Hey, guys, I recently got my first book, The Dawn of the Blue, of my fantasy series, Ethereal, published and would like to share the opening chapter with you all. Happy reading! 🙂
At the Shore of Studland
The rains of September were common in every year. They came and went like a guest to every place, city and country, regardless of what people’s minds anticipated, whether they wanted the rain or not. As it was universal truth no one can control the power of nature, it was useless to mourn when rain poured heavily when it was least needed. It so happened that the showers were about to become active in Dorset, a county at the very south of England.
‘Wet weather overriding the country predicts the onslaught of floods. The showers show no signs of abating and are creating angst among the citizens of South England.’
The newsreader greeted Dorset every morning with these words or words similar to them. But the message was clear. September was going to be rainy! The mornings were becoming darker and murkier that it confused people as to whether it was so very early to be getting up. And nights did not need any explanation. Children were forced to retreat into their houses by six-thirty, the hour when darkness began to take over. They grumbled at the inconvenience the change in climatic conditions was causing: they couldn’t play outside for long. The working people were finding it hard too. The monsoon created an unpleasant traffic mutation and the windshield wipers did not do so much good.
Julie Jaynes, a lady in her mid-twenties living in the heart of the city, was one of these people. She put all the melancholy that resulted from her loneliness into her job, fulfilling the post as a junior researcher in the Department of Palaeontology, and the push rewarded her with success. Just like everyone, she heard the news every day.
One morning, as she was gulping down a bowl of bran cereal, she switched on the small, old fashioned television and scanned the headlines. It was the same. The rain was the emperor of September. But as she regarded this thought, a pleasant smile crept onto her face. She really was looking forward to the monsoon. Other people would be affronted by this attitude and she herself knew she should rather be worried that her travel to work would be perturbed but she had her exclusive reasons for this unusual love.
Julie’s hand instinctively touched her protruding stomach.
She was pregnant.
She was left with the only thing that meant anything to her. The only reason she remained anchored to the planet. Losing her husband was the most difficult thing she had encountered; it was worse than the grief of losing her mother at six years of age. And her father had died of cancer long ago.
Like he mattered, she thought spitefully, recalling the abusive man who downed alcohol and made her early childhood a living hell. But there was no pain equal to the agony of the loss of her mother and the love of her life.
She was alone, all alone in this dark world. Where would she seek love again? Where would she gain a loving shelter from?
And that was when the new life, which was snuggled inside her womb, began to grow. Adrian Jaynes had disappeared from the world but the new Jaynes was living inside her. And she cherished her unborn child.
Julie looked at the calendar. A week had passed since the rains had started. She scrolled her eyes further along the dates and as she did so, she squeezed her bulge tenderly, swallowing. She had to seek permission for her maternity leave.
Julie quickly finished her breakfast and hurried off to work. The roads were streams by now. The morning was as usual dark. Rain lashed against the bus which she rode in and she squinted out the window to see nothing but a grey environment under a heavily clouded sky. She blew on her hands, rubbed them together and pressed them to her cheeks for warmth. Despite having her jacket on, it was still uncomfortably cold.
The journey to her office took half an hour by bus. As the heavy vehicle hissed to a halt at the stop in the remote outskirts, Julie got down, pulled up her hood and held onto her stomach as she carefully made her way towards the large building obscured by the trees. Some of her co-workers bumped her on the wet steps.
‘Sorry,’ Julie mumbled as her arm hit one of the lab technicians.
‘Oof,’ he said, losing his grip on his suitcase and hurriedly grabbing it before it could fall to the wet ground. Once he had hold, he looked at Julie.
‘’Morning, Mrs Jaynes,’ he said. ‘Boy, do you have strong arms.’
Julie stared perplexedly after him and looked down to see that it was the arm of the hand on her stomach that had hit him.
‘Good morning, Mrs Wilson, can I have a meeting with Dr Brent?’ Julie requested her boss’ assistant.
She was a lady in her forties, bronze complexioned and a motherly appearance lining her middle adulthood features. Julie always had a great liking for her.
‘You seem tense, Julie,’ said Mrs Wilson, concerned. ‘Is anything wrong?’
‘No, no, I’m fine,’ Julie assured her.
Mrs Wilson smiled good-naturedly. ‘He’ll be out soon. He’s with the students from the university. You aren’t still upset by the irresponsive radiocarbon dating, are you?’ she asked, concerned.
Julie flinched, but not by much. ‘No, this is something different.’
