments, but they drift with the wind, not affording Paisley the chance to catch what’s been said. It wouldn’t matter if they were audible. Paisley’s too far in her thoughts to have heard them away.
A low voice calls out in the distance, but none seem to hear it but Paisley. Her eyes shift across the way, wondering if they might be close by. The shadows dance when the trees sway with a breeze, sending a shiver down Paisley’s back. The voice continues, sounding as if there are others with it but it does not gain in volume.
The conversations that were inside the church and traveling beyond the door soften as many more townsfolk make their way outside. Bernard steps behind his wife, Grayson with Paisley, Hollister with Sybil, Otto with Ida, and every other man with a wife does the same.
“Lock your doors,” Paisley warns in the now silent night, curling her arms around herself.
“What?” Otto asks.
“Lock your doors tonight,” she states.
“Why?” Ida asks.
“It’s a blood moon,” Eloise states. “A full-blood moon.”
“What does that mean?” Sybil inquires.
“It means the bears will be protecting Biernhard tonight,” Evelyn says, making her way to her friends.
Several snicker in reply.
“Laugh all you want,” Evelyn says with a huff. “Paisley and Eloise are right. It’s a blood sky. It means blood will be had tonight. The darkness desires a soul.”
Martha Sweeney is a BESTSELLING author who writes in a variety of genres: romance (contemporary, romcom, suspense, paranormal and historical), suspense, fantasy, thriller, coloring books, and soon, science fiction. She strives to push herself as a storyteller with each new tale and hopes to push her readers outside of their comfort zone whether it be genre or the stories themselves.
With a B.S. in Psychology, Martha utilizes her knowledge of human and animal behavior successfully in the business world and in her writing to present realistic characters and situations. She's been creative since she was little, always drawing, coloring or making crafts, so her venture into being an author was a natural transition.
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