Enter the clearing and your life will change forever…
Seventeen-year-old Lizette Weatherly’s life is about to change forever.
Lizette is a girl who really can’t catch a break. Her parents are overprotective of her and her peers are afraid of her.
Two centuries ago Lizette's ancestor Jacob and his family disappeared without a trace. All that were found were bloody clothes and mysterious symbols etched into the ground in a clearing near their old house.
Lizette’s family have been ostracized by the people in the nearby city of Marquette, Michigan ever since. Lizette spends most of her time alone with her old set of tarot cards in her house back in the woods where the sun never shines; until one night when she wanders off into the woods and stumbles upon a group of hooded figures standing around a bonfire.
Lizette soon learns that everything she knew is a lie. She and her family are really descended from a long line of creatures called Eternals, possessing paranormal powers, and she may be the most powerful Eternal alive. For the first time in her life, Lizette has friends and potentially a boyfriend in shifter Thierry. But Bryan, the leader of her generation of the Eternals, is power hungry and he will do anything to absorb Lizette’s power.
A battle is brewing and Lizette will have to join together with the other Eternals to overpower Bryan. But when a mysterious prophecy is revealed and her fate becomes entwined with shy, brooding, secretive Luke, Lizette begins to question: who can she really trust and who really has her heart? What will happen when it’s time to step out of the darkness?
Take a first look at Chapter One:
My parents told me not to go into the woods; the woods that surrounded the house on all sides and went on for miles had been rumored to have been haunted since the 1790s.
It had been my great-great something-or-other uncle whose family disappeared all those years ago. My great-uncle Jacob, his wife, and their four children’s bodies have never been found. All that was found were bloody petticoats belonging to Jacob’s wife Lydia and strange symbols etched into a few trees in a clearing two miles from their small secluded farm house.
Not long after the mysterious disappearance Jacob’s much younger brother Andrew moved onto the property with his new bride. People from the nearby Chocolay Township speculated that Andrew killed his brother’s family so he could take over the land. Another rumor said that Jacob had built his house on Indian land and the neighboring tribe had killed him and his sons; then taken the women into their tribe as revenge. Yet the most popular rumor of all surrounded the mysterious etchings. The townsfolk insisted Jacob and his family had been cohorts with the Devil and he had simply dragged them back to hell.
I had heard all these rumors and more throughout my childhood. Every time I had come home from school crying after one of my peers had called me a dirty name my parents would laugh it off. My entire family are Wiccans, a Pagan nature-based religion; something very uncommon in the Marquette area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Even after Marquette was incorporated and it grew into the college town it is today its people were still unaccepting of people who were the least bit different; especially our family; the Weatherlys. Yet even though my parents told me to ignore the other kids I felt as if they were hiding something from me. They were oddly overprotective of me. My father demanded to drive me the three miles out of the woods to the main road and always wanted to know who I was with. If my parents didn’t know them I wasn’t allowed near them. On the other hand, my 20-year-old brother Sam could go and do anything he wished. I didn’t have any real friends, so most of the time my only companion was my old, worn out deck of tarot cards.
Another boring Friday night, I thought solemnly to myself. But this hadn’t been just any Friday night; it was the night of my high school’s homecoming game. Angelo Desanti; star quarterback, most popular guy in the senior class, and boyfriend of my arch enemy Julie Bryant; had asked me to come watch him play during our latest super-secret coffee date. I desperately wanted to go, but my father had said no.
It was now nearly midnight and the game was long over. My parents slept soundly down the hall as I looked blankly out my bedroom window. I looked out at the dark gloomy forest that I had always been so afraid of. I felt the familiar tug of rebellion rising as my heart asked, “why not sneak out?”
I smirked as I pulled on an old NMU sweatshirt over my flannel pajamas. I’d just take a short walk and be home before my parents even knew I was gone. As I poked my head out my bedroom door to make sure the hall was clear I flipped the light off and grabbed my running shoes. I waited until I was safely down the creaky staircase before slipping on my shoes and slipping out into the night.
There was a one hundred foot square clearing in which our house sat. At times I felt as if I was living in a prison. I was trapped in a place where the sun never, ever shone because of the tall trees that had grown up and over the clearing. One couldn’t even tell if the moon was out because you couldn’t see the sky above. It didn’t take long for me to disappear into the woods unnoticed.
Luckily I had remembered a flashlight because the forest was pitch black and the ground was littered with fallen trees and branches. I wove in and out of the trees in a zigzag pattern, stopping occasionally to grab onto a tree for support when I nearly lost my footing. On and on I walked, unaware if seconds, minutes, or hours had passed until I saw a strange glowing light up ahead.
What could it be? I wondered silently. There wasn’t another house for many miles. Some of my classmates used to joke about the “freaky things” my family was undoubtedly doing so far back in seclusion. As I came closer I saw the light was the orange glow of a bonfire. I took in the sight of the clearing and suddenly knew exactly where I was. My path hadn’t been random; it had led me to the supposedly haunted clearing where shrill screams had been rumored to have been heard late at night. Then I saw them; seven cloaked figures gathered around the bonfire.
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