Mrs Wilson patted her arm. ‘Don’t worry, honey, it will surrender itself one day. I have a lot of faith in you.’
‘Thank you, Mrs Wilson,’ Julie smiled.
‘So, what is it you want to see Dr Brent about?’
‘I … wanted to ask his permission for my maternity leave.’
Mrs Wilson gave an odd look, and opened her mouth to say something, but she caught herself just in time. After a few seconds of deliberation, she smiled and instead said, ‘I’m sure he’ll oblige. And, congratulations.’
Julie thanked her as her hand got wrung, and before she had to face any more questions, she hurried into her office, a small dingy room that connoted her post as a junior. Palaeontology and archaic books lined her shelf. Dropping her bags beside her desk, she sat down on her chair and ran her fingers through her hair. Julie was a wheat complexioned brunette, lean on a general level, but the pregnancy gave her a temporary chubby frame. Dark eyes inherited from her mother nestled on either side of a pointed nose and her uniform teeth were now chewing on her full lips, anxious of what was to come during her conversation with Dr Brent.
Seeing as she might get started with her work instead of wasting time, she pulled her theory papers out of her bag and began to scan them for errors. The sample she had discovered was very odd. It was greenish red and gel-like. Julie had never in her career seen something as strange as that, for the minute she accidentally touched the mucous coming out of it, it burned her finger. Do enzymes do that? Well, at least that’s what she thought it was. She couldn’t give the sample a proper name. And judging by her microscopic study, the molecular bonding was very different. It was like studying HIV, which till today has not been deciphered clearly in order to procure the perfect antidote to cure the deadly disease. And this enzyme’s atomic structure was leading her nowhere.
‘Julie?’ said a voice from outside.
Julie looked up and announced permission, which after seconds, her senior, Steven Dallas, entered. He was a man in his late-twenties and belonged to a modelling industry than a messy palaeontology unit. Dark hair, toned body, charming eyes, clear skin and a killer smile – all the stipulations for a magazine cover. ‘You wanted to meet Dr Brent, didn’t you?’
Julie, who never blushed in front of him like her other female co-workers, instantly put away her papers and went out of her office. Her boss, the Head Palaeontologist – Dr Joseph Brent – was amidst a group of students who had come for an internship. Julie quirked an eyebrow at Dallas. He nodded at Mrs Wilson.
She caught Julie’s eye and called out to the older man. ‘Dr Brent.’
He looked above the heads of the students and gave Julie a signal to wait. She nodded.
‘I’ll check these for you later,’ Dr Brent said to the group and he dismissed them before walking around a large skeletal display of a Tyrannosaurus Rex to reach to Julie.
‘Good morning, sir,’ said Julie.
‘Good morning,’ he said. Joseph Brent was a tall, healthy man in his late-fifties, with a graceful stature along with a fairly good reputation. ‘You wanted to meet me?’
‘Yes, sir,’ said Julie.
‘Let me hear it.’
‘I wanted to seek your permission for a few months’ leave.’
His eyes instantly dropped to her stomach, twisting his lips. He seemed to be deep in thought. Julie waited for his statement, wondering what was running through his mind.
‘Julie,’ he said finally. ‘We’d better discuss this matter in my office.’
She followed him into a sophisticated bureau. Everything in there was made of rich wood that heavily contrasted with the units of the other researchers who worked here. This wasn’t the first time she came in here. Brent had an affinity for including talented Julie in various expeditions and the office was witness to a handful of meetings she had with him.
‘Sit,’ he said kindly.
Julie seated herself upon a chair and watched as Brent sat opposite her. His chair creaked as he did so and did again as he moved forward to rest his elbows upon the polished black desk. His fingers were twisting with each other.
‘Julie, if it is about money, we can always help you,’ he said.
She was confused. ‘Money?’
‘Look,’ he said. ‘You are free to take leave for your delivery.’
‘But I don’t think you should really be alone,’ he said, looking concernedly at her. ‘You have people here to help you. You don’t have to do this yourself.’
Julie averted her eyes. She knew he was talking about her being the only person in her house. She didn’t have a mother or a care-taker to see to her needs. Or even a husband.
She slowly started to smile. ‘That’s very kind of you, sir, but I can manage on my own.’
‘This isn’t a time to act tough, Julie,’ he said. ‘This is a matter of life.’
‘I can understand,’ she said. ‘I really can. And I’m happy to see that so many people are willing to help me. But, I’m sure I can manage by my own.’
