Wednesday, October 18, 2017

THE YA PHENOMENA IS FINALLY HERE!

A story that sparked over 100,000 visitors. The new young adult novel by Samantha C. Ross.

Trying to live an ordinary life, but the paranormal just keeps getting in the way? it is not twilight here on the island, but dusk. Prepare for a story of light and dark, and enter the world of three teenager supernatural sisters. Magic happens here. A spell, a curse, a love bewitched. On Americus, nothing is as it seems. Take the trip now...there are so many things in the shadows waiting for you...

NOW AVAILABLE TO BUY FROM AMAZON, WATERSTONES, THE BOOK DEPOSITORY, OLYMPIA PUBLISHERS & SELECTED BOOKSHOPS


 

 

 

Chapter One - page9

 

Not long after Ellie jumped on her bike and left for the north tip of the island, Wixen Point, I attempted the chore of homework. But I was distracted by mixed feelings. On one hand, it was wonderful that my best friend didn’t freak out after watching me mentally explore for her. But on the other, it unsettled me how serious she’d seemed about Davies. About a boy. The discarded book of Shakespeare sonnets mocked me, how unmoved I was by his passionate words. But how could I not be immune to romance? As in anything, a human could only concentrate for so long. And when my mental barrier slipped, their thoughts seeped in. I knew what every guy at school thought of me. Some good, some bad, some awful.

Maybe it was for the best anyway. Look how quickly Ellie and Crystal were obsessing over boys. Perhaps I had a blessing in disguise. Less of a distraction, less stress, and much less time-consuming. The only male I had a relationship with – purely platonic – was my friend Nim. He was like my brother. We’d known each other forever, and I loved his indisputable weirdness. Nim was also a loner by choice, and I loved that about him too. He seemed happy enough that way, which gave me hope. Because I suspected one day, I might be a loner too, but not by my own decision.


**********************************************


“Dinner Babybelle!” Tookie hollered. Honestly, how could I get my sisters to use my real name, if not even my aunt would?

At the dinner table, we joined hands in a small chant.

Thank you to The Goddess. Mother of Earth. To the moon, sister of the sun. And the earth, provider of nature. To the rain, the quench for all things living and growing. Nature, we thank you.

It was a standard mealtime recital, same as the way our aunt beamed after we’d given thanks. Tookie professed over and over that nature was her religion. The fastest way to irritate my aunt was by labeling her a Wiccan or Occultist. Hers was a very old, very serene, pagan worship of the Triple Goddess, which drew upon using natural energy to perform magic – the basis for white witchcraft.

“Chime, have your sisters informed you we were visited by a presence last night?”

“Uh-huh. Did you figure out what it was?”

There was barely a pause before our eyes, instinctively, slid in Angel’s direction. My red-haired sister’s talent for memory replacement wasn’t quite as impressive as her other, more terrifying skill.

Angel was a clairvoyant. A medium who harnessed the ability to converse with the dead. Spirits sometimes contacted her to relay messages they needed to pass on the this world. Or she could contact them, in order to learn answers she seeked. And though strangely, our absent parents were unreachable beings, there wasn’t many kinds of entities Angel was unfamiliar with.

But Angel shook her head. “Don’t ask me, I have no idea what it was. I’m not sure it was a ghost, I don’t even know if last night’s presence ever was once human.”

“I think it was a wood spirit,” Evangeline decided. “I vaguely sense an earth entity.”

Tookie frowned. “I wish I could agree, but it doesn’t make any sense. Wood spirits, dark or light, are exactly the same as wind or sea spirits – they act as guides, They don’t venture out alone by their own will, they’re always called on by a human.”

“Maybe it wasn’t alone,” I suggested.

“Why would you say that?” Evie demanded. “Did you sense a human mind guiding it?” Evangeline always become agitated and snappy when she couldn’t identify a specific magic.

“Nope,” I shrugged. “Just looking for other explanations.”

“Well don’t,” she barked. “Stick to reading your teacher’s mind for test results.”

“Jealous?” I bit back. “Why don’t you stick to mixing potions to make yet another boy fall in love with you? Or better still, go fly right off the island –”

“Girls!” Tookie intervened. “This isn’t helping!” She took a calming breath. “Evangeline, you have to agree your sister has a point – our visitor might not have been alone.”

“But why would a presence suddenly hover around us? Even if it was just a curious entity drawn to our energy, Angel would have sensed it. Why would we attract something so mysterious for no reason?” I asked, feeling more uneasy, the more I thought about it.

