My first 254 words. Will happily return critiques!
Storms and curfews always ruined Beth Hawthorne’s summers, but none had ever been as inconvenient as these.
She sat on the curb, ratty cloak drawn around her shoulders and blonde hair plastered to the sides of her face. Rain pounded hard beyond the awning, streaking the main square of Brimwilm with silver and grey. Fairy weather, they called it. Even so, people ambled inside little shops that hadn’t closed yet and held tight to umbrellas as they sloshed through the street.
Surely they knew curfew was about to hit; that in twenty minutes, soldiers would come with armor and swords to chase them back to their homes. If Beth had her way, she would have left long before sunset. But no. No, her stepsisters hadn’t finished shopping.
The two of them were tearing up the dressmaker’s store with hurricane force. Their voices, usually so shrill, were softened by the steady music of the rain. Beth glanced at the door for the hundredth time, foot bouncing up and down as she tried to gauge how much longer they would take.
“Don’t worry,” said a smooth voice. Beth’s stepmother, Cordelia, always sounded much more pleasant when she was talking to her daughters. “We have plenty of time.”
Beth bit her lip as she turned to face the street. A flash of lightning sparked over the trees in the distance, casting them in a blinding white haze.
The Perdon forest was the most haunted on their continent, Byore. It was also half a mile away.