State of Grace: Prologue

Tea with Ellie

State of Grace



  The heat blistered the red burns on her back As Esmerelda Grace crouched against the thick trunk of knurled old tree, her small feet scuffling to find steady ground amidst the twisted roots.

“One.” The boy’s voice echoed with ominous clarity. She pushed her knees to her chest, and sucked in her breath. She’d learnt not so long ago that silence was a vital part of keeping hidden.

“Two.” Her toes slipped under a root. Damn it. She wiggled, trying to squirm free, But the root was unrelenting, grasping her foot with an iron grip that tightened with each pull.

Panic rose in her chest, as she forgot the useless game they were playing, and felt only the crushing, crawling sensation of being trapped. She pulled so hard her leg ached, but still she continued to yank at her foot.

Sweat beaded down…

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