Aster Wood The Lost Tales: Jade's Escape

Copyright © 2015 by J. B. Cantwell. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law, or in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information, contact


The night was so dark behind her possessed eyes that the little girl could barely see. She felt heavy. She shrank back from the weight of her own skin, as though a leaded blanket were pushing in on every inch of her body. The farther inward she retreated, away from Master, the darker the world around her became. Nearly blind, she could barely feel the stiff, cold wind as it whipped her hair into the night air. The world was so black, she could hardly make out the giant animal, a beacon as bright as the sun, as it fled. 

The great white panther strode away, moving at incredible speed as it bound down the mountainside and out of her reach. The glowing light of his fur barely penetrated through her darkened vision. 

In her stomach she could feel anger boiling, but it wasn’t her own. The anger overflowed as her black eyes took in the scene of Aster Wood escaping her yet again. 

Oh, Aster, come back. I’m still here. 

The voice in her head was small and quiet. It was her own voice, pure and free from Master’s manipulations. 

But it was quickly overcome by his wicked desires. 

As though she were a puppet on strings, she raised her hands above her head, breaking huge chunks of stone from the mountain with the rock power she had been born with. The inside of her heart, the part that hadn’t been corrupted by the Corentin’s possession, cried out at the sight of her own, beloved home crumbling at her hands. But she gritted her teeth and pulled at the mountain with her mind, forcing it to break apart, bringing it down in bigger and bigger pieces, determined to catch the escaping boy and the monster he rode upon.

Master wanted her to catch them. She could pin them beneath a boulder and then…

Catch them, she thought.

Suddenly, the darkness of her vision cleared, pushing Master away, and she turned to watch the escaping boy and beast. 

I can catch them! Then they will have to come back for me. Then they’ll see. 

Anything so that she wouldn’t be left behind alone.

The chunks of mountain tumbled down the precipice after them. Part of her wished that one would hit the animal, making him stop, making him turn around and help her. But it expertly maneuvered through the avalanche, and she doubted even a single pebble disturbed it as it made its escape. She raised her hands up again, this time without Master’s command, but then stopped herself. If she made one wrong move, if even the smallest rock escaped her control and hit the animal, or hit Aster, then all hope would be lost. 

Tears of frustration and agony rolled down her moon-white cheeks, and she lowered her hands, watching them go. 

Come back.

Sensing her weakness, Master’s power overtook her again, and she turned away from the scene, unable to will her own body to stay and watch them disappear.