Author Willow Fox ebook Nightblood (eBook)

Nightblood (eBook)

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I never felt special. I wasn't a superhero.

I'm an ordinary girl. At least I was back home. But I got whisked away by a boy from a parallel universe.

And everything I thought I knew about magic was dead wrong.

Their world is a barren. It didn't used to be, a demon sorceress destroyed everything in Orenda and is determined to cross over and make my world her next magical wasteland.

I can't let that happen. But first I have to save my best friend.

Chapter One

Light streamed in past the curtains, forcing Lil's eyes open. She grumbled and rolled onto her stomach, burying her face further into the pillow. At any moment, her mother would come into her room and yell at her to get out of bed. She'd be late for school if she didn't hurry. Lil pushed herself out from under the covers and sat up. She grimaced and glanced at the light peeking in through the curtains. Most mornings, the light was bright yellow from the sun rising just outside her window. But today, an eerie pink glow bled its way into her room, leaving her bedroom a sickening shade of bubblegum.

"Mom?" Lil called, but she heard no answer. Down below, the porch door squeaked. Lil moved toward the shades. Was this one of Jamey's pranks? She loved playing tricks on Lil, as any ten-year-old sister would. Lil half expected to see pink plastic wrap on the window. She peered through the curtain and pushed it aside. Lil's heart skipped a beat at the odd hue of the sun. Dark red clouds gathered and rolled in toward the house. The wind whipped outside, causing the windowpanes to shudder. The clatter sounded as if long talon-like fingernails tapped at the screen. A shadow quickly flew over the house. Lil studied its shape on the ground, unable to see the creature from her window. Was it… a dragon? She backed away from the window and froze, hearing the creature land with a thud on the roof. Her eyes shot up toward the ceiling. Something was walking up there. Silently, she hoped it wouldn't find its way into her home.

"What the…" she mumbled to herself. She had to be dreaming. "Wake up." Her surroundings didn't change.

Lil rushed down the stairs, two at a time. "Mom?" Her mother would know what was going on. Maybe a storm was coming? Tornados weren't rare occurrences in Missouri. She made her way to the kitchen and found the house quiet and empty. Lil searched the counter, finding it empty. Her mother never left without a note. It wasn't like her. Everything was wrong. She trudged back up the stairs to her room.

"Jamey! Hurry up in there! I have to get ready for school." Lil pounded on the bathroom door as she passed. She walked toward the closet and pulled out a half-dozen outfits, dropping two on her bed. The rest of her clothes littered the floor. She settled on a pair of jeans and a lavender shirt. Lil stalked to the bathroom and found it uninhabited. "Thank you!"

She stripped down and changed into her clothes. When she looked up at her reflection in the mirror, she took a tentative step back, bumping into the tub behind her. Her reflection was different. Her pale skin had a distinctive creamy glow, and her eyes had brightened to ocean blue instead of their usual faint sky blue. Her long brown hair now had streaks of blonde highlights. She glanced down at the tips of her fingernails and noticed they were a midnight blue with yellow bolts of lightning.

"What the hell!" Using her thumb, she tried to brush the polish off, but it didn't budge. "Jamey!" Lil opened the bathroom door.

Coming out from the bedroom, a little boy with chestnut hair rounded the corner and stared up at her with steel-blue curious eyes. "Yes?" he asked with a warm, inviting smile. "What is it, Willow?"

Staring back at the stranger who wasn't much older than her sister, Lil's eyes widened. No one ever called her Willow. She hated her given name, Willow Porter. She much preferred Lil. "Who are you?" she demanded, pushing past the young child toward her sister's room. "Jamey? Jamey, where are you? This isn't funny!" Lil reached the bedroom and found the walls painted with a jungle theme. This wasn't Jamey's room! Jamey's room had butterflies and mermaids on the wall. This was a boy's bedroom. What was happening?

The room spun. She swayed in the hall, her eyes widening further in confusion as she saw the pictures on the wall stare back at her—Lil and the same little boy smiling and hugging. Her fingers traced the frame, and she took two steps forward, finding another photograph of herself and the same boy sticking their tongues out and making faces at one another. Not a single family photograph of her family adorned the wall, and none contained her little sister.

"Calm down," said a familiar voice from behind Lil. She spun around and jumped at the sight of herself staring back at her. "You're not supposed to be here." The young woman looked exactly like Lil, but with soft blue eyes, simple brown hair, and unpainted nails that had been chewed. She was the perfect reflection of how Lil saw herself every day. Ordinary. Just behind Lil's look-alike stood a boy, muscular and a few inches taller with dark, messy hair and pale gray eyes. She didn't recognize him, and she would have remembered a face like his; he was good looking.

"What's she doing here?" His voice had the faintest hint of an accent. If she didn't know any better, it almost sounded Australian with a thick twang. "I didn't do this, I swear. You have to send her back. It's not safe for her here, Willow."

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