Silverwest Manor (Excerpt)
What do you think of the cover?
Based on the excerpt, should I publish the full novel (as an eBook)?
While Marcus and Jenny were alone in the study doing whatever ridiculous things that needed to be done to become one of the Nine, Susan was in her bedroom, as usual, reading a huge book. Susan didn't really care about anything involving something that wasn't real, but she was very curious to know how her step-brother and the new neighbor girl were doing, alone while their parents were away on errands. She could only imagine what might go on between them. Seeing how the two behaved close to each other, kind of like how teens in T. V. acted, Susan had a feeling her father and Miranda won't be the only couple around her. It was just a matter of time by her reckoning.
As she flipped through the pages of her book, she suddenly heard something fall to the mahogany wood floor. Looking down, she saw that it was the small rubber bouncy ball that was the last gift her mother gave her the year of her passing. While the ball itself was transparent, inside was a cute brown dog that was an internationally popular Japanese cartoon character that both Susan and her mother had taken a liking to. The ball bounced up and down for a moment before rolling out the bedroom door.
Without hesitation, Susan sprang from the bed after the bouncing rubber ball. She paused only to make sure of where she was
going before running after the small toy again and not to think or wonder as there was no time for that.
If she had stopped to think, she would have probably realized how strange this all was. If she had stopped to think, she would have remembered that she kept the ball locked away, safe in a small pink box that required a key, which she wore around her neck like an amulet, to open. And if she had paused to think, she would have wondered how was it that her bedroom door was open when she had kept it closed and locked for some privacy.
But, of course, being the little she was despite her genius level IQ, Susan did not pause to think. All that was on her mind was that her precious toy, one of the last gifts her mother gave her, was rolling away and that she had to get it back before it was lost forever. The ball led her down the hallway and down the stairs to the front door.
As it bounced down and Susan followed, a mysterious force had its way with the door and unlocked it. By the time the ball had reached the double white doors, said doors were blown open by a wind that came from the inside of the house. And the toy was allowed to proceed outside uninterrupted.
Currently, only Susan, the animals, Marcus, and Jenny should be in the mansion. The Weatherby parents had gone out for the day on business, mainly looking for work in case things didn't work out with
the inheritance. However, what no one counted on was that there was another presence, one that has been in the mansion for far longer than the Weatherby family, even longer than the Familiars who have been by the previous owner's side for over half a decade. And this wicked presence had plans for the little Weatherby girl; plans that would not agree with any warlock.
The toy bounced down the porch and away from the mansion. It led the unsuspecting girl into the forest area where creatures of power lurked, keeping a watchful eye for unwanted human intruders and banished outcasts. Susan could feel her chest burning as she ran with all her might to catch up to the toy. The pauses in between the chase were too brief for her to recover, and she could feel her head spinning as she pushed forward, ignoring the cutting bush and tree branches. Her sharp ears could hear many twigs snapping as she passed on by, but she assumed that they were her own. Never did she suspect that someone, or something, was following her. Finally, the ball stopped in the middle of a rock clearing.
Susan could hear her shoes tapping on what sounded like solid concrete. When she stopped to get a fix on the ball's location, and her vision returned, she found herself in what looked like some kind of ancient ruin site. All around her, there was nothing but trees with vivid green leaves that let all but a few tiny rays of sunlight onto the ancient
cracked stone floor with its many strange symbols that were unfamiliar to Susan, who would be able to recognized characters of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Sanskrit languages, and the different kinds of hieroglyphs of ancient civilizations, as learning ancient writing was one of her mother's many hobbies.
What is this place? Susan wondered as she looked around. Could she have stumbled upon an ancient ritual site long forgotten?
Maybe this place had to do with the town's unusual attraction to warlocks and magic. Remembering her initial objective, Susan quickly rushed to the toy and picked it up. She slapped away all the dirt from the toy and cleaned it as best she could with her pink sweater before putting it back into her pocket.
