Sample of "Shiver Cove, Part 1: Tamyra" by TJ Shortt

Chapter 1

A tickling sensation roused Tamyra. She scratched her stomach. It took a moment to sink in, but her fingers met skin with no resistance. No pajamas, no blankets, only bare flesh. As the fuzzy sleep feeling dissolved, she became aware how the warm June breeze played over her, caressing her.

She jolted awake, shaken to find herself not in bed. Night sky above. She slumbered outside and to her horror, naked. Tamyra wrapped her arms around her light brown body to shield herself as she rose to her haunches.

Confused and frightened, she bit back tears. She woke up in strange places a few times since the first change, but last night she locked herself in a cage. With each full moon her wolf-self adapted, becoming harder to contain. Embracing the wolf seemed impossible.

She needed a clear head to get a grip on her situation. Pushing aside the answers of how, she focused on the question of where. A backyard. The house looked similar to hers. She hadn’t left her own neighborhood.

As the dark sky over the houses began to take on an orangey hue, she grew more alarmed. A lump formed in her throat and the water welling up inside her bottom lids threatened to spill. In the light people would be able to see her naked. Annoyed at her emotions trying to take over, she chuffed to clear her throat and wiped her eyes.

She had to pull it together. Crying wouldn’t make things better. Finding focus, Tamyra searched the area for anything to help cover her body.

The tiny yard consisted of a patio area with enough space to hold a plastic table and four chairs. She crouched on a grassy patch smaller than the patio. There wasn’t enough room for a shed. A shed could have been useful.

She spied the table’s sun umbrella and contemplated pulling the fabric off it. The task would require a lot of work and Tamyra didn’t like the idea of wrecking someone else’s property. She decided it would be her last resort.

She tried to dismiss the feeling of being watched. The paranoia had to be due to being so exposed. Her gaze flitted over the windows of nearby houses. Although she couldn’t see anyone, it didn’t help much. Despite the warmth of the night, a shiver ran through her. Tamyra brought her attention back to the problems at hand; find something to hide her nudity and figure out where she ended up.

Knee-high bushes lined the fence and she scuttled over to them for cover. From beside her came a rustling sound. The breeze toyed with some type of paper under the bushes. A lucky break. Hopefully something as big as a newspaper. She stretched out her right hand as she clamped her left arm over her breasts. Her fingers brushed paper. She grabbed it. Thick, heavy paper. It made crinkling noises as she tried to dislodge it.

Making a slight tearing sound, it came free. She held a large paper sack, the kind her mom collected leaves in. The part Tamyra could see looked intact and dry.

She rolled the bag over and groaned. The bottom of it dripped cloudy brown water and a musty worm smell emanated from it. Tamyra glanced back at the patio umbrella and cursed herself for even thinking it. The leaf sack would have to do.

The wet part tore off with little effort and damp leaves spilled over her toes. Cringing at further exposure, she moved her left arm and shook the bag with both hands until everything emptied out.

Tamyra held the paper sack to allow for as much cover as possible. While rising to stand, she slipped the bag over her head. It stank. Fortunately the wide sack didn’t really touch her skin, except where her arms had to clamp down to hold it up. Grateful to be covered to the knees, she tried not to think some of the wet spots pressing against her could be slugs or worms.

Time to go home, hopefully without being seen.

She loathed the idea of leaving the secluded backyard, but seeing the street signs would be key to figuring out where she was. She crept up to the gate. The low chain link didn’t do much to hide her from the street. Tamyra shuddered as she reached for the latch, terrified of being seen.

She sucked up her courage and opened the gate. She hoped, because of the early hour, no one would be up yet. As she stepped onto the driveway, the bag rustled with every movement. Tamyra knew her fear made the sound thunderous to her alone, but the knowledge gave no comfort.

She scanned the street. Tamyra knew her surroundings; a block, a park, a few houses and then home! To her relief, there wasn’t a soul in sight.

She darted down the driveway towards home. Tamyra managed to fly up the street and cut into the schoolyard before she encountered any more trouble.

That's just the beginning!

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This page contains the first chapter of Shiver Cove, Part 1: Tamyra by TJ Shortt as a sample. This sample has been published with permission from the author and/or publisher of Shiver Cove, Part 1: Tamyra, whoever originally submitted the book for review.