What if you had a dream that a terrible storm destroyed your church and that your pastor ordered evil crows to peck out your eyes? What if you woke up to discover deep cuts in your arms where you were attacked while asleep? What if this dream began unfolding in your waking reality, foretelling the destruction of the life and relationships you hold dear? Now what if you were only 12 years old, and everything your family and teachers told you about God seemed to be wrong–and the dreams wouldn’t stop? That’s the situation for the protagonist of my first novel, The Little Seer, which I am now editing to send out to agents and publishers. I have been promising you sample chapters for a while now, and here is chapter 1. I hope you like it! Please feel free to leave feedback in comments.
The Little Seer, Part 1: Exodus
With a crash, the stained glass windows set high in the walls of the new church shattered, pulverizing the image of a man surrounded by birds. A fierce wind tore through the round openings, whipping shards of glass through the cedar rafters toward the congregants, who ran screaming out of the pews.
Aria shut her eyes against the grit in the air. Debris tore at her cheeks and arms. She groped for her parents, who had been sitting next to her in their pew, but they were no longer there.
Aria felt her way along the white bench. Finally, she found her dad’s hand. He yanked her to the floor. Aria huddled with her mom and dad under the bench. Her dad pulled her back as a piece of wood flew by just inches from her face. He held her to his chest, and covered her with his suit jacket.
Aria peeked out to see who else was still in the building. Phil Donagee and the other elders cowered under the front pew across the aisle. Mr. Bob reached toward the stage where Pastor Ted somehow still stood, his hand held up as if he were making a point in his sermon. He ignored the men’s shouts and instead locked eyes with Aria.
Pieces of sheet music blew past him from the tumbling music stands on stage, but still he stared. Aria couldn’t tear her gaze away from his eyes.
They weren’t the eyes she knew.
Aria suddenly realized that Pastor Ted was only wearing a dress shirt and boxer shorts. He saw her looking, and his nostrils flared. His eyes bulged as he coughed up a sound that was part moan, part roar.
Suddenly, the winds calmed as quickly as they had risen.
Winged shadows flapped over Aria’s head. She looked up to the hole in the wall where the tornado had blown through and saw black crows balancing on the jagged glass above the windowsills.
Pastor Ted saw them too. He roared again and cast his arm in Aria’s direction.
The crows let out an unearthly scream. They dove through the rafters, straight toward Aria. The birds reached out with huge black claws as they descended on her, tearing at her exposed arms, ripping her skin with scissor-sharp beaks. Aria buried herself in her father’s chest and screamed.