Nestled in the Woods
Sue, an aspiring young violinist is thrust into a nightmare. Her innocence is shattered. The book tells how she deals with it and overcomes the nightmare through her faith in God.
The year is 1953. Susanna Elder, on her way home from school, is attacked by an unknown assailant. She blocks the incident out to the point of true denial. When she finally realizes that the nightmare is real, her innocence is shattered. She must make decisions that disrupt her family, threaten her future plans, and destroy her hopes of romance. Although she must contend with rejection and opposition, her Christian faith sustains her. the experiences of her aged grandmother and others guide her on teh path she takes. She learns how sorrow and turmoil can be turned into joy and peace; she learns how fear can be dissipated by trust in God; she learns that hope never needs to be lost and character will win out over circumstance.
Excerpts from chapter 1
When Sue woke up this morning she figured it would either be the worst or the best day of her life. By two thirty in the afternoon the day was only mediocre…routine. But clawing at the fringes of her mind was a hint that it could be both. A watershed.
What was it Miss Gruber said in Lit class the other day? “Life has many mountains to climb. Some will simply be dry peaks in a desert; others will be a watershed that will influence the rest of your life. Follow refreshing streams as you climb.” Well, turning sixteen should be a watershed…
Along the hillside where she walked heavy woodland lined one side of the street and light brush the other. A little creek ran under a one lane bridge near the old train station. This was a place of enchantment for her, with the emerging spring buds, bird song, and chattering squirrels in the nearby woods. Since there were no sidewalks by the edge of the woods, it was necessary to walk in the street. Sue liked this spot between the creek and the old railroad station, with the backdrop of the woods, because it was quiet and serene, and the not too distant houses were out of sight. It was her private spot. She lingered on the bridge for a while and then loitered on the street beyond the bridge.
She breathed in the damp scents of the woods and creek and concentrated on the tunes the different birds sang. Like to write a song using the birds’ melodies. She looked at the deep blue of the sky reflected in the rippling stream and saw a pool of water so clear that the brown rocks on the bottom of the stream glinted in the sun. This reminded her of Duncan’s brown eyes…
Totally oblivious to all but her own thoughts, she continued to daydream along the side of the creek, ignoring the fact that she wasted precious time when she could be practicing violin. Sue felt as though she was part of the environment. The surrounding nature melded with her newly awakening wonder of love and the music that constantly sang in her mind. I could go on dreaming like this all afternoon…
A man had been asleep back in the woods, but the traffic on the streets beyond the woods nagged him into semi-alertness, so he moved out to the edge of the woods. As he slowly emerged from his alcoholic stupor he thought about the girl...
Anger rose with fire from deep inside…hotter than the whisky that boiled in his veins. As the rage built, he saw her invitation; her scheming ways whispered to him; she flaunted herself in front of him. A cacophony of voices urged him on.
He moved stealthily from the thicket and came up behind her in order to throw his blanket over her. As he threw the blanket with one arm, he clamped his hand over her mouth with his other hand. He hit the girl on the side of her head before she could get a look at him.
Suddenly Sue’s dream dissolved and it was replaced by terror and fear. She couldn’t breathe, and she was dizzy. She realized that someone had grabbed her from behind, threw something over her head, pinned her arms behind her, and pushed her onto the ground. Something was wrapped about her so she couldn’t move, and then the person picked her up and carried her somewhere. She couldn’t see who it was, but he was strong…too strong for her to resist him. She tried to scream, but he clamped his hand over her mouth.
What’s happening to me? Again, she tried to scream, but she couldn’t utter a peep.