Bittersweet and Sparrow Teaser 2

This is the second teaser for my upcoming novel Bittersweet and Sparrow. Press the read more below and enjoy!

Pure animal instinct—wanting to survive—flooded her veins.

There was less whistling now, which Sparrow took as a good sign. Instead the air filled with groans, grunts, and screams. People were dying all around her. She helped a young man to his feet. 

“Do you know the way out of here?” She asked. “I think we need to leave the capital.” 

“Yes.” Blood ran down his face. “But I need to find my father first, will you come with me?” 

Gunshots sounded. 

“What the hell?” She whispered. “What is happening?” 

Had the world been like this before she’d moved into the House? She couldn’t remember. But what she could remember was more green than concrete. Now the ground was hard under her feet and she hadn’t seen a single tree, bush, or pot of flowers, not that she’d notice anyway. 

“It’s the rebels,” the boy said. “Come on.” He waved at her to follow and they crawled down the alley to the other side. The houses here were made of wood, and one of them was on fire. Sparrow followed him. 

She watched the boy crawl onto the main road. He looked back at her, his mouth open as if to say something but nothing came out. Sparrow looked on in panic as he was shot four times in the chest. Who was shooting? The shots echoed in her head. Her eyes watered. 

I need to hide. Now. I need to hide so that no one can find me. She registered  footsteps marching  closer but didn’t see who it was, so instead she threw herself on the closest pile of bodies. She grabbed blood and mud and brought her hands to her face and her hair. After that, she lie very, very still. She willed her breath to soften and even though she couldn’t calm her raging heart, she thought and hoped that they couldn’t actually hear it. 

In the corner of her eye, she could see them now. They wore black head to toe and had big brass rifles in their hands. Are these the rebels? Whoever they were, Sparrow knew that she’d never be on their side. She felt like stopping and spitting at their feet. Whoever they were, they’d destroyed her home and killed hundreds of people.

To her horror, the man closest to her aimed his rifle at one of the people on the ground and fired. She looked on as the others started doing the same. 

“Please!” A female voice Sparrow couldn’t locate rang out. 

“Please what?” Another female voice answered. “I’m Deva of the Amelioratites, and I’m the one who will kill you.” It was followed by a gunshot. 

The shot echoed inside Sparrow’s head. Clearly she wasn’t the only one who had tried to hide among the dead. It was now or never; the people were coming closer. If she ran and they shot at her they might miss, but if she stayed as an unmoving target,  only one thing that could happen. The Amelioratites? Who are they?

Sparrow bolted. She heard the voices behind her and several shots fired. How they missed her, she didn’t know. A sharp sensation hit her shoulder and she staggered forward but her feet kept her running. She ran around a corner and fled into a cellar door, hoping that no one had seen where she went. She bolted the door and dove onto the floor. She went forward on her hands and knees until she found a cupboard. She opened it and crawled inside, the cupboard door closing behind her. It was uncomfortable, having her knees up and her head bent on top of them. But no one would look for her there, of that she was sure. 

Her body ached in a way that it never had before and warm blood oozed down her arm. Had a bullet grazed her shoulder? Had she scraped it while on the ground? She wasn’t sure. It hurt to breath, a sharp pain felt between her shoulder blades every time she inhaled. 

I’m going to die here. A sob escaped her. She wondered how she was still alive. If she’d been a little bit slower down the stairs, the bomb would’ve hit her. If she’d been faster out in the street, the bomb would’ve hit her. She could’ve been shot many times. I’m going to die here. Maybe she would bleed to death. Mama. Sparrow had never felt so alone. Now that she was no longer in direct danger, she started to feel pain. 

Please, please, please, please. Outside, the shooting had stopped and the whistling had begun again. Somewhere close a bomb fell and the ground shook. Sparrow screamed and fell out of the cupboard. She scrambled to her feet and ran to the door. What did it matter to have a hiding spot if a bomb could kill you anyway? She needed to move. Now. Fast. Anywhere was better than here. 

Author note: This is an excerpt from my upcoming novel “Bittersweet and Sparrow”, the first installment in the Waerdarei series. It will be out on the 1st of March.

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