The Witch and the Devil’s Son

Excerpt from Book

Melody’s eyes kept fluttering shut — the text and diagrams in her Biology book too dull to keep her interest. Her heart kept switching to the subject of love. Study hall was as quiet as a church. She looked around at the students. Most of them sat dutifully, writing notes, or punching on calculators. Others, looking bored, tapped pencils and stared at the ceiling, walls, or clock.

Melody kept thinking about Van. It was hard to keep her mind focused on anything else since their date at The Piggy Diner. Several times, her mother tried approaching her on the subject, but Melody avoided conversation, claiming she had outrageous amounts of homework and retiring to her room. Luckily, all week her mother worked late shifts at the Piggy, so avoiding her had been easy.

She scribbled on the cover of her notebook. She didn’t care what her mother thought. But that wasn’t true. She wanted her to like Van, but if she didn’t… Melody frowned. If she didn’t, what could she do? Change the way she felt about Van?

She flipped her notebook over and began scribbling a giant heart, outlining it over and over. Something small and black scurried past her. A lab mouse on the loose? She looked at the teacher sitting up front, absorbed in the pages of Popular Mechanics.

Something brushed up against her. Fleshy, hairless. She shuddered, yanking her legs back and pushing her chair backward with a loud squeaking sound. Students looked up at her.

Melody’s heart began racing. She was certain something was scampering unnoticed on the floor.

Skittering. Melody turned her head, trying to locate the sound. The study hall teacher turned a page in his magazine. Quietly, she slid her chair forward, intently watching the floor. Suddenly, she saw it. Her mouth dropped open. A ringing sensation buzzed in her ear.

A small creature dashed across the floor, giggling madly. It was only two feet tall — if that — a small, plump hairless creature. It moved with amazing agility, pumping its arms and legs as it scurried, disappearing behind a bookcase.

Melody quivered. She held her breath and stared at the bookcase. Her eyes darted across the room. No one else had noticed the little black imp. She heard whispering, deep and low, close to her ear. She swiped at her head, looking around frantically, for the source of the sound.

Giggling again. Then, soft murmurs. From the corner of her eye, she saw a student staring at her with a baffled expression. Shaking his head, he looked back down at his book, uninterested in Melody and her problems.

Suddenly, Melody heard a voice. “When you know the stories, you have the key,” the voice counseled.