Excerpt from Moon in the Day Sky
Thunder exploded, sending its shock wave through the night and jarring Starsha awake. The ground beneath her trembled at its monstrous command. Lightning claws ruptured the black heavens, stabbing out in vengeance.
Starsha leaped from her bed, threw open the door and plunged into the storm. Rain beat upon her furiously as though she were running beneath a massive waterfall.
“I’m coming, Pinay!” she screamed, but the storm smothered her cry. She sprinted toward the scene in her mind straining with her whole being to prevent the image from her dream.
Slipping in the mud she skidded down an embankment, colliding at the bottom with a shaker-leaf tree. Dazed, she clung to the trunk while the wind whipped and cracked the branches. The memory of her dream flared up in vivid realism, more terrifying than any nightmare she had ever had.
She could see her brother, bound and gagged lying in a bed of ashes. Heavy smoke snaked its way around him and crawled toward her, corrupting the world with brown and gray as it passed. Starsha ran with all her might, but her steps took her no closer to Pinay.
At that moment, a man in black and purple robes appeared beside Pinay. The zing of metal sliding from its scabbard pierced her awareness. He raised the dagger and thrust it at her brother.
She fell to the ground screaming, “Pinay!”
The stinging rain brought her back to the present. “No!” Starsha shouted. “You’ll not have him while there is breath in me!” Scrambling up the slope, she pressed on toward the place the dream had revealed to her. On and on she ran till her legs and lungs burned.
Starsha splashed across a swollen stream not daring to stop even long enough to take a drink. On the far bank a cramp tore at her left leg. “No! No! Not now!” She grabbed her muscle and began kneading. “I must get to Pinay!” In desperation she turned her face upward and there, within her reach, stood a horse. It was saddled and bridled and waiting for her to mount.
“This can’t be real!”
The horse snorted.
Starsha grasped the reins. Nana’s warning about the night forest caused her to flinch, but with the cramp, she would never be able to reach Pinay. She had no choice. Struggling to her feet, she pulled herself into the saddle. “Find Pinay,” she whispered.
Lightning flashed. Thunder exploded shaking the ground beneath her. The horse bolted and ran at full speed. Starsha clung to the tangle of rein and mane with all her might.
At last the village from her dream appeared, but this time, instead of being tethered to an invisible stake she and the horse raced toward the site of her brother’s imprisonment.
This time she would not fail him as she had when he was tied to the horse line. This time she would not flounder as she had in the dream. This time she would prevail!