TITLE: A QUESTION OF FAITH
GENRE: YA Magical Realism
Learning that she's magic incarnate turns fifteen-year-old Crystal's religious beliefs upside down, but she has more to deal with than questions about faith and her soul when her boyfriend is kidnapped by a witch hunter and shamans snatch her aunt.
Our attic door is always padlocked, but now the stairs hang down into the hallway like a lolling tongue from a particularly dark and dusty mouth.
Before I can climb one step, a trash bag, and then another, lands at my feet.
"Oh!" I jump back in surprise.
Mom hurries down the stairs, a plume of dust following her. My mom, the attic ninja.
"Crystal! I thought you were getting ready to go to the library."
My chance to see inside the attic thwarted, I huff and cross my arms. "I heard you up there, and I wanted to see—"
"Can you take these bags to the kitchen for me?" She forces a smile and hands me the bags, then lifts the steps, closing and locking the attic.
Maybe she’s hiding my present up there. I turn sixteen on Monday. But that doesn't explain why she's never let me up there before…
I do as she asks and drop the bags near back door. Although bulky, the bags are surprisingly light. Wonder what's inside them.
I lean against the counter as Mom comes into the room.
"I'm sorry for snapping. You just caught me by surprise." She brushes her dyed strawberry blonde hair behind her shoulder, and dust drifts onto her shirt.
"What were you doing up there?"
"Just a little cleaning. There's so much junk up there it isn't funny. We're lucky the house hasn't caught fire, but at least I'm making progress."