Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study (Study #1) by Maria V. Snyder Chapter One Locked in darkness that surrounded me like a coffin, I had nothing to distract me from my memories. Vivid recollections waited to ambush me whenever my mind wandered. Encompassed by the blackness, I remembered white-hot flames stabbing at my face. Though my hands had been tied to a post that dug sharply into my back, I had recoiled from the onslaught. The fire had pulled away just before blistering my skin, but my eyebrows and eyelashes had long since been singed off. “Put the flames out!” a man’s rough voice had ordered. I blew at the blaze through cracked lips. Dried by fire and fear, the moisture in my mouth had gone and my teeth radiated heat as if they had been baked in an oven. “Idiot,” he cursed. “Not with your mouth. Use your mind. Put the flames out with your mind.” Closing my eyes, I attempted to focus my thoughts on making the inferno disappear. I was willing to do anything, no matter how irrational, to persuade the man to stop. “Try harder.” Once again the heat swung near my face, the bright light blinding me in spite of my closed eyelids. “Set he
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