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Authors: Heather Bowhay

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Amethyst

BOOK: Amethyst
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AMETHYST

By Heather Bowhay

 

Copyright 2012 by Heather Bowhay

All Rights Reserved

 

Disclaimer

This
is a work of fiction. The events described are imaginary, and all the
characters portrayed in this book are fictitious and not intended to represent
any specific persons, living or dead. At times, certain settings may be
referred to by their true names, but the incidents portrayed or taking place
there are entirely products of the author’s imagination. At no time should the
reader infer that any of the events in this book ever occurred.

 

 

 

~To my wonderful husband Dan,

For sharing life, laughter,
children, mountains, and waterfalls,

And for loving me when I
couldn’t stop writing and we had to eat pizza,

Again!

~H.L.B~

Table of Contents

 

CHAPTER 1 –
BURDENS

CHAPTER 2 –
A CLOSE CALL

CHAPTER 3 –
WORK

CHAPTER 4 –
MORE THAN JUST A MERE WALK IN THE PARK

CHAPTER 5 –
AN AMETHYST IN THE ROUGH

CHAPTER 6 –
A CHANCE MEETING

CHAPTER 7 –
LUNCH

CHAPTER 8 –
ASH

CHAPTER 9 –
A LITTLE ADVENTURE AND A LOT OF DANGER

CHAPTER 10 –
DISCOVERIES

CHAPTER 11 –
HOPE?

CHAPTER 12 –
OR HOPELESS?

CHAPTER 13 –
TEAMWORK

CHAPTER 14 –
A CHANGE IN PLANS

CHAPTER 15 –
THE HIKE

CHAPTER 16 –
RAY-PACS

CHAPTER 17 –
DOOMED TO DIE OR DESTINED TO LIVE

CHAPTER 18 –
GUARDIAN EXPLANATIONS

CHAPTER
1 – BURDENS

 

Lashing out, I
jerked the power cord out of the wall, but it was too late. The table saw’s
high-pitched screeching had already triggered horrific images, reminding me
that a man was dead, and I was responsible. I yanked off the safety goggles and
hucked them across the shed. After grabbing the tattered board, my third failed
attempt at a curved cut, I slammed it against the workbench but gained little
satisfaction as it split into pieces.

Still, the
memories persisted. Poignant. Taunting. I felt like I was there again…I could
even smell the burning rubber and hear the metal bicycle parts grinding into
the pavement.

Guilt swept over
me like an angry flame devouring a trail of gasoline. I’d just stood there and
watched as the city bus had crushed the cyclist beneath those massive wheels.
Afterwards, I’d raced to the cyclist’s side, but he was already dead. Numbing
blue eyes from his lifeless body had cast an accusatory glare straight into my
soul. Even now, a bitter chill swept through my veins, freezing my heart with
shame. It was as if, even in death, he’d known I could have saved his life.

What’s worse,
he’d been right.

Saw dust stung
my eyes and burned my nose, snapping me back to the present. As the saw blade
finally whined its way to a stop, my shaky legs gave way, and I collapsed onto
the stool. Woodworking no longer offered refuge from my burdens; instead it
reminded me of my sins. I grabbed a wood shard and ran my finger along the
splintery edge until it pierced my skin and drew blood, momentarily sustaining
a need for self-inflicted punishment.

Trance-like, I
stared as bright red droplets trickled off my hand and blotted the concrete
floor. I wiped my bloody finger on my jeans and allowed the tears to stream
down my face. My foot slipped off the edge of the stool, and I grabbed the edge
of the work bench, leaned my head back, and looked at the ceiling. A large
spider maneuvered effortlessly through an intricate set of webs in the corner,
and I wondered if I’d ever move through my life with such ease again. But more
importantly, I wondered if I was worthy, let alone capable of saving people
anymore.

Exhausted, I
eventually turned off the shop lights and made my way back to the house. I
hoped sleep might come easier tonight.

It did not.