He got up. She made to get up too, but he motioned her to remain seated. ‘While you are working for me, Julie, you are under my protection as well. You’re like my daughter.’
Saying that, he pulled open the door and walked out. Julie was touched by his parting words. His daughter? But what was he going to do? She impassively shifted her eyes to the walls, as if they had the answer hidden within their splinters. Five minutes later, Brent returned with Mrs Wilson. He motioned at Julie and then went out of the room. Mrs Wilson walked straight up to Julie and put a hand on her arm. ‘I’ll be more than willing to help you.’
Julie stood up instantly. ‘No, no, Mrs Wilson. It’s completely fine.’
‘Julie, it is not easy to be alone during your pregnancy,’ she said gently. ‘And sit back down.’
Julie obliged and Mrs Wilson drew up another chair and sat down beside her. ‘I know the difficulties during the last trimester, I have two sons. You’re going to need all the help you can get.’
Julie smiled. ‘I can’t thank you enough, Mrs Wilson. But I really know I can get through this by myself.’
‘Where would you go, Julie?’
‘You have friends here, you have people who care for you,’ said Mrs Wilson. ‘We know of the dark past you’ve come from. And just six months ago, you lost Adrian. You’re about to deliver his child in a couple of weeks, Julie, shouldn’t you be more careful?’
‘I am careful.’
‘Then why are you not letting anyone help you?’
Julie didn’t say anything.
‘You can stay with me,’ said Mrs Wilson. ‘I’ll take care of you.’
Julie sighed, thinking fast. Then her mind clicked into the perfect option. ‘I have an aunt in Edinburgh.’
‘In Edinburgh,’ said Julie. ‘My aunt Carmen lives there. I’ll go to her.’
Mrs Wilson deliberated. ‘Edinburgh … that’s a day’s worth of journey. Or more maybe. You want to go that far?’
‘I’ll make it.’
‘Well … all right. At least let me help with the packing –’
‘It’s okay, Mrs Wilson, I’ll take care of it.’
A week later, the climatic conditions had still not changed. The rain fell hard. It spattered the windows of Julie’s decrepit apartment as she bustled around, packing. Her small confinement was over-turned, with all her clothes lying sprawled on the bed, various books spread on the floor. Her toiletries were dumped in a small vanity pouch while her clothes were stuffed mercilessly into another air bag. Her hands caught onto everything they could and hurriedly threw them in, regardless of whether the packing was neat or not. She didn’t bother. All she minded about was to leave the place immediately. And fast. She didn’t want anybody intruding on her at a crucial time like this. But in contradiction, her phone beeped. After throwing a bag of Lays into her handbag, she pulled the phone out from her pocket and was on the verge of disconnecting it when she realised it was an important call, indeed.
‘Ma’am, your taxi’s ready. I’m waiting outside.’
‘Thank you, Jonas, I’ll be out in a few minutes.’
Hanging up, she hurried into the kitchen. She grabbed her ice-cream boxes out of the freezer, her prized cutlery out of the shelves and as she rushed back to her bags, she skidded on the cover of a magazine.
She dropped the things she was holding and desperately grabbed onto the table for support, but not before she hit the dresser directly with her stomach. The collision was hard. She expected pain. She expected to scream out. She expected to curdle up on the floor and whimper in agony.
But she didn’t.
She gasped when she saw that due to the impact, the dresser had a minuscule dent. She didn’t even feel the hit. It was as if the muscles around her stomach had gone numb, like someone was squeezing her upper body so much that there wasn’t any nerve function in the lower part.
Collecting herself back onto the situation at hand, she gave a final sweep of the apartment with her eyes before shouldering her things. She was finally leaving. A surge of joy coursed through her as she wrenched open the door for the last time and stepped out into the small corridor. She locked the door for the last time and then went off to the reception. It took up a few pages of signing before she gave the keys back to the lady, bade farewell and went out the front doors to see her taxi driver, Jonas, waiting for her. While he was loading the car, Julie settled down at the backseat. Jonas slammed down the door and then buckled in the driver’s seat before starting up the engine. They were off. The rain continued to fall in icy sheets and the interior of the taxi was no better.
Buildings, cars and people passed by the window as they sped through the big city. But it was pretty hard to make out what was going on since the rain blurred the image. Julie’s mind was constantly thinking of her child as well as Adrian, who she wondered what would be doing if he was beside her. He would have most definitely supported her in every way he could. He wouldn’t have left her side. She would have never felt the gaping hole in her heart. She would have never felt so lonely than she had ever felt in her life.