“On a place like Americus, Lord only knows.” Tookie raised her eyes to heaven. “But since we’re unsure what is was, and why it was here, we’ll place a protective ward around our home. Just to be on the safe side.”

“I thought you’d already laid wards around the garden this morning?” I questioned.

“Perhaps they weren’t strong enough. In any case, it’s time for some new ones, okay?”

We nodded reluctantly. It wasn’t the first visitor we’d had in the shape of a spirit, and Angel was the sister expected to deal with them. I didn’t envy her chilling gift one bit. Sibling rivalry was non-existent in our neck of the woods.

 

*************************************


While I stacked plates, Evangeline hovered. Apologies were hard for her.

“Hand me the towel, baby-sis, you wash, I’ll dry.”

I smiled at her attempt. “Sorry I told you to fly off the island, Evie.”

Tookie appeared in the doorway. “Actually Evangeline, you wash – Angel can dry. I’d like a chat with Chime.”

Bracing myself, I followed her into our cozy living room. But my aunt’s soft smile told me I wasn’t in huge trouble. Not the Mrs. Loch, housework for the rest of my natural life kind.

Tookie sat herself comfortably and took a sip of tea. “Honey, you probably don’t remember when we met. You were just a little baby, but you and I had a special connection, even back then.”

I nodded, waiting for her to go on.

“What I haven’t told you about that day is how stunned I was. I took one look at you and thought; this is the one most like her mother, exactly like Emmaline.”

I looked up in surprise. “Really?”

“Really,” she confirmed. “You’re the very image of her. White-blonde hair and olive skin – like a palomino angel. And you’re also becoming every bit as powerful as she was.”

I tried not to roll my eyes at Tookie’s ominous tone. It wasn’t the first time she’d tried to have this conversation with me, in the same dark, cautionary voice. She predicted my destiny would be to excel in witchcraft and psychic strength. More often than not I cut her off, or simply ignored the lecture. The boding prophecies sometimes annoyed me. I accepted that witchcraft was a part of my life, my history. It had always been present in my family’s way of living. But I didn’t always have to like it. There were plenty of times when I craved normalcy. Just an average teenager doing ordinary things; going to parties, meeting boys, dancing, sun-baking, pizza. I even sometimes mused if there was a way to keep the craft on the outskirts of my existence.

“What?” Tookie suddenly asked. “Why are you making that sour little face?”

“Because I don’t think it’s true. Being born into this family doesn’t automatically make me a powerful witch.”

“Oh, but you are, honey. One of the strongest I’ve seen in the bloodline. Over the years, I’ve watched you and your sisters develop skills that are rare in almost all humans, and perceivably stronger in most witches. Only a unique person can move things by looking at them, and no ordinary person can hear the thoughts of others so clearly –”

“Yes they can, Aunt Took,” I cut in, politely as I could. “There’s plenty of telepaths in the world – it’s a scientific fact. Paranormal ability isn’t a link to witchcraft. I know barely any spells compared to Angel and Evie – they’re the true witches. And about a thousand times more powerful than I am.”

“Only for now. Your sisters had to strive at their abilities, whereas they always came effortlessly to you. I believe it will unfold the same with the craft. The more you learn, the more things I teach you, the greater you’ll prove.”

I must have looked dubious as I felt.

Tookie sighed. “Chime, I’ve always been able to feel little things about to happen; an accident, unexpected company, a pregnancy, sometimes a death. I know how to use the craft better than I know myself – but my knowledge is hard earned, and it’s taken most my life to achieve it,” she said dismissively of herself. “When I first met you in Boston, you were only sixteen months. But even then, no less incredible. You know what you did that day Chime? You wanted to make me laugh, by taking the toys from your cot and floating them around my head.”

Did I?” I gasped, laughing.

“You most certainly did, Babybelle,” she smiled, remembering. “Whether you believe it or not, your fate is already determined – it can’t be argued. Don’t look so uneasy. A flower doesn’t decide what color it will be, but is no less beautiful.”

I wasn’t uneasy. I was disbelieving, fed up, and wanted the conversation to end. I’d heard it before. And I lived with it every day. I wanted Tookie to get her witches-gone-wild sermon over and done with.

“Aunt Took, it was an accident. I hit the ball with my mind because there was no other choice – it would have smashed my face. It doesn’t mean I’m about to show the world my abilities by headlining in Vegas. It’s not fair that you’re singling me out for something accidental. Evie and Angel use their abilities all the time. Just the other night, Evangeline –” I stopped myself before I got my sister into trouble.

