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Forest of the Dark-- Book Excerpt

Taking one last deep breath, she closed her eyes, using the woman’s soft voice to lull her deeper into sleep. She thought she would see only serene darkness, instead, she found herself in red-orange burning void. There was nothing above her and nothing under her feet.
The only things she saw was a wall of orange smoke surrounding her.
There was no escape and no choice but to watch the images presented her on the screen of orange smoke.
Like in the drive-in theatre Mom and Dad used to take me to when I was a child,” She said in a numb voice.
She didn’t see her father; only her mother. Her mother was young with thick black hair which she was combing in front of a mirror. She was humming to herself as she picked up a ruby bracelet and draped it over her wrist.
Her mother looked happy and carefree—in a flash that was gone.
She saw strange men in the translucent screen, throwing money at her mother and walking out the door. She, in turn, picked up the wads of money and screamed obscenities at them, or Maya thought she must have since the images were muted.
What-?” She wanted to turn away and walk away from what she was seeing, but it was as if invisible hands were pulling on her until she could only stand in one spot.
Let me go!” She screamed.
In the next instant, she saw her Mother running toward her, a sneer on her face and this time she heard the angry roar her Mother emitted as she charged.
Maya screamed, pulling at her invisible binds to no avail.
Mom!” Maya screamed. “Don’t!”
Her mother put her hands around her throat and squeezed. “I hate you!”
Maya felt the air grow thicker ad acrid. The smoke had morphed into giant flames and she felt her skin sizzling.
It’s all because of you!” Her mother screamed at her.
She could smell her breath—it was like rotten tomatoes burning. The breath was hot and the droplets of spit that sprayed out were acid.
I didn’t do anything.” Maya was finding it hard to breathe.
They left because of you! They didn’t want to take care of you!”
Mom!” Maya gasped.
The hands around her throat grew firmer and she started to cry and cough, but no air entered her lungs.
Dark clouds enveloped her vision and when she opened her eyes again, she saw the tall trees.
Then she realized she still couldn’t breathe. Looking down, she found herself lying on the ground and over her body was the old woman, straddling her. She was pulling at her hair and Maya felt cold trembles rock her body when she saw that the old woman’s long grey hair was curled around her throat.

She’s using her hair to strangle me!

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