Gentle suspense. Tortured heroes. Mischievous heroines.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

New to the small community of Redbend, Molly Sanders...

A wannabe witch is about to make Molly’s life a nightmare…
New to the small community of Redbend, Molly Sanders is delighted when she and Lenni Flemming become instant friends during the final weeks of her first Oklahoma summer. However, Bianca Ravenwood, Lenni’s best friend and self-proclaimed witch in training, is less than thrilled. In fact, she’s cursing mad, vowing to destroy Molly while honing her craft in the halls of Redbend High School.
Molly’s new school becomes a waking nightmare as Bianca, beautiful wannabe witch, targets her in a jealous rage. Plagued by terrifying, inexplicable occurrences and an embarrassing case of panic-induced hiccups, Molly is unable to escape Bianca’s snare.
But if Bianca refuses to back down and Molly refuses to stand up, not only will Molly lose the best friend she’s ever had…she may also lose her sanity.


Mrs. Timble’s gaze snapped from her paper-strewn desktop as giggles peppered the freshman algebra classroom. I always got the hiccups when I was scared.
“Way to go, Molly,” Kit Benson blurted from the back.
Bianca rolled her black-lined eyes, breaking the stare she’d fastened on me. She tossed her red hair over her shoulder, and then ran her hands over her black top, smoothing the lace.
Relief washed over me. Lenni said Bianca couldn’t read minds without making eye contact. I guess if she did read my mind, she’d know I’d never intended to intrude on the friendship she shared with Lenni. Then again, she’d also find out about my grasshopper phobia and I might end up with a lunch tray full of them. I shuddered.
The bell sounded. Mrs. Timble raised her pen, waiting out the long ring. “Chapter eight over the weekend. Zero credit for late work.” She lowered her gray eyes, along with her red pen, and continued her assault on a worksheet. I hoped it wasn’t mine.
I scribbled an eight on the back of my hand and hurried from the room. The click of Bianca’s boots against the floor gained steadily on the slap of my flip-flops. Heart pounding, I swung full speed into the main hallway and rammed into mountainous Jake Hughes, knocking his Band-Aid-covered notebook from his gigantic hands.
“Sorry, Jake.” I knelt and pinched the corner of the notebook, not wanting to touch it.
“They’re not used.” Jake slid the disgusting spiral from my fingers and lumbered down the hallway.
Something pricked my scalp. “Ouch!” I stood and whirled. Bianca held one of my hairs between her fingers. She shot a cold glance at me, chilling my blood. She was going to put a curse on me.
I walked to my locker, rubbing my head. Lenni fiddled with the combination.
“Hi, Molly. How was Timble’s class?”
“That bad?” She spun the numbers. “I can’t get our locker open.”
I cleared the lock and started over, hitting the combination first time.
“Cool.” She crammed her books into my organized locker and slammed the door. “Oops.” She winced, glancing at the stack in the crook of my arm.
“It’s okay.” I twirled the lock, shrugged at the jumbled books and tossed mine on top.
“What’s the eight on your hand for?” she asked as I shut the locker.
I’d forgotten my algebra book. “Chapter eight.” Grinding my teeth, I spun the dial.
We ran down the hall, hitting the double-glass doors in time to see our bus pull away from the curb.
It was a long walk home. I kicked a rock with my flip-flop as Lenni chattered on. I didn’t feel much like talking.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Bianca.” I concentrated on not hiccupping.
“Bianca? Did you see her outfit? She designs all her own stuff. Buys clothes at thrift shops, rips them up and attaches old jewelry and scarves. I could never pull off that black-lace look she wore today, but with her red hair and ivory skin, she rocked it.” Lenni batted her lashes, her admiration of Bianca annoyingly obvious.
I looked away.
“Oh, and you look hot today, too. That beige color really goes well with your dark hair.”
“Thanks.” My favorite t-shirt felt suddenly uncomfortable. I tugged at it.
“Um, my aunt Jodi works at the makeup counter in the mall. I could schedule a makeover for you—I mean for us—if you’d like. It’d be fun, don’t you think?” she stammered.
“Makeover?” I stopped walking. “Am I hideous or something?”
“Of course not. I just thought if you were threatened by Bianca’s looks, a makeover might make you feel better. They do it on TV all the time. Sometimes I don’t even recognize those mousy girls when the stylists finish with them.”
I raised an eyebrow.
“Not that you are mousy.”
“I’m not threatened by Bianca’s looks. I’m threatened by Bianca.” I strode ahead.
She jogged to catch up. “What do you mean? Bianca likes you.” Lenni reminded me of an animated Barbie. Shiny, blonde hair, bright smile, turned up nose, light-blue eyes focused on a perfect, plastic world.
“Bianca does not like me. She only pretends to when you’re around.
She stares me down with those witchy eyes every day. And I’m pretty sure she plucked a hair out of my head.” I halted, looking Lenni square in her starry eyes. “I think she’s going to put a curse on me.”
“You can’t be serious.” She laughed.
I guess my fears were a little bit silly. Maybe even ridiculous. A grin found its way to my lips.
“She can’t put a curse on you.” She placed her French-manicured fingers on my shoulders and fixed her eyes to mine. “Bianca is just a witcha’be.”
A frown chased the grin from my face. I broke free and resumed my stride. “What is a witcha’be?”
“A witcha’be is sort of like a wannabe witch. The most she can do is levitate small objects and read minds. She read Mrs. Timble’s once. That lady’s got problems.”
“Witcha’be. Wannabe witch. Clever.”
“It’ll be years before she graduates to full-blown witch. Then she’ll be able to place curses and cast spells.”
“So, how does a person become a witcha’be? Is there criteria?”

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