Coming Fall/Winter 2022

Hecatae Wintrs is just trying to keep her family safe. Hope Winters is just trying to step out of the shadows that they have been hiding in her entire life. Two special young women with extraordinary gifts, a small New England town, and two strangers with ties to their past that turn their world upside down. This is the story of when secrets go too far and the truth may be better left untouched.

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Sneak Peek into "Winters Sunrise"

Unedited Prologue

17 Years ago

       The bright pink Victorian home loomed overhead in stark contrast to the white snow falling around it. Maple Ridge was blanketed in the white flurries as they continued to flutter down on the small town. The open fields of the Boneys on the western edge of town lay like a cemetery, a memorial for a time long past. The sound of wood snapping filled the air as the abandoned houses crumbled under the weight of the snow.
       Maple Ridge had not seen a storm like this for over a century and while everyone in town was warm and cozy in their suburban houses, the rubble of the Boney’s was touched by the bitter finger of winter. The only color washing across the spanning fields and forest was this striking pink edifice tucked at the end of the lane and the rays of ocher and gold splashing its backdrop as the sun rose in the sky. The cylindrical turrets, and wrap around porch looked surprisingly cozy and homey amidst the barren landscape of falling down buildings.
       A young girl with long platinum hair stood on the steps leading into the pink house. Her clothes were in tatters and her hair knotted wildly at the back of her neck. Snow caked her boots up to her shins and a striking gold locket hung around her neck in the shape of a lion’s head. A dash of Sapphire peaked through the mouth of the roaring lion teasing a magnificent stone laying within the gold casing. She stood in silence staring at the house, her gaze hazy and distant.
       The sound of a tree falling in the distance shook her alert and she looked around frantically, her eyes like a frightened animal’s, ready to run from a lurking predator. Quickly she ran into the house and slammed the door behind her, breathing heavy as she leaned against the ornate detailing of the dark oak wood door.
       The interior of the old home was dark, the windows had been boarded up and the floor was covered in a layer of dust that sparkled when a lone sun ray streaked through a crack in a window or a door. She cautiously walked into the foyer with its dark wooden floors and molding floral wallpaper that maybe once was a bright cheerful yellow, but now was only a remnant of the house’s once upon a time glory. An ornate banister and stocky staircase led up to the second floor to her right and a grand open living space with an imposing bay window spread out to her left.
       She could feel her chest restrict in fear as she tried to remember where and why she was here. The last thing she remembered was warm hands sliding the locket- that she was now nervously rubbing between her fingers- over her neck and soft lips kissing her cheek. Then she was standing in front of this house, alone, tired, cold, and scared.
       Her chest continued to tighten until her breaths came short and quick. She looked frantically around the room for something familiar to calm her nerves, but everything was foreign. The hyperventilating took over until she found herself collapsed in the corner of the grand living space. With her face buried in her knees, she sat there crying for what felt like hours.
       With the windows boarded up, she couldn’t tell what time it was when the tears stopped flowing, but she didn’t move to find out. She remained huddled in the corner staring at the ground, feeling empty as she tried to grasp onto any slivering of safety within her.

       Lana Winters drove up the winding snow covered lane in her borrowed pick up truck and scanned the area for a familiar sight. The road leading from town into the Boneys wasn’t plowed and she was feeling extra grateful for the kind waitress at the diner for offering her the use of her pick up truck. The waitress must have taken pity on the pregnant sixteen year old that bravely ventured into the diner after a snow storm.
       After passing an outcropping of trees, she saw the first sight of the bright pink turrets. Bingo. She would recognize this house anywhere and today it looked truly magnificent with the glowing sun and washed out blue sky framing it like a hallo.
       There was no doubt in her mind that the snow would start falling again soon. She needed to hurry. Pulling over into the small dirt driveway, Lana turned the car off taking a good look at the house. She had only ever seen it in visions. For years she dreamed of coming here in person, but it was never the right time. It wasn’t until a few days ago that Lana knew where to find her dream fairytale home.
       Three days ago Lana woke from a dream with a beaming smile on her lips. Her baby kicked wildly in her stomach as she recalled her vision. She had seen the pink house again, but this time she also saw the tiny quaint town with a Maple Ridge welcome sign and a mess of striking platinum hair. After years of waiting she knew what she needed to do and so did her precious baby.
       Looking down at her belly she now whispered, “You will always be my hope,” and then stepped out of her car. The front porch was in gross disrepair but that didn’t stop Lana from stepping across the creaking wooden planks up to the looming doorway. She gingerly cracked the front door open and peered around the intricately carved wood of the frame. “Hello?” She called out. “Anyone home?”
       When no one responded, she opened the door fully and entered the stuffy space. The sound of sniffling coming from the room to her left, guided her into the house further. When Lana turned to look around the room she saw her. The striking platinum hair was just as Lana had envisioned, but the rest of the scene tore at her heart. The young girl couldn’t have been older than nine or ten years old. Her face was red and puffy from crying, her clothes shredded and providing little warmth in this cold weather, and her deep sapphire blue eyes- they changed as Lana examined her. They went from wide fear to looking terribly sad. The girl pulled her legs tighter to her chest as Lana stood watching.
       “It’s ok, I’m not going to hurt you. I am here to help you. My name is Lana.” The girl continued to stare without speaking as Lana continued. “Can you tell me how you got here?” The girl shook her head, but that blank sad stare never left her features.”Ok, that’s ok. How are you feeling? Are you cold?” Lana took off her jacket and offered it to the huddled form in the corner.
       The girl slowly stretched out her arm and took the jacket, wrapping it around her legs. “Thank you.” She whispered. “Why do I feel sad?”
       “Sad?” Lana responded. “What do you mean sweetie?”
       “Before you got here, I felt scared and then after crying I just felt empty. Now all I feel is sad.”
       Lana took a moment to think over her question. Those were not the first words she was expecting out of this young girl’s mouth. It took her a moment of looking into those expressive eyes to connect the dots. Of course. She couldn’t be sure, but it was worth a try to find out.
       Lana plastered a large smile on her face and thought of the time when she found out she was pregnant. The joy, happiness, and hope that came with the discovery was only intensified when she saw a vision of her baby all grown up. She continued to hold this memory in her mind as she observed the young girl in front of her.
       The girl’s eyes changed again. Life sprang back into her deep blue irises and they brightened as the ghost of a smile crossed her face. Lana was right. The girl has an empathic gift. It is rare these days, but there was nothing ordinary about the person huddled in front of Lana.
       Empaths could innately feel the emotions of those around them as their own. The fact that this girl’s emotions were changing as rapidly and openly as Lana’s showed that she did not have a handle on her gift. It was controlling her.
       Lana finally understood why the vision led her here. She was here to help this child. She knew it deep down in her heart. “Everything is going to be ok. Do you feel better now?” The young girl nodded her head. “Ok, let’s get you out of here. Do you have a family?” Lana left the words in the air as she noticed the girl shift uncomfortably on the ground.
       “I can’t remember.” The happiness glowing in the girl’s eyes a moment ago was replaced by confusion as she tried to remember her past.
       “Well you do now.” Lana smiled down at the girl and offered her a hand to help her up. “What’s your name?”
       When the girl stood, she drew her shoulders back, the first gesture of confidence Lana had seen from her yet. She remembered this one. “Hecatae” The girl responded proudly.
       Hecatae. The baby in Lana’s belly kicked in excitement.

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✿Created by Lilia Gestson✿