She sighed, leaned back and closed her eyes as she munched on the Lays, praying that sleep would over-take her. It had been such a stressful month: the impossible resistance of the sample to tests, the pregnancy instigating weird but strong changes within her body that freaked her out from time to time, and her hormonal state sensitising her mental state to more lonesome agony.
Soon enough, they were on a highway close to her destination, which gave a perfect view of the Atlantic. It was bordered by cliffs and the waves crashed at the base. It was a magnificent view and she couldn’t resist rolling down her window and poking her head out. The salty air hit her face and she breathed in deeply, closing her eyes against the sensation. Icy drops of rain splashed on her skin, temporarily eliminating all stress.
Fifteen minutes later, the taxi pulled up in front of a ramshackle cottage, located at the far end of a street called Vinyl Walk. This was situated at a ten minute walk from the sea.
Julie just stared at the house. The garden had white and grey pebbles strewn across the path leading to the entrance, either side of which was the mottled and unhealthy grass, but it would respond to a health treatment. The house had a dull white shade, with ivy leaves snaking on the walls and peeling the paint off the door. She’d never seen such a dilapidated house before.
But Julie smiled.
This was the house of her mother … a house she hadn’t visited for years. She had this house written in her mother’s will and all the property that came with this house was hers, all hers. She took the keys out of her pocket and gripped it tightly. After obtaining it years ago, she was going to use it only now. Julie thanked the taxi driver after he unloaded the bags, paid him well and sent him off. Just as she was about to insert the key into the keyhole, there was a tiny cough from the side.
Julie looked to her right.
A little girl of around two was standing at the front porch of next door. She was chubby, with fair skin and light brown hair pulled up into two pigtails, and was holding a furry teddy bear while she sucked her forefinger and middle finger. Julie smiled. The little girl smiled back. Suddenly, the door opened and a lady, obviously the girl’s mother, stepped out.
‘Judith!’ she reprimanded. ‘Where did you go? I was –’
She stopped once her eyes caught sight of Julie standing there, watching them. Her eyebrows pulled together and she seemed surprised. Mainly because she was staring at a pregnant woman standing in front of a house on its last legs with two bags next to her.
‘Um, hello,’ she said, confused by the absurd image before her. ‘Are you a visitor here? Can I help you?’
Julie smiled. ‘No, I’m not a visitor. This is my house.’
The lady gasped, as if she’d never heard the phrase before. ‘Your –? Surely, you are not mistaken?’
‘No. It was my mother’s. I obtained it from her but I was living in the city. Due to circumstances, I had to move here now.’
‘Oh,’ said the lady. She stared at Julie’s stomach. ‘Well in that case, you sure can use help. I’m Marianne Snower.’
Julie smiled again. ‘Julie Jaynes.’
‘Welcome to Studland, Julie.’
The house was empty and dark. Cobwebs hung from the ceiling as well as from the lamps. The once plush sofas were now home to a large family of powderpost beetles; the floor had a triple layer of dirt; the mirror on top of the mantelpiece was aged and spotty; the glass on the shelves were cracked; the sink in the kitchen was rusted and the backdoor creaked precariously when it was moved the slightest. The bed was hard and cold, with the sheets chewed by moths and stained; there wasn’t a single object in the cupboards. A clock hung in the living room had stopped working at fifteen minutes to twelve. Miraculously though, a light bulb still worked.
‘You came here all the way from Dorset?’ asked Mrs Snower, sweeping her eyes over the house that could very well be passed for haunted.
‘Go ahead and call me crazy,’ Julie laughed softly, though deep down she was desolately reminded of her mother as she let her eyes land on each and every aspect of the house. Several visions from her childhood scrolled across her inner eye like a fast movie. This was the house in which her mother gave birth to her. This was where she received love as well as hatred. And she had finally been forced to move out of the place.
Mrs Snower laughed. ‘A think you may be a wee insane.’ She ran a finger across the dining table. ‘This place has a big facelift in store.’
‘Tell me about it.’
‘Here’s what I’ll tell you: Why don’t I make you a nice cup of tea and then we can start making this house spick and span?’
‘You are too kind,’ said Julie. ‘Are you sure you want to help?’
‘Most definitely. And besides, you are pregnant. How do you expect yourself to clean up the mess and arrange your things alone?’
Ten minutes later, Julie was in Mrs Snower’s house, sitting in front of the warm crackling fire with a cup of steamed tea in her hands. Little Judith was seated on the rug at the foot of Julie’s arm chair, playing with her wooden blocks, while Mrs Snower sat in the opposite arm chair.
