ARTEMIS: POISON OF HERA book chapter 1 exerpt Picture

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~Beast of the Darkness~

I awoke into darkness. The pain was instant. My entire body was cloaked in agony. I tried to cry out but only choked sobs could escape my cracked lips. Where on earth am I? Why can’t I move? What has happened to me?

My mind tried to go somewhere else. I wanted to free myself from the pain and the foul taste of bile in my mouth. My chest pulled in shorter breathes. Little by little, the pain dripped away into a heavy numbness. It reminded me of sand steadily slipping through an hour glass. My final hour. That is what this was. The dire hopelessness in my very soul melted into acceptance.

I could see my mother’s face. Her big, dark eyes were beaming as the warm breeze made her long, raven hair dance. I could almost taste the sweet summer air that wove in and out of the tall, luscious trees around us. The moss gave way to the soft soil. I could smell the dirt. I took the aroma in through my nose in heavy gulps. The forest was my sanctuary. I could almost feel the sun on my cheeks, washing me in its rays as it peaked through the canopy. It felt so real . . . too real.


My eyes shot open and I turned my face toward the warmth. The pain was real again. But so was the sun. Its early morning beams pierced through the darkness and painted the path to my world. I cried out to the sun, almost wishing the sun itself were going to swoop down and carry me away from here.

A new found strength and courage began coursing through me. I placed my only working hand firmly on the stone, pushing with the power of adrenaline. To my disbelief, my body rose. Careful not to twist my torso, I sat up. With the rest of the life left in me that I could muster, I rose to my knees. I laughed in triumph through my tears and ascended to my feet. The crippling pain was no match for my determination to escape now.


With one staggering step at a time, I came closer to freedom. The buzzing of the insects and rustling of the trees made my heart dance. The gasps of air I took were labored and nearly trapped in my lungs with excitement.

As I approached the opening, there stood a creature that went almost unnoticed. It was a stag, glorious and unmoving. His long, lean body stood tall, and his antlers even taller. His sleek, soft-brown fur was, oddly, still riddled with fawn spots. His large, brown eyes watched me as I dragged my lower limbs toward him. I stopped and we both stared at one another. I felt so at peace in his presence. It was as if he was waiting for me; waiting for me to rejoin him in the forest.


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