As promised last post, here is the cover…
And a few scenes/snippets from the opening chapters…
The clerk rang up the can of beans and then noticed Paige’s bag.
“Whatcha got in the bag?” he asked suddenly interested.
Paige quirked an eyebrow.
“Um…I have a notebook,” said Paige studying his face. She did a double take on his eyes.
That’s an interesting choice in contacts…rainbows?!
“So you like to write then, I take it?” he said smiling.
“Yes…” Paige tried to hide her fear under a smile.
He’s just curious, don’t be so paranoid!
He nodded and swiped the box of macaroni under the scanner.
“Um…” he said examining the box, “Would you mind helping me?” he asked casually. He seemed to hold his breath a bit.
Paige noticed she was holding her breath too.
“Um…I’m sorry? But I’m told I shouldn’t go places with strangers.”
The man blew out a relieved breath and nodded like he was expecting Paige to say that.
“It’s a good rule,” he said still nodding.
Paige smiled apologetically.
“But I’m gonna need you to come with me anyway.”
Paige took a step back, hands shaking, “I’m sorry, but I don’t trust strangers.”
“Also, a good rule,” he said jumping onto the conveyor and lunging for her.
Paige screamed and ducked behind the counter, hitting her head on the backs of a man’s knees but he didn’t seem to notice. Nobody did.
The man was crawling off the counter and coming towards her again.
Blanching with fear, Paige clumsily got to her feet, kicking herself up until she could feel her legs jiggling under her.
And then she ran as fast as she could out of the store.
The electric door wasn’t as fast as Paige and she nearly ran into it.
Tripping on her toes, she ran out into the parking lot, clutching her tote so tightly she could feel her knuckles becoming white. But she wouldn’t stop.
Her sides throbbed, but the man had appeared behind her seemingly from nowhere, forcing her onward.
Just then, Paige felt a sharp surge of pain seep into her veins.
Suddenly dazed, she tried to locate the source. But it seemed to come from everywhere.
Everyone continued on, still slightly concerned for Paisley.
And then she noticed. There were strange words wrapping there way around her arm. Dark, bloody looking ink, crawling slowly up her arm. She stifled a shriek. That seemed to encourage the pain. Paige looked up again, but her family was still talking. She twisted her wrist and slowly started reading the words, “I’ve had enough of you, and you’re going to do as I say…whether you like it or not…”
“What are you doing here…” Paige whispered. Markus, of all people…
“…Paige?” Markus said cocking his head.
Paige realized that she probably looked so different that he just didn’t recognize her. Could he recognize her voice?
“I mean…what are you doing here so early?” Paige said, hoping this was early. For him at least.
“Paige, what are you talking about?” Markus blurted. He evidently didn’t want to keep up the charade anymore.
“I…” Paige blushed, casting her gaze towards the bookshelf.
“Shall I get some tea?” Markus asked, mockingly.
“No, actually, I already had some with Madame Gothel, thank you,” Paige rattled off dryly, fighting back the urge to scream.
Markus was really searching in the tower for a tea set now.
“Tell me how Gothel is treating you?” asked Markus mock-concerned.
“Oh, so now you want to play-act?” Paige glared fiercely at him. Why is he acting so weird?
Markus didn’t reply. Just suddenly slumped on the bed, head in his hands.
“Why are you here? It doesn’t make sense…”
“But it makes sense that you’re here? I don’t think so!” Paige seethed.
“You know, you’re not usually so feisty,” Markus looked up at Paige.
Paige glanced down at her feet, embarrassed at her anger.
“Well…you’re not usually so weird.”
“Really? What makes you say so?”
Paige was about to protest, but then she looked up and saw Markus smiling.
“Would you mind explaining how you got here, then, know-it-all?”
“You won’t believe me.” Markus crossed his arms over his chest defensively.
“I’m pretty sure I will, on a count of I had to get here somehow too. Just a reminder.” Paige’s voice dripped with sarcasm. It came on especially when she was angry.
“So, you know how the words work then? Why should I even bother telling you, huh?” Markus gave Paige a look that said, ‘if you don’t, I’m not explaining to you either.’
Paige had always thought they weren’t really fighting. And even if they did, they’d just argue with each other until madness broke out on both ends. And they were usually so sarcastic nobody would even think they were arguing anyway.
Paige held up a hand, sighing. “I’m sorry, I just…I have to get out of here!”
“Well, I’m sorry, but I’ve tried every way possible to get out of here.”
Paige cocked an eyebrow.
“But haven’t you only been here one night?”
“Yes, but I meant there’s no way out of here.” He gestured around.
“Here. Right. Gotcha.”
Markus rolled his eyes again.
“This isn’t the only place here! There are other…kingdoms, I guess you could say, that are different fairytales.”
This got Paige interested.
“So you’re saying that this is like an alternate universe or something?”
“I don’t think so,” Markus replied, suddenly kind, “I think this is actually a real place. My theory is that it’s where book characters live.”
“How long have you been coming here…?” Paige mumbled under her breath.
They may change a bit as I perfect the story, but I hope you liked it!
Post again soon! 🙂