‘What made you come here at an inopportune moment, Julie? The weather’s crazy.’
‘Well … it wasn’t an easy decision.’
Mrs Snower waited for the gap in her answer to be filled but Julie said no more on it. She pressed on regardless.
‘How did you think you could afford to move at the last trimester? Aren’t there relatives who can help you?’
‘No one,’ said Julie. ‘I had an aged aunt in Edinburgh but she passed away last year.’
‘Oh,’ said Mrs Snower. ‘Your husband?’
Once again, she remained silent and Mrs Snower sighed in sympathy. ‘I’m extremely sorry.’
Julie gave an enigmatic smile. ‘It’s okay. What’s a world without darkness, huh?’
Mrs Snower reached over and placed her hand on Julie’s arm, squeezing it gently. ‘I know how that feels.’
Julie was perturbed by the tone Mrs Snower used. Her eyes were unfocused and were slowly turning red from the tears that pooled at the base. ‘I lost my newborn daughter four months ago.’
Pain shot through Julie heart at the sight of the mother who had given birth to a still child. Nothing was worse than seeing your baby being born dead. She didn’t know what to say except to grip Mrs Snower’s arm.
In another five days, the house had been organised and free of dust. The floor was mopped clean, the furniture had been dusted, every washable part had been washed, the chandelier was sparkling once again and emanated its golden light around the living room, shelves were dusted and arranged with the washed utensils, the bathroom was cleaned and … everything was back to normal, just like it was when Julie was a child. Only the sink and the moth-eaten sofas had to be replaced.
And the rains continued on. The winds were blowing harder and they howled in the night. Julie had fixed a little radio beside her bed to listen to the news. It was the same as last week. Predicted floods were about to wash the roads. And it evidently came true. For the morning of September twenty-four dawned with heavy clouds thundering overhead and the newsreaders shouting what they had already said.
‘This really is turmoil for the residents of Dorset County. The rain is deluging and has caused people to cancel all travels, work and visits. Schools have shut down and citizens have been warned to stay indoors until this passes. Nature is out of bounds.’
Julie listened with rapt attention all day. There weren’t any serious floods here but just like in the city, the rain was fierce than ever and that was enough to cause a stream in their street. It flowed into drainage holes but that didn’t stop the stream from being the same way it was. The amount of water that was seeping into the drainage was mirrored by the amount of water the monstrous monsoon presented. Darkness fell over the place, making it impossible to distinguish morning, afternoon, evening and night. Thunderstorms roared in the sky, lightening flashed, the wind blew harshly and the tide was increasing in the ocean. The sound of the gigantic waves could be heard all the way to the house, despite the cosmic explosions.
Julie, while she dried the dishes in the evening, looked out the window at the deadly weather as she slowly bit her lip. Perspiration began to coat her skin at the thought of the treacherous feat to be done. But as if in disappointment to her anxiousness, something kicked her from inside.
She gave a startled glance down at her stomach, swallowing.
That night, Julie put on her jacket over her nightie, pulled on her boots and picked up her lantern. She could hear the roar of the wind and the explosions of thunder, but that didn’t stop her. Taking in a deep breath, she grabbed hold of the handle and pulled the front door open. The force of the wind nearly knocked her off her balance but she managed to steady herself. A fork of lightening dazzled the sky, accompanied by thunder storms. The hail fell hard. Julie carefully shut the door behind her, leaving the warmth and greeting the cold, and gripped her lantern tightly as she made her way up the pavement. Water was washing along the road and soon soaked her footwear and feet. It was chilly but she was ignoring it, her mind set on where she was going.
‘Citizens have been warned to stay inside until this passes.’
Julie hoped not to be seen as she followed the path. She was the only person out in the night, trudging her way through a storm tossed area with a solitary lamp in one hand while the other hand held her protruding stomach. There were no other street lights on either. All was dangerously dark, and Julie was heading straight for the one place no one should be right now: the ocean.
It was a terrifying sight. The waves were massive and they splashed to a greater length. There was no moon. The cliffs looked intimidating and as she regarded one, the lightening flashed on it, illuminating it ominously. Julie could feel her nightie getting wet despite having the jacket on. Water seeped in, flowing and sticking the cotton fabric to her skin, making her dress transparent. But she didn’t care, for she was the only person here.
Obviously, said a sarcastic voice belonging to her sanity.
