Okay, so I rarely release prologues, but I felt it was warranted this time around given the cliffhanger I left you all with. That being said, the usual rule applies: do NOT read this if you haven’t yet read the other books. It will ruin things for you, even if only slightly. My series was designed to be read sequentially and will make far more sense if you do. But, if you’ve done your homework and are all caught up on the other four…enjoy 😉
PROLOGUE TO FRACTURED:
Silence . . .
It surrounded me, permeating the air while it clung to the trees. I felt hemmed in by it, claustrophobic. The sun was falling just below the canopy of autumn leaves far above my head, creating an eerie glow of fiery crimson and gold. I sat confused as I stared up at the ceiling of foliage. The trees hadn’t started to change, not that I remembered.
A flash of memory jarred me to my feet: my fear, Scarlet’s passion, Sean’s anger, Matty’s death. I was suffocated by it, reliving the moment when Scarlet shoved me down, down so deep inside myself that I drowned in the darkness of my soul, tucked away. Never to be let out. Never to be found again. She told me this herself, told me I would pay.
I had lived in a state of black suspension from that moment on. No sense of time or place or existence, lost in a perpetual tunnel of night. There was no escape. Scarlet had warned me several times that she wasn’t to be trifled with, that her retribution was epic. A liar she was not.
So why had she suddenly let me out? Why leave me stranded in the woods, naked, left to the elements, helpless? Because she knew it would bring back the personal hell I’d once lived through, when my parents were murdered and I Changed, my werewolf side emerging. Out of all my nightmares, it was the only one that I had on a recurring basis. She wanted me to live it again.
As if on cue, three darkened figures slowly wound their way towards me, weaving through the trees so fluidly that they nearly lulled me into a trance. Nearly.
My fight or flight response kicked in when I heard the screams that were ripped from my parents’ throats that fateful night echo through my brain. I took off in a flat out sprint in the opposite direction of their approach. My skin stung while the thick underbrush bit me repeatedly, but the pain motivated me, driving me forward.
I heard the rhythmic cadence of their running getting louder and louder behind me, but I didn’t dare look. I recognized the sound. They weren’t human. I was.
Knowing that my escape was futile, I panicked, hoping that Scarlet, angry though she was, would come to my aid as she always had in the past. If not for me, then at least to save herself. She had a reliable sense of self-interest and an undying commitment to staying alive. I screamed at her, both inside and aloud, searching through my mind for her, desperately seeking my other half.
The hit from behind me drove me face first into a fallen tree. The pain was immediate and fierce. As my vision narrowed and darkened, I made a very sobering realization.
Scarlet was gone.