Here is the first preview of The Quest for Yoshi. As always, remember that this is an unedited preview.
A Night Two Months Prior
Wednesday, October 21, 1992
The girl walks over the ground, her insubstantial form not disturbing the mist that has settled above the grass. The gentle breeze blows through her hair, bringing the sound of familiar voices ahead. Her walk becomes a run as she moves toward the rising smoke of a chimney.
Shawna enters a clearing, recognizing a small cottage and a smaller building. Smoke comes from the chimney of the house, where she knows that something is happening that defies the very laws of nature. The young prophetess looks quickly around the yard and sees freshly dug earth in front of a tombstone some thirty feet away. She floats toward the house, coming to a stop in front of a window. Peering inside, she finds two figures standing over another, unmoving figure.
The two who are standing seem familiar. One is a woman, the other a man. The woman has flowing blonde hair and delicate features. Her eyes are slightly slanted, giving her the appearance of someone with some Asian ancestry. Her ears end in a startling point and her blue robes are dark and beautiful.
The man stands a full foot and a half taller than the woman. He has a muscular frame, but his gut is somewhat rotund, giving him a jolly appearance. His red-bearded face, however, shows no trace of jolliness.
The unmoving figure is completely covered with a white sheet.
The standing woman reaches into a pocket of her robe and produces a blood-red amulet. She looks down at the piece of jewelry, her hands trembling. Even from this distance, Shawna can tell that the amulet was forged from a force so dark, that most pious men would fear it. This woman is no different.
The woman’s lips press together in firm resolve as she hands the amulet to the man. He nods at her, the same look on his face, as he reaches under the sheet and places the chain of the amulet around the neck of the unmoving figure. Then, he pulls back and waits.
The seconds move by and the fear in the air is palpable. Shawna’s breathing speeds up. Her heart begins to pound in her chest. In the distance, a wolf howls.
Suddenly, the figure sits up, the sheet still covering it from head to toe. There is a gasp for breath. After the lungs are filled, they release a blood-curdling scream that . . .
* * *
. . . she could still hear as she sat straight up in the bed. Shawna leaped to her feet, steadying herself with a trembling hand against the wall of her bedroom, just next to the light switch. This was the eighth time that she had experienced this same dream since that first night back in October.
She walked nervously from her room and stepped into the bathroom, turning on the light with a flick of the switch. Looking in the mirror, the young woman examined the face staring back at her. Bags had begun to form under her eyes, complaining to her of their lack of sleep. Beads of perspiration ran down her face. Her hair, which she had just recently dyed back to its natural brown color, was matted to her head with dampness, even though it was now December.
Shawna turned on the cold water, then splashed some of it on her face. As soon as she instinctively closed her eyes to keep the water out of them, she could see that sheeted figure again, screaming with a pain that no human being was ever meant to feel.
Shawna turned off the water, then headed back into her bedroom. She looked at her alarm clock, which gave the time as 4:56 AM. The adolescent decided that she needed to go back to sleep. She switched off the light and climbed under her covers. She closed her eyes.
And saw the figure screaming.
She shot into a sitting position, reaching instinctively out to her bed table, closing her hand over the cool, leather cover of her Bible. Hugging it close to her, she whispered, tears building in her eyes, “Why, Lord? Why?” Then she wept bitterly.