Today we have a sneak peek from Marta Szemik’s book Two Halves:
Twenty-one-year-old Sarah is a child of a human mother and a vampire father and has suppressed her dark side with serums. The only memory of her mother is when Sarah killed her, soon after birth. Of her father, nothing—just a hatred for his vampire traits that made her kill her own mother.
When a disturbing nightmare foretelling her bleak future stirs the superhuman traits, underworld creatures are beaconed. On the run with William, a man she knows from her dreams, Sarah tries to learn what’s been hidden from her, for a good reason. Had she known her destiny, she may have continued with the serums that kept her hidden.
Hundreds of miles—that’s how far I ran, each day. My feet should have been blistered, but they weren’t human feet. I should have been out of breath, but I didn’t need to breathe. I was tired, but not from the running; that was impossible. Thoughts whirled constantly through my mind: Where should I run next? What would be the best way to mislead the seekers? I carried a map in my head of where I’d been. Black marked the roads I’d passed; red for those I had to avoid; green for those I could still use. And that was what tired me. But this was the only constant in my life. This was my life, and would be for a long time. Running.
I covered any tracks that could lead the seekers home and laid false trails to confuse them, to keep them away from my family. Twelve months had passed since my wife died, twelve months since Sarah was born. I longed to see her, but couldn’t risk it. She had to remain hidden. I kept running.
I headed northwest at first, then northeast, then back northwest toward the opposite coast, zigzagging across America, away from the demon world. They would think I returned to my kind and stop the chase—or so I hoped.
It was summer; the days were at their longest, complicating my travel. If I could last until September, I knew I’d be safe again, travelling farther through the longer nights, spending less time avoiding daylight. Now, when the skies were clear, I hid in the shadows of dense forests, dark alleys, and low bridges. I hunted at night, feeding on any mammals I caught—except humans, that is. This was the new me. I’d been a cold-blooded vampire since 1823, but now my judgment clear; I was newly compassionate. Only when protecting my family did the ferocity and the viciousness, come to the fore, necessary to preserve both our kinds.
I couldn’t slow down. Sarah was turning one in a week. Seekers were still looking for her and William. The decision to move my daughter to Pinedale was difficult, but I knew it was the right choice—she was the stronger one, and more resilient. Helen would take care of her. She’d continue mixing the serums that kept Sarah hidden. Atram, my best friend, sent a telegram to the most northerly post office in each state once a month. I stepped outside the building and pulled the telegram from its envelope. Grimly, I read: EVERYONE’S WELL. STOP. KIDS GETTING ALONG. STOP. HEART CONDITION GETTING WORSE. STOP. THEY’RE LEAVING IN TWO WEEKS. STOP.
Sarah and William couldn’t get too close to each other. When they laughed, their heartbeats quickened uncontrollably, turning laughter into loud cries of pain. Thin veins appeared on their innocent, chubby faces. The electric shock between them was as quick and unpredictable as snapping your fingers. They needed each other to fulfill their destiny, yet they couldn’t be together.
How will they do it? I thought. How will they ever save both our kinds from extinction? [subscribe2]