A year ago TODAY, Ella Barnes (main character from The Witches’ Sleep) was shot and killed. In rememberance of her short human life, I’ve decided to give you guys another little “sneak peek” from the sequel, World of the Beasts! I hope you guys enjoy!
For those who haven’t read The Witches’ Sleep yet, here is the prologue so you can see for yourself the record of Ella Barnes’ chilling death.
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December 11, 2011
Ella’s life hasn’t been so bad. She can’t complain. Others have had it worse than her. But she didn’t know that her life would end so soon. Why would anyone want her dead?
He has been hunting her for weeks now and has tried killing her in subtle ways many times. The car wreck on the loop, the carbon monoxide leak at her house and the cut brakes on her car. They were all his attempts to murder the seventeen-year-old.
Ella’s head is spinning as she begins to put the pieces together. She thought she was going crazy, thinking someone was trying to kill her.
She’s not as crazy as she thought.
Sad thing is, she doesn’t know what she’s done in her life for him to think she deserves to die. In fact, Ella doesn’t even know who he is. She doesn’t have any enemies. And very few people don’t like her.
What did she do?
All those death sentences she had barely escaped, but this one she can’t. This time the Assassin is making sure she’ll die. He plans on shooting her. It’s not the way he was told to kill them, but the “accidental death” doesn’t seem to be working.
Might as well, he thinks. Besides, I like the fear in their eyes. For once, I’m superior.
Ella runs through the bare, snow-covered trees and brush near her home in Logan, Utah. Her lungs are begging for more oxygen. It doesn’t make it easier to breathe in this cold weather.
Ella had simply gone for a walk through the forest to admire nature when he approached her wearing a ski mask to hide his features. He doesn’t want her to be able to put the pieces together after she’s gone. But still, Ella could tell that he has a long, thin nose and black, beady eyes. He’s slim built as well, she notes.
“Ella,” he said her name as if he’d known her for years.
Her heart hammered painful beats against her ribs.
He continued, “With you out of the way, I can finally continue with my business.”
Ella wanted to turn and run the moment she realized his intention was to end her life. This was her hunter, the man that wanted her dead, a man she had hoped she would never meet.
Her feet wouldn’t move. They were frozen to the ground. Fear coursed through her body. Her head spun, making her dizzy.
He took a slow step towards her. Ella could imagine the sick, twisted smile under the mask.
“You’re a lucky witch,” he said. “But it looks like your luck has finally run out, huh?”
“No,” she cried softly, her voice stuck in her throat. “Please don’t.”
He paused for a second. “I’m not the bad guy,” he tells her after a moment. “I only want what’s best for my people.”
Ella saw his hand wrap around his back. A gun. She just knew that was what he was reaching for.
Suddenly, Ella was in control of her feet again. She flew from him like there’s no tomorrow.
And for her, that’s very likely.
She hears the gun go off. The bullet ricochets off a tree near her head, but by some miracle, it doesn’t hit her.
He fires again. It misses her by a hair. Bang! Again, he fires, again, he misses. She doesn’t slow down. She pushes her legs harder, faster. Her legs cry out from the pain. Her lungs gasp for relief, her heart bangs on her chest, begging her to stop. Ella refuses to give in.
The firing doesn’t cease. The bullets keep flying by her, hitting trees as she runs past them.
Out of nowhere, a familiar nursery rhyme begins playing in her head, and she’s confused as to why. The song drowns everything.
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream…
It’s her mother’s voice singing in her head. It is a memory of her singing that song to Ella as a child.
Bang! The bullet flies by her ear. But the music doesn’t stop.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily —
The next thing Ella knows is she’s on her face on the ground, eating the freezing, dirty snow. Her back cries out in pain. Her insides scream in agony from the bullet that ripped through her body.
She tries moving, but she’s too far gone to do anything but lay there on her face in the cold snow, her blood slowly draining from her body.
Ella had always thought that life was supposed to flash before the eyes of a person who’s about to die. To her utmost disappointment, it doesn’t hers. All she can think about is how much she wants the pain to go away. How ready she is to be done with life now.
Ella suddenly wants to die. She decides she’s ready. After all, her life hadn’t been so bad. In fact, it was a good life.
Ella’s mind begins shutting down. Her organs are freezing. She forgets how to take in a breath and let it out.
She slips into the dark abyss, knowing that she’s too far gone to even try to muster up whatever hope she has left of surviving. What else can she do? So she welcomes death with open arms as her blood stains the snowy ground.
Life is but a dream…