Chapter Thirty-eight

Chapter Thirty-nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-one

Chapter Forty-two

Chapter Forty-three

Chapter Forty-four

Chapter Forty-five

Chapter Forty-six

Chapter Forty-seven



About the Publisher


I watched my curtains bil ow in the early autumn wind that wafted through my opened bedroom window. The night beckoned to me. And I answered its cal .

Lifting the bedcovers off me, I walked over to the window and floated out into the darkness of midnight. The wind surged behind me, as I flew through the shadowy streets of my town. Weaving between the familiar shingled homes of my sleeping neighbors, I reveled in the sheer pleasure of flight and the secrecy of my journey.

I was so lost in the sensation that the tal steeple of my town’s eighteenth-century church loomed before me unexpectedly. The church’s spidery, whitewashed spire stopped my progress, momentarily forcing me to drop and hover in midair in front of the church’s circular stained glass window.

Although the window was colorless in the night sky, I swear it stared at me like a preacher from the pulpit. Judging me. Why had I never noticed the window before? In my other dreams?

Without warning, the wind picked up speed and whipped at my face. It was cool and damp, and smel ed of the sea. Suddenly, the church and the town structures and even the streets felt confining, and I longed for the openness of the ocean.

My shoulder blades lifted and expanded. I streamlined my limbs to gain speed. Taking a sharp left away from the church, I headed toward the bracing—and freeing—air of the nearby sea.

Civilization disappeared as I raced along the jagged cliffs and rocky beaches of the Maine coast. The ebb and flow of the great ocean waves crashing on the shore below began to lure me farther and farther out to sea.

A bright flash on a rocky promontory caught my attention. The light burned brightly—and inexplicably—in the deep darkness of the moonless night. Tearing myself away from the hypnotic enticement of the tide, I swooped down to the promontory to inspect this unanticipated deviation in my recurrent dream.

As I neared the stony outcropping, I saw that the light on its surface wasn’t a fire or a lamp. It was a man. What looked like a light was the shimmer of his blond hair, so white it gleamed even in the scant il umination of the night.

The figure stared out at the sea, hands in his jeans pockets. He looked young, maybe around my age of sixteen. I flew a little closer, but not too close. I wanted to see him, but didn’t want to be seen.

Although his face was hazy in the dim light, I felt a powerful connection to him. An attraction. He had green eyes and surprisingly suntanned skin.

With such pale hair, I expected that he’d be fair.

He adjusted his position, and I could better see his almond-shaped eyes and cleft chin. But the more I studied his face, the more it changed. The eyes looked blue instead of green. The nose lengthened just a touch, and the lips fil ed out. He no longer looked young like me, or old like my parents, but sort of ageless. His features became more perfect and angular, and his skin grew paler and paler, almost as if his human flesh was turning to smooth, cold marble. Nearly as if a master sculptor had fashioned a human being into an ethereal creature.

Then he turned and stared at me, as if he knew I’d been there al along. And he smiled a horrible, knowing smile. His perfect face no longer seemed the sculpture of an angel but a demon, and I knew I looked into the face of evil itself.

I opened my mouth to scream in terror. And then I fel .

Chapter One

I fel to earth with a thud. Or so I thought.

I opened my eyes and saw my bedroom. I was lying on my tal sleigh bed, with the weak sun of early morning starting to stream through my blinds.

The dream had been so real that I half-expected to find myself sprawled out on the promontory instead of back at home under my warm covers.

Stil , the dream clung. Rubbing my eyes to wipe it away, I heard a familiar voice cal up the stairs.

“El ie.”

I stil felt kind of drugged by the dream. I moved my lips to answer but couldn’t get out much more than a croak.

“El speth? It’s time to get up.”

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