TITLE: OF WINGS
GENRE: YA Fantasy
White fabric slapped against rafters as an arid breeze gusted through the open window. Phoebe stiffened—the wedding dress arrived this morning with a messenger and its presence mocked her every move, a stark reminder of the realities she faced tomorrow. Her skin crawled at the thought of General Skahill’s hands on her body, and a strangled noise came from the back of her throat. The only place that dress deserved to be was buried deep in the nearest dung pile.
With shaking hands, it only took a few moments to pack her scant wardrobe of threadbare tunics and the one cloak she’d been allowed to keep of her mother’s. Her heart twisted as she slammed the chest’s lid shut and slid down the ladder from the loft. She needed to get away, even if just for a few moments. Toes digging into the worn dirt floor, she dashed outside and glanced toward the trees that towered beyond the village. The forest beckoned her—it always did.
At the outskirts of the village, she hesitated to ensure no soldiers were posted on the road before sprinting toward the twisted trees. Ducking into the dark shelter of the forest’s canopy, she careened down a well tread trail leading to the river. When she reached the riverbank, she barely slowed as she yanked off her tunic and dove in. Icy water enveloped her, a shock that sucked the air from her lungs, and Phoebe’s eyes drifted shut as her body sunk toward the silty riverbed.