An Awakening In the Cellar (an excerpt from The Matriarch)

SkyTreeFangMoon10Janiss opened her eyes.

Was it still dark? How early was it?

The bed felt wonderful, like waking up the first morning after getting over being sick. She closed her eyes again. The smell of freshly turned soil made her remember helping her Grampa work in the garden.


Her eyes snapped open. She was laying on her stomach with one arm behind her and the other against the bed, only it wasn’t a bed. She clawed at the imagined sheets only to dig her fingers into earth.

Sitting up with a start, there was a hint of light coming through a small opening very high up on the wall. It looked familiar. Her mind raced; where had she seen that light?

The cellar. She was in the cellar?!

Her eyes adjusted. She was peeking over the edge of the cellar floor into a pile of rubble stacked against a brick wall. How was she looking up over the floor unless she was beneath it? She could make the edge of the inner cellar door looming in the dim light over her shallow grave.

Janiss knew she was in danger. How did she get there? Did someone try to bury her alive?

Hold it together, she told herself. She could worry about what had happened and what had been done to her when she was safe.

She drew her feet up into a crouched position and then stood up. The hole was no more than two feet deep and easily escaped. Moving carefully to the door, she checked to see if she had anything in her pockets, but there were no pockets. She wasn’t wearing any clothes at all!

Panic welled up again. She trembled at the thought she might have been raped, and her eyes teared up with despair.

No, she thought. She wasn’t dead, but she might as well be if she gave into this. She didn’t know what was happening, but if she could get to someone, anyone, it would be okay. No one except her parents knew the farmhouse and property as well as she did. She could get away.

Read more about the upcoming novel, The Matriarch…