Her wet hair clung to her face and she pushed it away before getting a surge of energy and starting up the cliff. It was partly dense with foliage, the spatter of rain drops magnified by the impact on the leaves. The soil was muddy, squelching under Julie’s boots every time she took a step up. It was a hectic process and it was very odd for a pregnant lady to trudge up a cliff like this. But she could feel an inner power in her. A surge of adrenaline, a boost of momentum, guiding her up the slope and keeping her will strong. And the power was engulfing her. She could feel it in her very soul. Her very being. She cannot give up and she was not going to.
Keep going, was how her conscience encouraged.
Keep going, whatever happens, don’t stop. Keep going. You can do this. Keep going.
Water still continued to trickle along her skin, sliding gracefully along the curves of her body; thunder continued to throw its raging tantrums and lightening kept flashing on and off her. Though she should have died from being under trees at that time, the lightning didn’t affect her at all. She was protected by the power within her body. Muddy earth squelched under her feet, the wind caressed her, the lantern she was holding was glowing bright as she held it near her front; and she could feel impatient nudges from her womb.
As she neared the top, Julie felt something between her legs and this made her clutch onto a tree branch for a second. It was something wet but was not rain water. The warm moisture had come from her body. Time was running out. She had to move on. But the inner power she was feeling had never given up on her. It stuck to her and guided her to the top of the cliff, where she stepped out of the trees and went to stand five feet away from the drop off. She knew she was insane but she wanted to see the most frightening sight as a reward for making it up here.
Thunder, lightning, heavy rain and a mighty ocean was a package deal for ferocity.
It was incredible.
She smiled in triumph for having the fortune to witness this … and that was when she felt pain vibrate across her pelvis.
Her smile turned into a grimace of shock and she glanced down her pregnant abdomen. Time had run out. Beads of perspiration formed on her forehead, chills ran through her, her limbs trembled, and her breath came out in gasps. She collapsed to the ground, dropping the lantern. She didn’t expect the pain would go to this extreme. Fighting against the uncomfortable agony snaking leisurely around her hip, she sat up straight.
As Julie involuntarily shifted her weight from side to side on the ground, she could picture the way her baby was curled upside down, with head positioned ready and the little fragile and soft body preparing to squeeze its way out. As she analysed that, she stopped moving and tried to stay still. What if something happened to her baby’s position? No, she shouldn’t disturb the little soul. Despite being in pain, Julie was aware that her baby would go through a difficult process too. The common sense in her mind told her both of them will endure the same amount of strain, pressure and struggle.
Accompanying this worry, Julie felt an infinite amount of maternal love possess her very being. This was born in every woman. Regardless of what is going on, a mother would always feel a thrill and excitement to see her baby at last.
Her thoughts were interrupted by another spasm of pain.
It had to be now. And she couldn’t just sit out here. No, not in this colossal rain. Her eyes looked at the cluster of trees from which she came out. Knowing well she won’t be able to get up, she carefully got on all fours.
Multiplied by ten fold.
Biting down on her lip hard, and tasting blood seconds later, she shakily picked up the fallen lantern, held it in her mouth, put one hand in front of the other, one knee in front of the other and crawled slowly towards the cover of the trees, whilst convulsing with gasps and ragged breaths.
The thoracic and the abdominal muscles started contracting.
With a great spurt of energy and bravery, she contorted her face into concentration and increased the pace of her crawls. But as if her pelvic muscles had an inconsolable ego, they began to thrash her for straining their hold.
Goodness, be merciful, she moaned in anguish.
Sweat dropped from her forehead on the already wet ground.
Julie reached the trees. With a huge sigh of relief once she was in their safety, she let go of the lantern, roughly took off her sopping jacket, spread it beneath her with difficulty, and then thrust the folds of her nightie out of the way, while kicking off her footwear. Julie surrendered to the pain she was fighting against for so long and started pushing involuntarily once she collapsed to the spread-out jacket.
She never gave up her energy.
In another few minutes, the cry of a baby echoed across the beach as the waves, wind and thunder bashed, howled and exploded; the earth squelched underneath and the fire in the lantern glowed brighter than ever … in synchrony.
There ends the first chapter 🙂
If it grasped your attention and made you curious to know more, the book’s available on Amazon, guys 🙂
To get your copy from the Indian store, please click here.
To get your copy from the U.S. store, please click here.
To get your copy from the U.K. store, please click here.
Please don’t forget to drop in a review on Amazon or you could do it on Goodreads as well by jumping through here.