TITLE: Running Toward Illumia
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Astrea must flee Mist, the land of fog that's always been her home, when an old secret her parents kept threatens her life.
Astrea stalked the pure white creature, wondering how she would live with herself if she caught it. Unicorns were a rare sight in the Mist. This was the first one she’d ever seen. Vapors swirled away from its glittering silver sword of a horn, as if it had the power to dispel the fog entirely.
A red curl tickled her forehead, sticking to the sheen of sweat. The mud caked on her pale skin was starting to dry and crack, and she longed to scratch it off, but she didn’t dare move a muscle and spook her prey.
Her lungs strained against the warm, wet fog. Taking another careful step forward, Astrea gripped the reed, already loaded with a poisoned dart. She was close enough now, the musty smell of sweaty hide ambling through the still air. Its flank twitched, silky white tail slapping away flies.
Silently, she lifted the reed to her lips, her cheeks filling with air. One shot. She wouldn’t have time for another. Her hand shook. Stay true. For the tribe.
“What was that?”
The voice echoed in Astrea’s ears in an odd sort of way. She tensed, willing herself to pick up on the approaching footsteps, but the forest yielded no unusual sounds. If one of the youngers spooked the unicorn, that would be the end of it. Her face grew hot, her lips and grip tightening, but no further sound came.