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Witch & Wizard

You are holding an urgent and vital narrative that reveals the forbidden truth about our perilous times....

This is the astonishing testimonial of Wisty and Whit Allgood, a sister and brother who were torn from their family in the middle of the night, slammed into prison, and accused of being a witch and a wizard. Thousands of young people have been kidnapped; some have been accused; many others remain missing. Their fate is unknown, and the worst is feared—for the ruling regime will stop at nothing to suppress life and liberty, music and books, art and magic...and the pursuit of being a normal teenager.

Part One | NO CRIME JUST PUNISHMENT

Chapter 1

Whit

SOMETIMES YOU WAKE UP and the world is just plain different.

The noise of a circling helicopter is what made me open my eyes. A cold, blue-white light forced its way through the blinds and flooded the living room. Almost like it was day.

But it wasn't.

I peered at the clock on the DVD player through blurry eyes: 2:10 a.m.

I became aware of a steady drub, drub, drub—like the sound of a heavy heartbeat. Throbbing. Pressing in. Getting closer.

What's going on?

I staggered to the window, forcing my body back to life after two hours of being passed out on the sofa, and peeked through the slats.

And then I stepped back and rubbed my eyes. Hard.

Because there's no way I had seen what I'd seen. And there was no way I had heard what I'd heard.

Was it really the steady, relentless footfall of hundreds of soldiers? Marching on my street in perfect unison?

The road wasn't close enough to the center of town to be on any holiday parade routes, much less to have armed men in combat fatigues coursing down it in the dead of night.

I shook my head and bounced up and down a few times, kind of like I do in my warm-ups. Wake up, Whit. I slapped myself for good measure. And then I looked again.

There they were. Soldiers marching down our street. Hundreds of them as clear as day, made visible by a half-dozen truck-mounted spotlights.

Just one thought was running laps inside my head: This can't be happening. This can't be happening. This can't be happening.

Then I remembered the elections, the new government, the ravings of my parents about the trouble the country was in, the special broadcasts on TV, the political petitions my classmates were circulating online, the heated debates between teachers at school. None of it meant anything to me until that second.

And before I could piece it all together, the vanguard of the formation stopped in front of my house.

Almost faster than I could comprehend, two armed squads detached themselves from the phalanx and sprinted across the lawn like commandos, one running around the back of the house, the other taking position in front.

I jumped away from the window. I could tell they weren't here to protect me and my family. I had to warn Mom, Dad, Wisty—

But just as I started to yell, the front door was knocked off its hinges.

Copyright © 2009 by James Patterson

Read by Elijah Wood and Spencer Locke

Elijah Wood's recent film credits include the Shane Acker animated film "9" produced by Tim Burton, George Miller's animated film Happy Feet, Liev Schreiber's adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's best-selling novel Everything is Illuminated, and Michel Gondry's critically acclaimed Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind. Additional credits include Sin City, based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, Ang Lee's The Ice Storm, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy directed by Peter Jackson. Wood recently started his own record label, Simian Records, and is an active member and supporter of The Art of Elysium, a nonprofit organization that encourages working actors, artists, and musicians to dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions.

Spencer Locke has appeared in numerous television shows including: Without A Trace, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Phil of the Future, That's So Raven, and Cold Case. She has also appeared in the feature films: Spanglish, Monster House, for which she received an Annie Award Nomination for Voice Acting, and Resident Evil: Extinction.

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