When Whit & Wisty were imprisoned by the wicked forces of the totalitarian regime known as the New Order, they were barely able to escape with their lives. Now part of a hidden community of teens like themselves, Whit and Wisty have established themselves as leaders of the Resistance, willing to sacrifice anything to save kids kidnapped and brutally imprisoned by the New Order.
But the One has other plans in store for them: He needs Wisty, for she is "The One Who Has the Gift." While trying to figure out what that means, Whit and Wisty's suspenseful adventures through Overworld and Shadowland lead to a jaw-dropping climax and conclusion: the highly-anticipated fulfillment of the heart-pounding opening prologue of book one... The Execution of the Allgoods.
Book One | The Girl with The Gift
WOULD YOU THINK that I was completely mad if I told you that what saved us in that signal hut was a portal that sucked me and Wisty through several dimensions and hurled us back into our current hellish reality at a completely different location?
A year ago, I would've checked myself into a psych ward for that, but crazy is the new sane in a society defined by New Order nutjobs. FYI, a portal is one of these elusive spots where the fabric of this world is... soft. But stepping through one can be anything but. It can hurl you into an entirely different place, time, or dimension... or sometimes force you into places you'd rather not be. Violently.
Like, for instance, in this cramped pitch-black space we've landed in. For all I know, we might be locked in The One's shoe closet. The air feels close, stale. My shoulder's on fire and my head is pounding.
"Whit? Are you here?" I hear a whisper. There's a gentle shifting around about a dozen feet away.
"Yeah." I grunt, half dazed by pain. The sweet female voice is warm, soothing.
"You okay?" the voice asks with concern. Celia? I imagine my long-lost girlfriend, kidnapped and killed by the New Order a lifetime ago. Coming closer, leaning over me, about to touch me, heal me, save me...
"Mmmmmm..." I trail off, waiting for Celia's scent, her arms around me.
"You sound... hungover."
Oh. It's Wisty. Of course.
I groan."It's my shoulder. Got dislocated in the portal, I think."
"Seriously? I slipped right through that one like butter."
I roll my eyes even though she probably can't see them. "Guess it was just the right size for your runty witch butt," I croak out—affectionately, I swear. "So where d'you think we are?"
"How about... a prison? Seems like our favorite crib these days."
I wasn't so sure. "No. This smell—it's not the smell of a prison. It's something... good. Something that reminds me of..."
"Home," we both say in unison.
Wisty releases a small flame from her fingertip to give us some light. I'm impressed at how she's learning to control her hot little temper and putting her talent to good use. In the old days, I used to be the accomplished star around town—MVP varsity football player, plus a top-ranked runner and swimmer—while Wisty was mostly cutting class. Now she's this hotshot witch who can glow, morph, zap, and do other cool stuff. Just not necessarily on command.
In the dim light I see just enough to make out my sister's shape and stacks of cardboard boxes labeled INCINERATE."Books," Wisty says reverently, paging through a few volumes from unsealed boxes. With my good arm I gingerly poke into a crate and spy titles by all kinds of famous authors, from B. B. White to Roy Royce.
"Looks like a book-burning shipment," I guess. The New Order is in the process of destroying just about every known book in the occupied Overworld written before the takeover.
A stabbing pain rips through my bad shoulder, and I wince."Speaking of burning... you gonna help me pop my shoulder back in, Wist?"
"That's positively revolting," she says, but makes her way over to me anyway. "You need to learn a spell for that, Brother. You wizard types are supposed to be good at that kind of stuff, right?"
"It's worth a shot, I guess. Just give me a hand with my journal, okay?" Dad gave me this blank book before we were taken away that awful night so many months ago, and I carry it with me everywhere. (Wisty carts around an told drumstick/wand that Mom gave her.) Most of the time my book's blank and I use it to write in—usually sad love poems for Celia. But sometimes it fills with magazines, maps, whole works of literature... or, if we're lucky, spells. I think wizards are supposed to be able to control what comes when, but so far it's basically a crapshoot.
Wisty takes it out of my pack and helps me flip through the pages for any sort of injury-healing spell, and we finally come up with this mouthful: Voron klaktu scapulati.
"Sounds like devilspeak to me!" Wisty quips, impersonating a crotchety old lady talking about rock music. But the most amazing warmth spreads through my shoulder when I say it, and suddenly—just like that—it's back in its socket. I raise my arm without a twinge of pain.
"Guess we've sold our souls," I say. "Now let's figure out where the heck we are and how to get back to Freeland."
As we make our way to the rear of the cramped space, we figure out we're inside a shipping container. I grab a few books for the kids back at Resistance headquarters—The Blueprints of Bruno Genet and The Thirst Tournament, among others.
"You ready to face what's out there?" I ask as we reach the door.
"Or who's out there," Wisty echoes warily. "Lemme get focused, in case I have to light up or something."
On the count of three, we roll up the container door.
And there, staring right at us, are... our parents.
Copyright © 2010 by James Patterson
Read by Elijah Wood, Spencer Locke, and Peter Giles
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