Welcome to my portion of Mid Week Tease! Thanks to fellow author Sandra Bunino for creating and organizing the fun!
Coming January 24th from Evernight Publishing
From my story, Tatum's Tiger
Tatum Neill never gave much thought to what the awareness of death would be like, although in retrospect, she supposed she should have. Wandering through the murky middle ground of not quite evening and not quite darkness, surrounded by trees, listening to the twigs snap beneath her feet, Tatum imagined she should have given many things further thought. Especially when she figured out she couldn’t back up any further.
With her shoulder blades hard-pressed up against the trunk of an old tree, she came to the conclusion she had been herded like a lamb to the slaughter. Squinting, she tried to see what she sensed. Her gaze darted from tree to tree to tree. The fine hair on the back of Tatum’s neck stood on end as a beast broke through the brush, stalking toward her. Those things that go bump in the night were true.
The creature, which walked upright, stopped. It dropped to four legs where it stood within the shadow-dappled light, only a few feet away, and stared at her with eyes reflecting the fathomless black of midnight. By the stance alone, she knew an attack was imminent. With no weapon, fear gripping her, and nothing left to do, Tatum wrapped her arms around her stomach. Immediately her thoughts drifted to her mother. She’ll never know what happened to me. Tatum concluded she would become one of the many missing faces amongst the sea of missing people that she herself had read about on all those store flyers which littered the walls in town.
Unable to stop the reaction, Tatum jerked and screamed as a massive tree crashed down in front of her. It shook the ground in a shockwave and created a partial barrier between her and the beast. Barely holding on to her sanity, Tatum realized a tall, pale silhouette of something not quite human stood on the knotted bark of the fallen tree. When it crouched, dark tangles of hair swished around its features, obscuring the face. One large clawed hand rested upon the ground. However improbable, the scene played out, reminiscent of a twisted horror movie, and when another dark beast formed from out of the shadows to the right of her, she knew her end was near.
Tatum wondered if she had snapped. Her life didn’t flash before her eyes. She didn’t think about all the things she should have done and didn’t get the chance to do. She didn’t even mourn the life she would be leaving behind. What did flash happened to be a snapshot of her mother with a distraught expression wrinkling up Violet Neill’s usually peaceable brow. She clearly pictured her mother as she frantically handed out leaflets to strangers with Tatum’s picture on them. Tatum even imagined the missing person flyer.
Have you seen this woman? Tatum L. Neill. 5’7 in. 122 lbs. 25 years of age. Blonde Hair. Green Eyes. Last seen leaving the University of Oregon, wearing a red cardigan sweater and jeans.
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