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Pearson Mary E, “The kiss of deception”, public translation into English from English More about this translation.

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For the first time in my life, I knew with certainty that it was the gift. It had come to me unsummoned. It wasn’t just a seeing, or a hearing, or any of the ways I had heard the gift described. It was a knowing. I closed my eyes, and fear galloped across my ribs. Something was wrong.

“What is it now?”

I opened my eyes. Kaden frowned as if he was tired of the game I played.

“We shouldn’t go this way,” I said.

He blew a deep, annoyed breath from his lungs. “Lia—”

“We don’t take orders from her,” Malich snapped. “Or listen to her babble. She only serves herself.”

Griz and Finch looked at me uncertainly. They waited for something to materialize, and when nothing did, they clicked their reins lightly. We continued at a slower pace for another mile, but the oppressive weight only grew heavier. My mouth went dry, and my palms were damp. I stopped again. They were several paces ahead of me when Griz stopped too. He lifted up in his saddle, then roared, “Chizon!” He snapped his horse to the left.

Eben kicked the sides of his horse, following Griz. “Stampede!” he yelled.

“North!” Kaden shouted to me.

They whipped their horses to full gallop, and I followed. A dust cloud rose in the east, thunderous and dark, immense in its width. Whatever was coming, we would barely outrun it, if we could at all. It rumbled toward us, furious and terrible in its power. Now! I thought. A fist pummeled in my chest. Now, Lia! It was suicide to turn around but I pulled hard on the reins. My horse reared back, and I changed direction, heading south. There was no turning back. I would either make it, or I wouldn’t. In the split seconds before Kaden realized I wasn’t behind him, it would be too late for him to turn and follow.

“Hah!” I yelled. “Hah!”

I watched the horizon roll like a growing black wave. Terror clutched me, it was coming so fast. The landscape ahead became a jostled blur as we raced to beat the enormous cloud. I spotted an elevated knoll and aimed for it, but it was still so far away. The horse knew the terror too. It pulsed through both of us, blinding hot. Sevende! Hurry! Go! Soon it wasn’t just a single dark mass coming at us but a thrashing jumble of bodies, churning legs, and lethal horns. “Hah!” I screamed. The heat of death bore down on us.

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