Prologue

‘You have to run Justin. They’re going to come for you’ I whisper

‘I know Ad but I have to let it happen. It’s my destiny’ 

A tall dark haired boy, around 16, stands in front of me.

‘Well,’ I say reluctantly. ‘Stay safe’

‘You too’

He surprises me by pressing his lips against mine. I smile and look up at him.

‘What was that for?’ I say

‘Just because’ he grins.

‘Well thank you’

I hug Justin and he holds me tight. In that moment I feel safe and protected. I never want that moment to end. Then I let go and the moment passes. I look at him, etching his dark brown eyes and his black hair into my memory just incase this is the last time I’ll see him.

Then, with a wave I mount Mystery, my pure blood friesian. I cluck gently and he breaks into a smooth gallop, up the path. I turn back and see Justin standing, slowly growing smaller and smaller. When I can’t see him anymore I turn my attention back to my riding.

‘Good boy’ I praise as Mystery crosses the bridge that always used to make him spook. I ride as one with Mystery, part human, part horse. 

‘Hey Edd’ I call to the stoutly built man who manages the Inn by the Bridge.

I pull up Mystery and he snorts, impatient to get running again. Edd waves and walks over to me.

‘Hello Adele’

He discreetly hands me a slip of paper. I smile gratefully at him, knowing how dangerous his job is.

‘Catch you around’ he says, before walking away.

I gently squeeze Mystery and he canters down the path. Once I’m sure that nobody is around I unfold the paper.

Secret Lookout. Observe E.

Four words. I toss the paper to the wind. Careless. I would pay for that mistake later. 

As soon as I reach the Secret Lookout, I stare at the mass of land before me. I get out my binoculars and focus on the building. Just as I’d thought. They were up to something for sure. But what?

Suddenly the wind shifts and I tense. Something is wrong. Very wrong. 

I turn Mystery around, ready to flee. But he rears up, terrified and scared. With a piercing scream I fall from the saddle. Quickly scrambling to my feet I gasp at what lies before me. A figure dressed completely in red with swirling eyes that made me feel dizzy just thinking about them, is holding onto Mystery’s reins. Mystery is terrified and his cries touch my heart. As I run towards my horse, something heavy and grey slams into me. I cry out desperately, seeking help when there is none. I manage to get back to my feet only to stagger backwards. But I have forgotten about the cliff behind me. My foot slips and my heart lurches. My pounding heart sounds like a drum, loud and relentless. Desperately trying to keep my balance, I whirl my arms like a windmill. Then, I fall with the sound of Mystery’s desperate cries and an evil laugh echoing through my head. Then everything turns black.

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