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
IT'S QUITE HIDEOUS to get kidnapped in the dead of night, right inside your own home. It went something like this.
I woke to the chaotic crashing of overturning furniture, quickly followed by the sounds of shattering glass, possibly some of Mom's china.
Oh God, Whit, I thought, shaking my head sleepily. My older brother had grown four inches and gained thirty pounds of muscle in the past year. Which made him the biggest and fastest quarterback around, and, I must say, the most intimidating player on our regional high school's undefeated football team.
Off the playing field, though, Whit could be about as clumsy as your average bear—if your average bear were hopped-up on a case of Red Bull and full of himself because he could bench-press 275 and every girl in school thought he was the hunk of all hunks.
I rolled over and pulled my pillow around my head.
Even before the drinking started, Whit couldn't walk through our house without knocking something over. Total bull-in-a-china-shop syndrome.
But that wasn't the real problem tonight, I knew.
Because three months ago, his girlfriend, Celia, had literally vanished without a trace. And by now everyone was thinking she probably would never come back. Her parents were totally messed up about it, and so was Whit. To be honest, so was I. Celia was—is—very pretty, smart, not conceited at all. She's this totally cool girl, even though she has money. Celia's father owns the luxury-car dealership in town, and her mom is a former beauty queen. I couldn't believe something like that would happen to someone like Celia.
I heard my parents' bedroom door open and snuggled back down into my cozy, flannel-sheeted bed.
Next came Dad's booming voice, and he was as angry as I've ever heard him.
"This can't be happening! You have no right to be here. Leave our house now!"
I bolted upright, wide awake. Then came more crashing sounds, and I thought I heard someone moan in pain. Had Whit fallen and cracked his head? Had my dad been hurt?
Jeez, Louise, I thought, scrambling out of bed. "I'm coming, Dad! Are you all right? Dad?"
And then the nightmare to start a lifetime of nightmares truly began.
I gasped as my bedroom door crashed open. Two hulking men in dark-gray uniforms burst into my room, glaring at me as if I were a fugitive terrorist-cell operative.
"It's her! Wisteria Allgood!" one said, and a light bright enough to illuminate an airplane hangar obliterated the darkness.
I tried to shield my eyes as my heart kicked into overdrive. "Who are you?!" I asked. "What are you doing in my freaking bedroom?"
Copyright © 2009 by James Patterson
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.