Fantasy Fiction Share

Ok My Loves, I am sharing a sample of my writing that I am submitting for the fiction series. As this is a very new genre for me, I would really love some feedback as to whether you are drawn in and eager to read more…
 
 
As the clock tower struck midnight, Esmeralda pulled the hood of her cloak tight and turned her gaze low. She had traveled as far as she could in the shadows but now found herself on the edge of town. Sucking in the damp autumn air, she moved forward on the cobblestone path with haste.
“If only there was another way,” she thought, as loud voices began to echo throughout the street. Sounds of men drunk with ale rang out from the local tavern. Trying to appear unconcerned as she passed by, she gave a sideways glance to a scantily clad woman, bosom heaving, moaning as a man reached beneath her skirts.
 
A surly looking man stepped from the shadows of an alley and watched Esmeralda take in the scene. Approaching her, almost with a sneer, he grabbed her arm with force and pressed his lips against hers. Jerking away in fright and shock, Esmeralda turned and began to run leaving him and his mocking laughter behind.
 
She ran for what seemed to be miles before she finally found herself at the edge of a grove. She stopped to contain herself and to catch her breath. As she exhaled a deep sigh of relief, she found herself almost laughing as butterflies did somersaults in her tummy. She had been afraid, yes, but more than that she found herself excited and nervous all at once. “This is what it feels to be alive,” she thought, hugging herself against a tree. “What an adventure!”
 
She was used to walking alone but had never dared journey this far before. Her aunts never allowed it, “Before now,” she thought almost grimly. Looking up at the moon, she decided it was best to find a quiet place in the woods to rest for at least an hour or so. Nestling in the forest amidst pine leaves and acorns, she felt at home as exhaustion took over. Weary from travelling, she yawned noting to herself that she absolutely must reach the kingdom before midnight the following day.
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