She turned around to leave, and couldn't wait to tell everyone of her discovery. But then she remembered that she wasn't supposed to be in the forest in the first place and decided against it. That was also when she realized that she could not remember how it was that she got to this site. She was undeniably lost.
Suddenly, the sound of rustling leaves and snapping twigs filled the air. A pack of beasts that greatly resembled Silver, but were much more wild and menacing, instead of merely unsociable and clean, came out. Their bodies resembled hounds and wolves, but they shared unusual characteristics that made them more than beasts. It was a gut
feeling that Susan had learned to follow at her mother's insistence. Instinct was just as important as a rational mind. Those words had been drilled into the little girl's mind and it was no closer to coming out than her few permanent teeth.
These creatures slowly circled around the girl menacingly with great hunger in their eyes. Apart from the hungry glint in their eyes, their bared fangs, and the sheer size of each one of the creatures, each just as large as Silver, if not larger, Susan's heart began rapidly beating when she recognized another kind of spark in their eyes. It was the spark of disgust and hatred, something that has never left the eyes of her mother's colleagues.
So slow that she was even able to retain her vision with the movement, Susan backed away to the center of the circle carved into the stone, as far away from the surrounding animals as possible. Her knees wouldn't stop shaking, and she could feel cold sweat pouring down her face. Fear was welling up inside of her like a horrible geyser. It took all of her might to keep a rational mind and not do anything foolish.
The fear must be getting to her, because she thought she heard snickering, not from the mind like when she communicated with other animals, but with her ears. This laughter was not mentally projected
like with most animals. It was coming from their mouths as like humans.
Ever so slowly, the beasts began advancing forward. Susan wanted to shrink into nothing. She wanted to be as far away from this place as possible. As she sank to her knees, the beasts came so close that she could feel their warm and moist breath against her skin, and it made her shiver.
She was going to die. She just knew it. But then, much to her surprise and relief, the beasts backed away. But into the circle came the largest of them all, this one much more regal than the others, but with even more wild ferociousness and tenacity. Judging from the scars, this creature was much more experienced, and possibly a little older than the others. And the way these other beasts regarded the newcomer, Susan had no doubt that this creature that looked identical to Silver, but much larger and more rough-looking, was the leader of the pack.
"So, this is what you have chosen, Titania," he spoke with his mouth. His voice was deep and strong. "Truly, you have become a traitor to us all in choosing this form as your next incarnation."
Susan had no idea what the pack leader was talking about. But she was scared out of her wits. The creature that could speak like humans had malice in his voice.
"It is pointless to ask you this, I know since not even you would be able to recall your past life," the beast continued. "But I will ask any way. Why have you chosen to return to this world as a mere disgusting human?"
When the leader advanced forward, Susan stumbled back onto her bottom. Great fear nearly paralyzed her.
"So pitiful," the leader went. "I cannot believe that at one time, all creatures, even humans, bowed to you. This is truly a dark era for us of the Faerie."
This just couldn't be happening. Talking wolves, Faerie, and that she was about to die here and now on some old ruin. It just all had to be a dream. She tried hard to wake up, but to no avail. She was awake. This was reality.
"What shall we do with her, my lord?" one of the wolves asked.
"We bring her before the Council of Clans," the leader answered. "Forsaken us, that she has, it is not in our place alone to punish her. Besides, with her form now human, she has broken the treaty between us and the warlocks. Stands to reason that she be put on trial. We are not savages like the humans."
The wolf bowed his head in reverence. It was clear that he and the others of the pack respected the leader's decision.
"Let us take the child before council!" one of the lackeys barked.
"To council!" the others howled. They moved to snatch at the girl who was too scared to run. All she could do was silently scream as they came for her. But before the beasts could reach her, there was a streak of silver, and a strong invisible force tossed the majority of the pack away from the girl and against the trees. The leader and a few of the older of the pack were able to escape.
- Warlocks of Silverwest Manor (EXCERPT
This is an excerpt from my latest published novel, sequel to my Silverwest Manor novel. Intended audience: middle school age and up.