Here’s an excerpt from Of Rose and Cruelty:
A large shadow stirs behind me. The beast.
Shakily, I turn to face it. It remains in the shadows, and I cannot see its hideous face up close. It sniffs loudly, and steam exits its large nostrils.
“I… I am the gardener.” I thrust out the weeds I’m holding as proof.
Suddenly, it lurches forward, its face inches from mine. It’s studying me. I cannot tell what it thinks of me or my purpose, but slowly it slinks back to the shadows.
Try as I might, I must confess that encounter frightened and even shamed me. Focusing on my task at hand soothes me slightly, and I reach for the moss covering the castle wall.
A loud, horrific, animalistic roar bellows from behind me...