“It isn’t just me,” I mumbled instead.

“I know full well about what Evangeline was doing Tuesday evening. I caught her three meters in the air outside the veranda. Both stupid and dangerous – and yes, of course I had a word to her about it.”

My sister had been levitating for as long as I’d allegedly floated toys from my cot. Tookie was frightened of wind spirits noticing her. Or just the wind in general. My aunt didn’t want Evangeline to end up in the ocean on the cusp of a gale.

“But right now I’m talking about you.” She placed her tea-cup on the table and stared at me. Her eyes were serious. Too serious. “Your mother was a force of nature. The most amazing practitioner of magic I’ve ever seen – or close too. But she was a wild and willful spirit – just like you. She left herself open to danger – just like I’m afraid you’ll do.”

“What kind of danger?” I gaped. Tookie never liked to say anything but good things about our mother.

And clearly, that was still the case. “Nothing I can remember vividly,” she waved away my curiosity. “But Emmaline had a recklessness. You can’t follow that path Chime, there’s a darkness –” Tookie stopped suddenly, looking like she’d shocked herself. When she began again, it sounded fake, she even cleared her throat.

“I meant to say, there can be a dark outcome for irresponsibility. You have to be aware of your power at all times.”

I opened my mouth to argue, but she held up her hand.

“I understand you had no control over today. Which is why I want you to listen carefully. The fact that you acted instinctively proves your power is growing. It’s up to me to guide you as it does. This isn’t just about telekinesis Chime. The path we practice is about using natural elements for good use. To help people in need, to right any wrongdoing, to protect. Try and control your magic Babybelle, don’t let it control you, okay?”

I nodded.

“Chime I love you. I just want to see you make the most of your potential.”

And suddenly, my aunt seemed sad at words unspoken. But I heard them anyway. She wanted me to realize the potential that had been lost to my mother. And for some strange reason, I was sad too. Suddenly wistful and nostalgic for a woman I barely knew.

“I’m sorry, Aunt Tookie. No more public displays. I apologize for worrying you.”

“You’re my daughter,” she smiled. “It’s your job in life to worry me. We’ll say no more about it and you can work in the shop for me Saturday.”

Yep, There goes my weekend.


***********************************


Night dew damped my bare feet as I padded across the garden. Bordered with yellow pansies and blue hyacinth, our sloping yard met with the forest, shadowy behind the lanterns. At night, it looked like a setting for fairyland – hard to believe anything sinister lurked beyond our enchanted surroundings.

We stood in a circle, our hands clasped, pointing up toward the night sky.

“We represent north, east, south and west,” Tookie intoned. “We ask the Goddess of earth, and the natural spirits of the forest to protect our home in all four directions. No essence without good intent shall pass, or the spirits will challenge, and make this step your last.”

We repeated the incantation, once each, to protect every direction.

Evangeline then poured white candle wax along the flowers and rocks that separated our garden from the woods, to act as a protective light. Tookie imitated Evie with a black candle, it’s purpose more sinister. It was a warning to our unseen visitor. If the entity held ill intent toward us, the repercussion would be more than a protective spell. Next time a banishment hex would be used, causing pain for the spirit as it was cast into another world. A realm far away, and created by us – the Emmerson witches.

 

 



"Another of my strange characteristics was that I could - by all accounts - read human thoughts. But how did that explain my new, uncanny ability to know spells and curses that had yet been taught to me? Had I used my telepathic skill while still an infant, and drawn the magical knowledge from my mother's mind, before she was mysteriously taken from this world?" - Chime Emmerson













 

"A Manifesto, particularly one as timeless as ours, was the most powerful book a witch could own. It revealed spells and curses of such a dangerous nature, even the most experienced of witches were careful f its use. My stomach lurched, as I looked again at the place our mystical book should be. Our Manifesto was gone."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"But the thing that shredded my heart the most was finding, and then losing, the love of my life - despite the supernatural being he was. My friends, my family, they advised I was too young to know what real love was, and that time would heal me. They were wrong. Age was no barrier of my of my understanding of love. And no day would ever come that I would be free of him, in my mind, in my heart. I'd lost the one person who was understanding, admiring of what I was. I bit down on my lip, fighting to stop the agony cascading through, and I glanced one more time at the reflection of my solitary figure, rocking back and forth, cocooned in sorrow."

 

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