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Note to the Reader: The following snippets are rough draft chapters of my current WIP MG fiction novel CAUGHT IN THE ACT: THE SPELL.

PROLOGUE

… 35 Years in the Future, Saratoga, New York

The girl sat with her elbows propped on the desk in front of her. Her hands were fisted in her hair, scrunched in thought. Her day had been filled with the joys of summer. She’d gone for an early morning swim with her friends at the pool and then zipped off to work to earn a little money at the local bakery. Outside her window, day drifted into night.

“Sarah, honey! It’s time to eat,” her mother called from the kitchen below.

“I’ll be right down,” she answered and turned back to the computer screen blinking at her.

Her room smelled of the roses her dad had given her at her thirteenth birthday party last Saturday. Her room was still and quiet, but the swift clicking of the keys her fingers flew over, jotting down her latest ideas. To some she was a genius, to her parents she was a young girl with a bright future, to herself she was a normal middle school student. She was just a girl who liked lip-gloss, the cute boy in her math class, and a new pair of jeans.

To him, she was a necessity.

He smiled at her as he stood behind her, waiting for her to notice him. He thought she’d seen him when she turned around to answer her mother. But, her brown eyes, overflowing with imagination, didn’t. So he just took slow breaths in and out, knowing that she’d finally feel him behind her.

They always did.

When she did, it was curiosity, not fear that filled her eyes. But, she had no time to voice any questions. The man took a long athame from his cloak. Stabbing it toward her left eye, he muttered the spell that would give him what he wanted.

At this moment you are paralyzed. All your thoughts, all your future knowledge, all is mine. It is I who will control the world and be immortalized. All that power will be within my bind.

He held the blade steady, pulling her mind, her imagination from the depths of her skull. The satin strands of her thoughts flowed into the handle of the knife. He held it warm in his hand until she took her last breath and slumped over her desk, knocking pink roses to the floor.

In the next moment he was gone. The mist hid him as he pulled open a wide, black hinged door and stepped inside. He flicked his wrist and the room around him lit with a smoky haze. He threw his cloak aside and stood before a large bookcase. Numerous books lined the shelves. The books didn’t have pages to turn, but were instead filled with sheets of iridescent silver.

Snagging the next book on the shelf, he pressed the tip of his athame to the bottom edge. Smiling he drew the blade along and up the spine until the knife’s contents were transferred. He etched a name, giving the book its title, and placed it next to the others..

“What was Sarah O’Connor going to do?” A voice asked beside him.

He turned, his smile turning to a sneer. He gripped the athame tighter, wishing it would pierce the cloud that protected the image in front of him.

Ethereal, angelic, white permeated from the woman’s form. Draping hair of red framed a delicate face with penetrating green eyes. One of the forms many guises.

“Cure cancer.”

“And Oliver Gray? What about him?” The voice asked, reading the name of another book.

“Cure AIDS.”

The woman’s eyes turned dark. Feeling the anger of the ages well up inside her she vowed, “You will not win!”

“Yes, sister dear, I will.” He stepped forward, pointing the blade toward the woman’s throat. “Now get out.”

CHAPTER 1

… Present Day

Josh closed his eyes and dreamed of his mother’s chocolate cake. He could practically taste the ooey-gooey center of marshmallow cream and melted chocolate. It would be just out of the oven and a huge glass of ice-cold milk would be waiting to wash it down.

His pace quickened at the thought. He pushed against the kitchen door in his sleep. But, instead of being greeted by the warm aroma of his home, his nostrils were assaulted by the pungent smell of cow manure.

Josh shoved the door the rest of the way open. “What the?” He swore as his shoe squished through a green pile of it as he stepped inside a barn.

The setting sun dimly lit the air streaming in behind him. A few cows munched their hay and the horses along one wall stuck their heads out of their stalls to look at him. Pitch forks, shovels and other tools hung along another wall.

“What the heck?” Josh muttered and noticed movement toward the back of the barn. “Travis?” Josh saw his friend. “Hey, Travis, get a load of this,” Josh called. He walked a little closer and yelled again. “Hey, Travis!”

Travis didn’t answer.

“What’s he doing back there?” Josh muttered and took off toward him. “What are you doing here?” Josh asked. “What’s with the costume?” Josh pointed at Travis’ buckled shoes and suspenders. “It’s cool. Mrs. Bowers would love it.”

“What?” The kid asked, looking at Josh like he’d never seen him before.

“What, what? What’d you mean, what? What are you doing?” Josh pointed at the lantern in Travis’ hand. “And what’s with this anyhow?”

The kid set down the lantern and ran out the side door.

Josh picked it up. “Travis! What the heck are you doing? Ouch!” Josh dropped it. He looked at the narrow red stripe across his fingers where the lantern bail had burned his hand.

While Josh blew on his hand; gold-red flames spilled out of the lantern’s tin enclosure and licked at the straw covered floor. Smoke drifted up, and the fire made small crackling snaps.

“Crap!” Josh yelled. “Travis!” Josh looked out the door where Travis had gone. Nobody.

Josh kicked at the fire with his feet. He filled a bucket of water from the cow’s trough and threw it on the blaze. The fire was spreading too fast, he couldn’t put it out.