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
THE SERIOUSLY MUSCLE-BOUND MEN in gray suddenly froze, their blocklike heads whipping back and forth like puppets on strings.
"Where is she? She's gone! Vanished! Where'd she go?" one said, his voice hoarse and panicky.
They shone flashlights around the room. One of them dropped to his knees and searched under my bed; the other rushed over to look in my closet.
Where'd I go? Were these guys totally insane? I was right there. What was going on?
Maybe they were trying to trick me into running for it so they had an excuse to use force. Or maybe they were escapees from an asylum who had come to get me the way they'd come to get poor Celia—
"Wisty!" My mom's anxious shout from the hallway pierced the fog that had invaded my brain. "Run away, sweetheart!"
"Mom!" I shrieked. The two guys blinked and stepped back in surprise.
"There she is! Grab her! She's right there! quick, before she disappears again!"
Big klutzy hands grabbed my arms and legs, then my head. "Let me go!" I screamed, kicking and struggling. "Let. Me. Go."
But their grip was like steel as they dragged me down the hall to the family room and dumped me on the floor like a sack of trash.
I quickly scrambled to my feet, more floodlights whiting out my vision. Then I heard Whit shouting as he was thrown onto the living room floor next to me.
"Whit, what's going on? Who are these...monsters?"
"Wisty!" he gasped, coherently enough. "You okay?"
"No." I almost cried, but I couldn't, wouldn't, absolutely refused, to let them see me wuss out. Every awful true-crime movie I'd ever seen flashed through my head, and my stomach heaved. I nestled close to my brother, who took my hand in his and squeezed.
Suddenly the floodlights turned off, leaving us blinking and shaking.
"Mom?" Whit shouted. "Dad?" If my brother hadn't been stone-cold sober already, he sure was now.
I gasped. My parents were standing there, still in their rumpled pajamas, but held from behind like they were dangerous criminals. Sure, we lived on the wrong side of the tracks, but no one in our family had ever been in trouble before.
Not that I knew of anyway.
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.