Sunday Sampler: Deception by Stacy Claflin

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In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a new series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Sunday’s Sampler is an excerpt from Deception by Stacy Claflin. If you’re looking for a great fantasy filled with romance and suspense, this is the novel you don’t want to miss.

***

As I stood in the woods, the hair on my arms and neck stood up, and I knew I was being watched. Here it was—the moment of truth. It was of little comfort to know that at least I wasn’t going to get mauled to death.

I listened for anything unusual or any sound that would give me a clue as to where the animal or person might be. Nothing seemed out of place.

I wanted to run up a tree and hide, but I had to stand exposed in the middle of the stupid clearing and wait for my predator to show itself or until I could track it down.

Stacy Claflin
Stacy Claflin

My heart raced. Was Clara messing with me? I swallowed and looked for someone hiding in the woods. When I had made three-quarters of a turn, I felt that I had reached the direction that I needed to focus on. My skin was crawling with the sensation of being watched. I wanted to scream from both frustration and fear.

I looked around. It felt like I was staring at one of those pictures where you’re supposed to see a hidden scene if you let yourself go cross-eyed. I never could find those hidden scenes, but hoped this would be different.

My nerves were shot and I didn’t feel like putting up a fight. I wanted to crawl into bed, but my life might be on the line, so that was clearly not an option.

Finally, I thought I saw something. It looked somewhat like a head, hiding and blending in between some bushes. I took a deep breath and braced myself. I thought my mind might be playing tricks on me, but I was pretty certain I was looking at the head of whomever was causing all the distress on my senses.

I heard a light rustle, and nearly jumped and ran off. My heart was racing, and it was so loud I was sure he could hear it too.

I turned my attention back to the one watching me. I couldn’t tell if I was truly in danger, or if he was just having fun scaring me. At least it couldn’t read my mind.

I crouched down a little, gaining some confidence. I couldn’t believe it when I started walking toward him. In my mind, I screamed at my legs to stop, but they refused to obey. I continued to walk directly toward him, as though it was the prey, and I was the predator.

When I had gone about twenty yards, I could see him smile. That infuriated me, and I wanted to attack the prideful thing.

“Show yourself!” I commanded with more confidence than I actually felt.

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