Excerpt from . . .
by A. R. Silverberry
Alert, Jen backed away from the tree and studied it at a
The air was still.
The grass motionless.
But the leaves stirred and fluttered.
Words floated down.
At first they were indistinct, as if someone
called through a distant snowstorm.
One word emerged clearly, and an icy finger traced down
She heard her name.
She backed away until she
squatted on some rocks that extended into the pool.
Every muscle - sun-hammered and wind-hardened like metal
in a forge - was poised to spring.
Phrases whispered down.
The only sense she could make was that something was
She thought of her family.
Fear tightened around her heart.
She was a hair's-breadth away from running to them.
Her feet stayed rooted to the spot.
Maybe she'd hear more.
A small splash made her look at the pond.
Two more followed, as if someone had thrown
Nothing had fallen into the water.
But ripples spread out and ran into each other.
More splashes erupted like tiny volcanoes, until
the whole pool was agitated with colliding rings.
A circle of calm emerged below Jen's feet, pushing the
Pale and ghostly, a face rose from the muddy
bottom of the pool until it floated just below the