TITLE: This Violent Beauty
GENRE: Young Adult
Life should be simple for Anna Morrow. Black and white, right and wrong, real and imaginary. She shouldn't be seeing winged children in the woods. She shouldn't be haunted by her dead brother. She shouldn't wonder about the outside world. But she is, and nothing is simple anymore.
They were only stories. Tales to meant to thrill on a howling winter night. That's all. No more than that. At least, that's what I keep telling myself as I hurry down the road. I despise the dark, always have. The trees aren't as kind under the moon, and the world I thought I knew reaches for me with menacing fingers. The breath catches in my throat when a leaf blows across the gravel, and I falter. The heel of my boot balances precariously on a stone jutting out of the ground. I stumble. "Stories, only stories," I whisper with a tremble in my voice.
But are they only stories?
I grab the edges of my coat and bring them together, shivering there in the middle of the road. I can't bring myself to move, even though I know I need to. There's only a slight breeze tonight. Wisps of my wild hair blow into my eyes. I huddle with trembling lips and a cowering heart. Just stories. Only stories.
Isn't there a grain of truth to every story?
I drag the hair away from my face and look around. The shadows stare back and the trees stand in wait, silent, ancient predators. My breath comes faster now, creating white clouds in the air, and I lift my eyes to the moon. The glowing rock is almost full, peering down at me from its soft, safe blanket of black sky. I wish it could speak to me, tell me that there is no danger in being alone in these woods at this moment, that the tales my brother used to tell me are only fabricated.