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Stone of Tears: Chapter One ©Terry Goodkind

Rachel clutched her doll tighter to her chest and stared at the dark thing watching her from the bushes. At least she thought it was watching her. It was hard to tell because the eyes were as dark as the rest of it, except when the light caught them just right; then they gleamed a golden color.

She had seen animals in the woods before, rabbits and raccoons and squirrels and such, but this was bigger. It was as big as her, maybe bigger. Bears were dark. She wondered if it could be a bear.

But this wasn’t exactly the woods, since it was indoors. She had never been in an indoor woods before. She wondered if indoor woods had animals like the outdoor woods did.

She might have been afraid if Chase wasn’t there with her. She knew she was safe with him. Chase was the bravest man she ever saw. Still, she was a little afraid. Chase had told her she was the bravest little girl he knew. She didn’t want him to think she was afraid of some big rabbit.

Maybe that’s all it was, some big rabbit, sitting on a rock or something. But rabbits had long ears. Maybe it really was a bear. She put her doll’s foot in her mouth.

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