Title: Edge of Never Been Before
Genre: Women's Fiction
The mere possibility that the cougar was in Amelie’s vicinity gave her a shiver of exhilaration; it wasn’t clear who was stalking whom. Everyone is someone’s son or daughter, and the spirit-cat had inherited its otherworldly ways from its mother, just as Amelie was born with the earth medicine secrets of her mother and grandmothers.
Following the trail through the Slender Forest, she breathed deeply, savoring the aroma of pine needles blanketing the ground. The trees formed a canopy that all but blocked the breaking light of day. Only hardy mosses and earthy mushrooms survived in the darkness. But this place of serenity was not her destination.
On the porch the previous evening, she’d had a long-overdue conversation with her mother.
“Why don’t you go for me tomorrow morning?” her mother said, as if she invited her daughter to participate in a secret practice every day. Celia Waters walked the path each morning before the sun crested. On the outcrop in the middle of nowhere, she met her spirit-cat and the unseen energies that guided her.
“What? Why?” asked Amelie, remaining still but wanting to pace. “That’s what you do.”
“I thought you might want to.” Celia shrugged in a way that was not as nonchalant as she tried to seem.
Since Amelie had turned eighteen the previous spring, the invitation had been offered a few times. She always found an excuse to put it off, afraid meeting the spirit-cat would tie her to the life of a healer.