More from Hedge House, a paranormal/urban fantasy, almost finished first draft. Cara has gone outside to explore the property a bit.
Her grandmother’s house – her house now – sat back from the road. It was completely surrounded by a tall thick untamed hedge of hawthorn trees, planted in an alternating double row. A stone fence snaked between their trunks, filling up the space beneath their branches, and a variety of bramble bushes – raspberry, blackberry, and wild rose – sprawled up and over it.
Cara walked along the edge of the property, feeling safe and protected by the thorny plants that surrounded it. And along with the security came a sense of belonging and she sighed, looking up at the trees as the soft wind rustled their leaves. It sounded as if they were whispering to her and she smiled, shaking off the flight of fancy.
In one corner stood the largest of the trees, an ancient oak. Looking up, she saw that her tree house was still in its lowest branches. Curious, she clambered up onto the stone wall, mindful of the thorns, and peered onto the low platform. To her surprise, the wood seemed new and sturdy, and carefully she crawled onto it and leaned back against the trunk of the tree, smiling as she looked up through the leaves.
She remembered hours spent here, looking up through the leaves and branches, seeing pictures formed as they moved in the breeze and making up stories to go with the images.
Focusing her attention on her breathing she let her mind and body relax, letting her eyes become unfocused, letting images come. It had been so much easier as a child…
She saw a woman’s face, familiar but not. It seemed to be smiling in approval, but then the wind shifted and a shadow blocked the sun. When the cloud had passed the face was gone and she shivered, sitting up again.
When Cara Hawthorne returns to the childhood home she had been torn away from twenty years earlier, she thinks it will be to do nothing more than settle her grandmother’s estate and return to her job as a junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Tulsa.
But every nook and cranny of the house and gardens unearths long-buried memories, and when the town’s mayor sets his sights on her and the property she finds herself caught up in a centuries old battle with powers she has only barely begun to understand