Hours later, I
still lay tossing and turning when a sharp pain pierced my head, followed by an
explosion of bright colors and scattered black dots. They filled the recesses
of my mind and distorted my vision. Clutching the folds of my blanket, I shot
into an upright position.

They
were
back. And
they
were back with a vengeance.

Irregular
heartbeats hammered my chest like flying shrapnel. Closing my eyes, I wrapped
my arms around my trembling body. The fragmented colors pulled together and
formed images. I’d been dreading this moment, wondering if it would come.
Wondering if I could handle it.

In a flash, the
snapshots invaded my mind:

A girl
jogging along the sidewalk in the rain

The girl, a
look of terror on her face, backing into a dark alleyway

A massive dog
with long, sharp canines, cornering her

The dog
attacking the girl as she lay struggling on the pavement

The images
ended, the colors dispersed, and my eyes shot open. The sudden loss of
equilibrium was expected; the continued blurred vision was not. Regardless, I
had no time for uncertainty this time around – only the burden of acting in
time. No matter how much I wanted the snapshots gone, I’d vowed never to ignore
them again.

Adrenaline
pumped through my body, forcing me out of bed. In a mad dash, I stumbled for
the closet and glanced at the clock. What was the jogger thinking? No one in
their right mind went running all alone at eleven o’clock at night.

My stomach
muscles tightened; I would not be responsible for another death. I scrambled
into an old pair of Levi’s, tucked my long, honey-blonde hair under the hood of
my rain jacket, and grabbed my sneakers. Frowning, I glanced at the popcorn
ceiling. Showers pounded the roof like a stampede of wild horses escaping
captivity.

Lucky for the
jogger, she was only facing a wild dog and not some psycho-maniac, serial
killer.

Get a grip Lexi!
Stop freakin’ yourself out.

All I knew for
sure was that the jogger was either about to be seriously injured, or about to
be killed. The thought of her being mauled to death by a massive dog had bile
rising in the back of my throat. With my best friend Ally, the only one who
knew about my
ability
, out of town for a couple days, I was on my own.
There was no time for doubt or hesitation, only commitment.

Slapping my
forehead, I refocused my train of thought. I might need a weapon. I glanced
around. But what? Damn, if I’d only ordered that taser off Amazon. Of course,
I’d been too afraid I might shock myself with it, so I’d wimped out and opted
for pepper spray instead. Disgusted, I grabbed the pepper spray out of my
dresser drawer, shoved it in my pocket, and darted through the house.

Another idea
presented itself, and I stopped short in the living room. Wincing guiltily, I
whispered a silent apology to Ben as I grabbed his beloved baseball bat, the
one with Griffey’s signature, out of its special holder. Ben was my other
roommate and Ally’s fiancé. His parting words, which had been intended as a
joke, jabbed at my conscience. “Now Lexi, don’t let anyone mess with my bat
while I’m gone.”

Yeah well,
apparently, I couldn’t be trusted.

A transformer
“popped” in the distance and darkness encompassed the room. Muttering
profanities under my breath, I fumbled my way to the front door and charged
outside. Raindrops assaulted me, and I pulled the drawstrings on my hood a
little tighter. Despite the humidity and warmth of the dark June night, the
rain was relentless. My shoes slapped the pavement as I headed towards
Fairhaven – the small business district only a few blocks away.

Somehow, after a
premonition, I always knew which way to go.

Breathing hard,
I rounded a corner and scoped out the streets before me. Solar-powered lamps
flickered dimly in the darkness; the absence of cars and people was
disconcerting. Of course, anyone with any sense at all was snuggled up inside,
like I would be if I was just an average, ordinary girl. But I wasn’t.

It wasn’t long
before I caught sight of movement between two brick buildings. Quickening my
pace, I could see I was still too far away to make my move (whatever that was
going to be). I watched as two bulky figures advanced towards a much smaller
one. Suddenly, one of the bulky figures lunged, seemingly growing in size as he
knocked the smaller figure to the ground. In fact, the bulky figure didn’t look
like a person at all. Well, not anymore at least; instead, he looked like a
massive…four-legged beast?

