Student Alana Weatherbee is suspected of murdering her werewolf boyfriend, Logan, while under the influence of the evil Book of Spells. Alana finds herself caught in a 3-way battle between Headmaster Barns, demon wizard Cafzf and the Book of Spells. She wants to keep the book and its power, however she knows she needs to let it go before it consumes her. But will the Book of Spells let her go?
Also by Jack Sorenson on obooko:
Jacks School of Shines
Alana Weatherbee (Book 1)
The Adventures of Anna of Waverly Manor
Gray beard waggling, keeping time to his shaking head, Headmaster Barns rubbed his aching temples. "This cannot be!"
Lifting his wand one more time and closing his eyes to concentrate, he sent his strongest incantation arcing toward the Book of Spells. "Return the two you stole!"
Power and energy leapt from his wand, ricocheted off the book and onto Barns, sending him staggering backward, his elbow raised across his eyes, his dark robes billowing. A second later, a burst of light from the book hit his hand and sent his wand skittering across the floor, where it clattered to a stop next to a wall. Glowing red eyes floated above the book before it sent another searing bolt pulsating across the headmaster's body, suspending him in mid-fall. When it faded, he hit the floor, unable to move, dizzy, exhausted and freezing.
After a moment, the old man rolled to his side, reached for his wand, and wobbled out of the chamber. With chest heaving and tears in his eyes, he admitted defeat. Even his strongest magic couldn't save them. The children were lost in the book's evil darkness -- or were dead -- or both. His trembling hand leaned against the stone wall while he steadied himself. Too much tragedy threatened to squeeze his lungs shut. Continuing to lean against the wall, he made his slow, tortured way to the School of Shines' main door. Pulling it open, he began his journey across the schoolyard to his private rooms.
Wind tangled his beard and chilled his already cold bones. Storm clouds scudded across the night sky, blocking out the moon's feeble light and spattering icy rain onto his face. Something hovered above. It could have been nothing more than an owl hunting for its dinner, but in Barns' present state of mind, evil filled the sky, calling his name, demanding his death. Panic fueled his spent limbs. His stumble became a walk...a brisk walk...then a trot, until he ran to his door, all the while glancing over his shoulder, waiting for talons or fangs to snatch him away.
Slamming his body into the door to shut it against the fury of the pelting rain, he slid down to the floor, clasping his bent knees and resting his head on his arms, letting his eyelids drift closed.
"Must stay awake," he said. "I cannot allow myself to fall asleep."
Seeing a ghostly apparition float by in the room, Headmaster Barns spoke. "Excuse me, Mr. Ghost. I'm in need of your assistance. Please wake me if I fall asleep. I am overly tired. Thank you."
The ghost went to the corner and did as the headmaster asked, watching to keep him awake.
Barns felt too weary to even cast a simple drying or warming spell. His right hand still gripped his wand, but he was too tired to notice. After a meeting with the Mother of All Magic, followed up with so many queries about the last encounter from the evil Book of Spells, he knew dark and evil treachery was on the rampage since two students, Alana and Logan, went missing from the School of Shines.
The meeting took place at ground level of the school in a room called Bitten Books, a small campus bookstore with shelves of magical books that tended to bite an undisciplined student falling asleep in his or her studies. Books with black and brown jackets filled the room. They chewed their cud while waiting to be checked out by a Shines student.
The meeting weighed the endless possibilities in what to do after the night's horrible discoveries. Doom was on the rise, Mother of All Magic felt.
Headmaster was afraid he'd fall asleep if he got too comfortable. His watchful ghost shook him several times and tried to scare him with several hoots and howlers only a ghost could do. The specter even attempted an earth shattering rattle of chains at one time. But sleep hadn't claimed the headmaster. Barns was still awake, paralyzed by shock after what he'd seen tonight: a magical spell cast from himself broken like a stick over a knee; a dozen ravens, falling from the sky, were swallowed up by water and earth so quickly there wasn't time for the Inner Core of Magic to intervene and set things to right. There was only time to scream in horror. Headmaster met red eyes tonight, glinting at him in triumph.
It wasn't like Headmaster Robert William Barns ever could get warm anymore, anyway -- not down to his feet and hands -- let alone in this uncommonly chilly June. For a year now, the horror and the nightmares came to Shines to stay, due to a young student opening the dark Book of Spells.
A rustling wind behind him reminded him this was no longer a refuge where he could afford to show any weakness -- if there ever had been any weakness shown in the School of Shines. He swung himself up and stomped his foot to a fast tune, producing a satisfying squeak in the wooden floorboard. Headmaster needed to regain his trust that his magic would work a second time against the book. But which spell or charm should he use? He thought hard again on this dilemma until he heard a commotion coming from the room next to his.
"I smell a fat cat with a rat in its mighty mitts," Headmaster heard and hoped for the book's capture.
Headmaster ran to the next room. Before his eyes, a familiar cloaked man made sounds of triumph. Professor Ezards' right hand gripped a dark crooked wand that gleamed silver off its tip. His many spells left it smoking.
"The evil spell book's right hand assistant. Sir, I got her -- Alana Weatherbee." Pinned to the floor by Professor Ezards' foot on her coattails, the teenage girl shook. Her bloodshot eyes glared at her headmaster's blue ones. She squinted up at them with pure evil and hatred.
"Alana? You're alive!... But, where's Logan?" Barns asked, his expression showing his alarm.
"Dead," she growled, all traces of her former self gone.
"She killed him!" Professor Ezards barked, digging his boot heel into her ribs. "You'll be expelled for this treachery!"
Headmaster asked, looking down to her, "What happened to Logan, Alana, if you still are a Weatherbee inside that mask of evil?"
Alana snarled and spit toward their faces.
"You're such a sweet sight to come home to," Ezards said and pointed his wand toward his captive. "Headmaster, I felt you wouldn't make it back from the Realm of Many Doors. I waited by the door's exit to see who came out, and it worked. Weatherbee came out alone." He ground his foot into the dingy ragged cloth of Weatherbee's blazer before lifting it away. He acted like a crazy man, thinking he'd be rewarded for his acts of bravery.
Weatherbee screamed in pain, "No, please. No more. It hurts too much. Please, Professor."
Pain was his theme for pleasure as he kicked her in the ribs. "Why should I? You're a murderer!"
"Ease up, Ezards," the strong voice of Barns commanded. "Stop. I'm worried for the young girl." Turning to Alana, he asked, "Your clothing, child. What's become of it?"
Ezards answered for her. "My wand blast. I had to fire on a student. A total Anaconda that's forbidden."
"No! Not onto Miss Weatherbee. If her father knew of this, he'd kill you."
Ezards frowned, sticking his wand tip deeper into her face.
"Do make yourself useful, Ezards, and get me some tea. It's time to speak to Weatherbee alone."
"But, Headmaster, I caught her when she came out of the red door. I know she was the speller, not the book."
"No, my friend, it was the book, not Weatherbee. She is presumed innocent till found guilty. I've been with Mother of All Magic, and she saw differently. Hurry, Professor, please. I'm cold and thirsty. I need to warm up. This night is not quite over just yet." At Ezards' reluctance to move, Barns hissed, "Hurry or I'll skin you and transfigure you into a tea cozy."
Professor Ezards dug his boot heel deeper into Weatherbee's ribs. "This isn't over between us," he sneered.
"Enough!" Headmaster commanded.