Let’s all give a warm welcome to someone who isn’t a stranger on this blog and who is a dear friend, a talented author, my online pastor, and did I mention a talented author? Tabitha writes one of my all time favorite series, The Chronicle of the Three, and I’m sad it’s over. But, such is life. All good things must come to an end! 😉 The TCO3 series is pretty much the cousin to my Entertaining Angels series (just kidding, sort of), and I think you guys would so love it!
Hi!! In honor of all things creepy and spooky I thought I’d share with you lovelies one of my favorite scenes from the final installment of The Chronicle of the Three Trilogy, Eden Sword.
In this little snippet, Zoe, Daniel and Maggie are doing one of their regular night patrols for demons who are ravaging their small town of Torch Creek. In the dead of a winter night the local playground takes on a darker visage.
Things seemed strange at night. During the daylight hours, even in winter, there was always some activity here. Joggers would be pounding the pavement of the small track that circled the perimeter. People walked their dogs. Children played on the colorful playground. Under this blanket of darkness, it was much more eerie. The wind rustled through dead branches, replacing the summer song of tree frogs and mockingbirds, and the rays of the moon created shadows of each limb as cracked lines along the ground. In the daytime, this place was nothing but life, but in the dark of December, it seemed like only death.
Zoe clenched her fists and squared her shoulders. The smoldering battleground of her nightmares flashed like a slideshow through her mind. The shadowy grass of the park a reminder of that horrid landscape she couldn’t shake free of. She bit the inside of her cheek trying to regain her grip on reality.
“Is it windy enough for that to be happening?” Maggie asked, pointing toward a red and blue see-saw that was beginning to teeter back and forth, its hinges squeaking with the movement.
“No, it isn’t,” Daniel answered. Zoe saw that he already had a knife in his hand.
The low whistle of a slowly turning merry-go-round and the creaking of movement of the swing set created a creepy chorus which filled the silent night. The melody of customary hissing joined the arrangement, swirling in on an icy wind that drew goosebumps up Zoe’s arms and down her spine. She squatted to retrieve her dagger from its keep, rising back up with it gripped tightly, ready as the demons glared from their perches all over the small playground.
Zoe felt an arm brush hers as Maggie leaned close to her to ask, “When would be a good time to shoot one?”
“I’d prefer that you go right to rock formation.” Zoe’s eyes never left the ensemble that was now drooling ash from its many barred fangs. “Daniel, you take the swings on the left, I’ll take everything to the right. Maggie stay back and shoot anything that looks at you.” Zoe ordered then took the first step toward the see-saw but paused to give one last glance over her shoulder. “Oh, and Mags, don’t miss.”
To her relief, Maggie lifted her bow with steady hands. “Yeah. Got it chief.”
Zoe gave a nod to Daniel and the two charged at the shadows before them. Sulfur stung Zoe’s cold nose. The rustling of chains at the swing set and shrill shrieks signaled each demon’s demise. But Zoe didn’t dare turn to verify Daniel’s triumphs. She was focused on her own task. There were at least five shadows that she could see, and she was sure more had to be waiting in the darkness of nearby branches. “Maggie keep your eyes open!” she yelled.
“I’d be afraid to close them!” came Maggie’s comforting response.
Zoe lunged at the first two shadows that had perched themselves on the teeter-totter. She stabbed her dagger into the first while drawing one of Lucas’s throwing knives and flung it at the other. As they dissolved, she turned toward the three that had dug their claws into the old wooden merry-go-round. She ran and leapt onto the turning wheel, tossing another knife into one’s forehead, and then thrust her lion blade into a second. The third reached out, planting its nails in her shoulder. She could feel the burn through her jacket but bit back the pain with a low growl. She spun around and drove her dagger into its hollow chest.
“Zoe!” She heard Maggie cry out as the shadow in front of her turned to ash and another jumped onto her back.
Zoe was pushed forward, falling onto the wood underneath her. She kicked and squirmed until she was able to roll. She shoved the demon off of her and onto the ground just as an arrow struck its abdomen. Relief was short lived as another shadow dropped from a high branch and landed on top of Zoe, pinning her shoulders down. The force of it knocked the dagger out of her hand. She strained her fingers but couldn’t quite reach it so she grabbed the demon’s wrists and pulled instead. She tore loose from its grip and then bucked up so that she could roll it off of her and switched positions so that she was now straddling the creature. She gripped its neck with her bare hands and it writhed underneath her, scratching at her arms and legs trying to break free.
“Zoe!” she heard Daniel yell.
“Zoe stop!” Maggie’s panicked scream got louder as she got closer.
Zoe felt pain seer through the skin of her hands where they choked the demon under her. Blood was trickling down her arms and soaked into her sleeves. She could feel the cotton material clinging to her and only then realized that there was no power flowing along with the blood in her veins. There was no light nor warmth emanating from her to kill the unholy vermin that still struggled against her. Zoe’s face pinched together and she quickly searched for her dagger with pained eyes. She reached one hand to grab it, wincing when her tender skin gripped its handle. Her muscles quivered as she plunged the blade into the shadow with a frustrated roar. She stabbed it again and again and again, oblivious to the fact that her knife was only hitting ash and wood until Daniel stopped her hand.
The Chronicle of the Three Trilogy follows Zoe Andrews as she learns demons are real, the people she loves are at risk, and she is chosen to defeat a great evil. But fighting with swords might be a little easier than fighting the demons that begin to plague her mind and heart. Can she find the strength to withstand the darkness trying to destroy her before it destroys her world?
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Tabitha Caplinger is a wife, mom, youth pastor and author. She loves coffee, chocolate and takes her tv addiction very seriously. Besides writing about girls who slay demons she seeks to help all young women who struggle with who they are and what they are worth. She wants them to discover their identity and learn to live for their purpose on purpose (#LiveChosen). Above everything she uses her writing to show them that, like her characters, they are powerful, chosen, loved and never alone.
If you’re interested in more #LiveChosen content from Tabitha be sure to go to her website, tabithacaplinger.com, and subscribe to her monthly newsletter. As a bonus you will get a FREE sample of The Chronicle of the Three: Bloodline as well as be one of the first to receive her “5-day Kick Start to Living Chosen.”