No. Couldn’t be.
Tripping over my thoughts, and literally over my own feet, I barely avoided a
face plant. I staggered forward just as a woman’s screams pierced the night.
Shock waves ripped through my body, and my heart exploded like a sonic boom.

Determined not
to lose another life, I raced across the street. As I entered the alley, I
spotted the girl from my snapshots. She was lying on the ground a few yards
away from the dog, who was now pinning a struggling, bare-chested guy to the
pavement. How had I missed that bit of action?

I vaulted
forward, and as much as I hated to hurt an animal, I swung the bat with all my
might at its glistening orange fur. The element of surprise was on my side, and
I hit my target dead-on.

Well, not
really. If I’m being honest, it was a pretty haphazard swing, and I hit the
beast’s hind leg. The dog yelped, jumped off the guy, and spun towards me.
Staring at me with wide-set, amber eyes, the tan-colored dog raised one paw
into the air and growled.

“Crap,” I
muttered, grinding my teeth. Not only was the dog ugly and completely
intimidating, he was the largest beast I’d ever seen. In fact, he looked like a
Mastiff, only twice the normal size. My eyes widened when his lips curled back.
He appeared to be grinning.

Defensively, I
held out the bat, swinging it slowly side to side. I took a few steps backwards
but bumped into the building. Running one hand over the rough bricks, I edged
my way towards the girl. Since my eyes were locked on the Mastiff, I wasn’t
overly surprised when I banged into a garbage can and sent the lid clattering
to the ground. Pungent odors of rotting fish wafted under my nose, and I gagged
but hurried on. When I reached the girl, the Mastiff snarled. Standing
strangely balanced on his two hind legs, he scrutinized me with a predatory
stare. I knelt in front of the whimpering girl and reached for her shoulder. In
a glance, I noticed her short hair was plastered to the side of her muddy,
swollen face, and her eyes were closed.

“H-help me,” she
rasped between ragged breaths, her eyes fluttering. “Those g-guys were
attacking me, but then all of a sudden a d-dog…” she gasped, not finishing her
sentence.

“What guys?” I
asked, glancing around. There was only one guy, one dog, and the two of us
girls in the alley.

A belligerent
voice cut through the pounding rain. “Fearless but foolish. And not much of a
designated hitter are ya?” A low, guttural laugh followed.

The hairs on my
neck stood on end. I glanced up at the speaker, and found myself in a stare
down with the bare-chested guy. He’d regained his feet and was standing next to
the dog, running one hand down his long, slick pony-tail.

“But that’s
okay,” he added snidely. “I enjoy a good game. And honey, I’m good at battin’
in home runs.”

My eyes widened
and my stomach churned as images of his threat played through my mind. My
thoughts were cut short when all at once he rushed us. To my amazement, the dog
intervened and pounced on the guy, which sent him spiraling into a puddle. Lightning
streaked across the sky as the guy slammed his fists into the pavement and
bounced right back to his feet like he’d hit a springboard. He turned and faced
the dog but received a vicious snarl.

The guy put his
hands up and backed away. “Fine, you take ‘em both,” he spat. “You always do.
But I want my share when it comes time for their…” Thunder boomed, cutting off
his last words.

And here I
thought I was the mental case. This guy was having a one-sided argument with a
dog, and the dog was winning. Apparently they were together; although, not on
the friendliest of terms. And strangely enough, the dog was the Alpha.

As if things
weren’t bad enough, the Mastiff turned his attention and bounded for us. Behind
me, the girl gripped my legs and let out another blood-curdling scream as
lightning lit up the sky. Chilled to the bone, sopping wet, and shivering
uncontrollably, it finally dawned on me that we were screwed. This was no
longer a rescue attempt on my part. In fact, we were both probably going to die.
I clutched the bat and wondered if being mauled by a Mastiff was my payback for
ignoring a premonition – one in which a man was smashed under a bus.

BOOK: Amethyst
12.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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