Excerpt from Awake
Once everything was ready it was time to get dressed for the ceremony. I was taken back to the house, and I was instructed to have a bath and get ready in the dress set out on my bed.
I did as I was told because there was little else I could do right now. After soaking in a bubble bath, using most of it up as my own little screw you, I got out, dried and went back to my room.
Unsurprisingly the dress I was to wear was full-length and white. It was pretty and thankfully not a slim fit so I would be able to run properly in it. I held it up—this is what I’m supposed to die in. Not many people knew what their last outfit would be. I instantly hated it.
I pulled it over my head. It fit me perfectly. It had long, loose fitting sleeves, a modest neckline, and waves of material on the skirt. I pulled it and was satisfied when I could stretch both arms out to the sides.
There were no shoes, and I was afraid I’d have to run through the forest barefoot but there wasn’t a lot I could do about that. I couldn’t ask for shoes and have them question why I’d need them if I was getting in a lake. Besides, I’d run barefoot over a bed of nails or hot coal to get away.
I looked in the mirror and took deep breaths to calm my nerves. I could do this. I was strong.
“Scarlett, are you ready?” he called.
Time to fight for my life.
Two things entered my mind as every member of Eternal Light stared at me from the meadow. One, no matter how hot it was outside it never warmed the water enough for it to not be cold. And two, if this didn’t go to plan I would be dead in forty minutes.
Since they’d stood up and opened their eyes they hadn’t stopped staring at me.
I pretended to look around, turning my body so I could take a few unnoticed steps back towards the other side. Running in water wasn’t easy and I would be slow to get out, giving them plenty of time to make it around the lake. I had to give myself as much time as I could. At least they would be further away as they called upon nature to accept and cleanse me for the final time.
Soon I had to run for my life in a cold, wet dress. I had no idea how long it would be before I could change. Or how cold it was going to get in the forest at night.
In the distance I could just about see their lips moving but I had to strain. Some of them had their eyes closed again. Why couldn’t they all do that? My heart started to pound. How long would they chant for, and why hadn’t Noah called me yet? Had someone realised that he’d slipped away? He said they’d be so focused on what they had to do to that he didn’t see a problem with getting away. I couldn’t be so confident—this was my life on the line.
Don't miss the latest gripping, high-stakes thriller from Wattpad sensation Natasha Preston, author of the runaway hit The Cellar.
Scarlett Garner doesn't remember anything before the age of four-until a car accident changes everything. She starts to remember pieces of a past that frighten her. A past her parents hid from her...and a secret that could get her killed.
UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she shared a story online—and hasn’t looked back since. She enjoys writing romance, thrillers, gritty YA, and the occasional serial killer.