Tonight Mossy would stand by the Lammas’ fire. She would recite the words, take the candle, then walk into the darkness alone. Tonight everything would change. Tonight she would find her future . . .
Mossy blew out a breath and pushed herself from a jog to a lope. One thing was certain, if she didn’t stop worrying about tonight and start focusing on running, her future wouldn’t include varsity cross-country.
A pair of varsity runners passed Mossy on her left. She willed her legs to move faster, but her muscles tightened and she dropped to the back of the pack. By the time she reached where the jogging path started up the forested hill, she was a good fifty yards behind the team.
As the other runners disappeared over the hill’s crest, Mossy stopped running and hunched over in the middle of the path, hands on her knees, dizziness pulling in around her as she struggled to catch her breath. Of all days, why did practice have to start today?
The thud of a runner’s footsteps came back down the hill toward her. “You okay?” Bethany’s voice asked.
Mossy looked up at her older sister. “I feel like I’m going to puke.”
“I told you to pace yourself.”
“That’s not it.” Mossy took a gulp of air to steady her voice. “I keep thinking about tonight.”
“Why don’t you skip the rest of practice?” Bethany nodded at the forest, indicating the direction of their house. “Take the short cut home.”