Dare to Trust
by J.L. Bowen
Thirteen-year-old Armond Costa heals in three days, no matter what abuse his uncle and aunt inflict upon him. On his fourteenth birthday, he sprouts wings and discovers his aunt and uncle had lied to him. He's the lost Golden Demon's Healer. His father, King of the Golden Demons, insists he return with him and save his people from being persecuted by their mortal enemies, the Dark Demons. Now, Armond must choose between the Ellis brothers and seventeen-year-old Rusty Owens -- the only family he's ever known -- or condemn the Golden Demons to extinction.
“It’s five minutes to midnight, Peter. Do you think he’ll change?”
“They always do. Fourteen. At the witching hour.”
I clutched the iron chain and flung it at them, but it clunked short at their feet.
Uncle Peter narrowed his eyes. “You better stop right now.”
I flicked it again. “Stay away from me.” My voice sounded funny, like I was plugging my nose. What would he do if someone planned to cut his fat ass into tiny pieces?
Splintering pain burned in my back, and the force of the torment threw me onto my stomach, robbing me of my breath. Something moved inside me like a knife moving through my flesh. But Aunt and Uncle stood still. They hadn’t moved. Stop, make it stop. I screamed.
Uncle Peter ran over and held my right arm. “Janet, grab his other arm. They’re forming.”
Aunt clawed her nails into my left arm. Uncle tightened his grip and covered my mouth. I tasted dead fish. Did he ever wash his hands?
Agony pierced my spine. My betraying stomach roller-coasted, and last night’s dinner of roast beef and mashed potatoes rushed up my throat. I withered and spewed in his palm. “Please, stop.”
Suddenly, they released me. I collapsed, face-first in my own vomit. Slime shot up my nose, and I sneezed. My arms trembling, I pushed away from the putrid smell.
The blinding torture slowly faded. Cool air caressed my back and moved my hair. I wiped my sweating brow. I could breathe.
I glanced over my shoulder to see where the cool air was coming from, and my heart raced into a pounding frenzy. I blinked. It couldn’t be. Not feathers like a bird or an angel, but shiny and smooth like leather. I shook my head, but my wings were still there.
Cobwebs flew overhead and landed on Aunt’s arm. She brushed her arm and did a little jig. “Eewww, get it off me!”
“Janet, quit whining. Grab his other arm, and let’s move him across the room here before I get sick.”
They dragged me, the chains hanging down likes vines, and tossed me into the corner. I groaned.
Uncle plopped down onto my buttocks. “Get the chain-saw,” he said. “And plug it into the wall.”
“Please don’t kill me,” I said, my voice too puny.
He anchored his boots on the iron bands around my wrist and shifted hard. My wrists snapped. Pulsing agony bolted up my arm. I shrieked.
“Here.” Aunt Janet panted and handed him the chain-saw. “Take it. It’s heavy.”
“I’ve broken both of his wrists, so he won’t be able to move them when I ask you to hold him down.”
Aunt seized my wrists. Torment rippled through me from the tips of my fingers up to my shoulders.
But this wasn’t bad enough—Uncle stood on my thighs, his boots digging into my skin and muscle, crushing me into the ground. Too weak to move, I struggled to say something, but only gasped. I swallowed and spat, “Get off me.”
The roar of the chain-saw blocked out my yell. Jagged blades cut into me. Bones cut and shattered. My teeth chattered. I screamed loud, wishing someone would hear me. Anyone. But the grinding of the machine was too loud.
Not even getting beaten with a baseball bat hurt this bad. Blood and gore splattered onto Aunt’s face. At her blood-sucking vampire smile, I passed out.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
J.L. Bowen writes both contemporary and paranormal young adult books, and she lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, Colorado. She loves to take her cocker spaniel, Raven, walks on the trails behind her house or up at her family cabin in Frisco, CO. She is a member of the Colorado Romance Writers of America, Young Adult Romance Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America. She has won awards for her CRW newsletter articles. She loves to go on ghost tours and her favorite ghost tour was the Jack the Ripper Tour in London.
J.L. Bowen can be contacted through her website:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/J.L.-Bowen/e/B007W969IE
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