Snippet 01 from: Crow – The Awakening

Here is a small section from the first book in my Crow series: Crow – The Awakening. Steven is a ridiculously bright boy who was obsessed with finding his biological parents. What he uncovers is a terrifying hidden world of secret agendas, and nightmares that may not be nightmares after all. In this section, Steven’s nightmares come to life and attempt to capture him. However, things go horribly wrong for both of them. Hope you like it.

The Anatomy of an Incident

Steven nearly tripped as he ran as fast as he could. The ground was going by faster than his feet could catch up. He considered going into the meadow and crossing to the other side, but his nightmare kept coming to mind. That was where he was trapped in every single nightmare. So he skirted around the meadow instead, sticking to the denser forest. The trees and underbrush seemed to almost help him along as he ran and his path was always clear as he barreled through even the densest of underbrush.

Then he saw it – a massive black figure right in front of him, one that he had seen many times before in his nightmares. The wolf monster of his dreams stood in his way, fangs bared and arms spread out wide, ready to pounce on him. Fear gripped him as the dreams came back to him. Then he recalled his therapy sessions. Steven remembered the advice James gave him, to confront his dreams rather than run from them as a method of dominating his nightmares. Gritting his teeth in determination and pushing his fear aside, Steven started running toward the monster as fast as possible, raising his staff and yelling as loud as he could. Just as he got to the monster and swung hard, a branch grabbed him by the arm and lifted him up into the canopy. He felt the staff hit flesh and heard a surprised yelp. Satisfied that he had hit his mark, he continued in the canopy, swinging and climbing from tree to tree as he rapidly circled the meadow.

He suddenly came to the end of the canopy and had to jump to the ground below, continuing his full out sprint, sure his pursuers were close. After running for a bit he looked back. Steven didn’t see any sign of the pursuers and his senses were too discombobulated to feel them out in the forest, so he decided to take a chance and cross the meadow from that point. The snag rose up high into the air like a skeletal spire and Steven could see the dark line of trees on the other side of the meadow. The slight mist was starting to turn into a sprinkle as another line of clouds moved in. The moon remained visible, however and he didn’t see anything moving out there.

As he ran out into the grass, he targeted the dark line of trees on the other side as a line of safety beckoning him to run faster. He was starting to feel elated as the ground passed by underneath rapidly, when suddenly a vampire seemed to materialize like the mist right in front of him, just like in the dreams. The man’s face was a brilliantly reflective white, like the whitest marble. His hands were the same bleached color that almost glowed in the moonlight, and he was pointing toward Steven, reaching for him. Steven remembered again the suggestion to attack his dreams, but terror filled him to his toes and he slid to a stop, digging his feet in and kicking up clods of sod and mulch as he reversed course. Turning, he saw the wolfman running toward him, growling loudly and flashing his canines in anger. This couldn’t be happening now. Steven’s legs suddenly felt like chunks of lead as his nightmare came back to him in full force and he desperately tried to get away.

A buzzing sound explosively filled the air, drowning out everything, even the rush of blood in Steven’s ears. Suddenly Steven’s head throbbed painfully and he was slammed to the ground, not by the creatures chasing him but by the heaving ground itself. Steven heard someone yelling for him, crying out in pain. He looked around, but couldn’t see anyone else as he tried to right himself and continue to flee. Both of the monsters were likewise thrown to the ground and he could see them struggling to regain their footing. He locked eyes with the wolfman for a second before the ground knocked him down again. Steven tried to scramble up as he saw an opportunity to escape, but fell over as the ground felt more like a raging sea than solid earth.

Everywhere he touched started smoking and smoldering, and an acrid haze filled the air around him as the rain in the air turned to steam. Steven’s head filled with white hot pain and the ground rocked with enormous explosive swells that spread out, creating massive rifts in the soil. Around him, trees on the edge of the clearing waved wildly as if they were grass in a strong storm. The air of the meadow itself seemed to explode into super-heated cyclonic energy, nearly blowing Steven over and incinerating the grass and dust it picked up into massive showers of sparks.

The vampire yelled something to the wolfman and they both retreated, both of them singed from the firestorm that started to rage around them as the ground continued to roil. Steven writhed on the ground in agony and confusion as his whole world threatened to turn upside down. The Earth itself seemed to cry out in torment and an immense groan emanated from everything solid, jarring his teeth and making his head hurt even more. He heard his own scream of pain before he realized he was the one screaming and all he could do was curl up in a fetal position, ride the angry ground, and get whipped violently by the burning hot air. A bear braved the sparks and fire, ran up to Steven, and grabbed him by the nape of the neck. It dragged him over to the snag and sat down, curling around him while the storm of earth and air raged around them.

Steven could hear a voice wailing above the raging wind. Asherah? It was definitely her and she was crying out in extreme anguish and fear. Her voice seemed to come from deep within him but at the same time from all around. His heart broke again for her and he was reduced to uncontrollable sobs as immeasurable sorrow consumed him. Steven reached out and embraced the bear, seeking any semblance of stability and comfort as the mountains groaned loudly around him, and Asherah cried loudly from within him, before he finally lost consciousness.

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